Edmonton braces for four years of austerity

Edmonton City Council recently passed its 2019-2022 municipal budget—and austerity is on the menu for the next four years. Mayor Don Iveson himself admitted that this was the hardest budget passed in more than a decade. What will follow are cuts in services and programs reducing their overall quality, putting a heavier daily workload on city workers, and imposing higher living costs on Edmonton residents.

Food crisis in Nunavut: Capitalism to blame

Recent studies by the Conference Board of Canada brought to light the horrible food situation in Nunavut. In 2016, they released their Food Report Cards that looked at industry prosperity, diets, food safety and household food security in each province and territory. This revealed a food insecurity rate of 51 per cent in Nunavut, which means 1 in 2 people cannot get enough to eat. Balanced healthy meals are out of the question and smaller meal sizes are necessary to make food last. This crisis that silently lingers is greatly affecting the indigenous population - which makes up 95 percent of the population of Nunavut.

Quebec: Big struggles coming against new CAQ government

Francois Legault (Photo Credit: PAUL CHIASSON / THE CANADIAN PRESS)The victory of the CAQ (Coalition Avenir Québec, or Coalition for the Future of Quebec) in the Oct. 1 elections in Quebec marked the end of an epoch in the province. The Liberal Party and the Parti Québécois (PQ) who had held power interchangeably for nearly half a century were pummeled at the polls, receiving their worst electoral results in history. The political landscape in Quebec is increasingly polarized on the left with Québec solidaire and on the right with the CAQ, while the establishment parties in the “centre” have been punished.

Interview with Derrick O'Keefe, socialist Vancouver city council candidate

COPE council candidate Derrick O'Keefe (Photo Credit: Dan Toulgoet / Vancouver Courier)The Vancouver municipal elections on Oct. 20 saw a big shift. Vision Vancouver, which had ruled for 10 years—a period which saw rents and homelessness skyrocket—was wiped out, and the left-wing Coalition Of Progressive Electors (COPE) had a strong showing. COPE ran a strong anti-establishment left-wing campaign which saw four of the seven candidates they ran elected to the city council, school and park boards.

Austerity meets Anglo-chauvinism: Ford cuts French-language services in Ontario

Protest of Francophones in Ottawa (Photo Credit: Gilles Taillon/Radio-Canada)On Nov. 15, Finance Minister Vic Fideli delivered Ontario’s fall economic statement. Premier Doug Ford likely expected a certain degree of backlash, considering the statement included tax breaks for the rich and ending rent controls on new properties. Indeed, riding out backlash has become routine for the still-fresh Progressive Conservative government. However, there is one front where Ford seems to have been taken off guard by the scale and intensity of the resistance he is facing: cuts affecting Franco-Ontarians.

58,000 students strike against unpaid internships in Québec

On the morning of Monday, Nov. 19, more than 55,000 university and Cégep students in Québec marched out of class in protest against unpaid internships. The central demand of the strike is for internships to be paid like any other job. Many of these internships are mandatory and take up hundreds of hours per semester, for which students receive zero pay. This week marked the breaking point for Québec students, who braved the snow and ice to send a message to the government and university administrations that they would not be slaves any more!

Socialist Fightback Students successfully mobilize against Ford’s anti-protest law

In late September, Fightback launched a campaign against Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s anti-protest law, which aims to provide a safe space for the far-right racists and bigots on campus by banning protests against them in the name of “free speech” (read our in-depth analysis here). This mandate, which threatens to penalize universities and colleges, student unions, clubs, and individual students who do not comply, is in reality an attack on the freedom of expression and assembly of students and faculty.

Socialist Fightback discusses the fight against right-wing populism in Edmonton

Joel Bergman Edmonton populismAround 25 people gathered at the University of Alberta on Nov. 13 to discuss how to fight against right-wing populism. Organized by Socialist Fightback Edmonton, the event explored both the causes behind the growing movement and how we as working class Canadians can stop it. The discussion attracted a diverse group of people, many of whom were concerned about the prospect of the United Conservative Party (UCP) led by Jason Kenney taking power in the upcoming Alberta election.

Fight back against Edmonton transit fare hike!

Edmonton Transit System Bus (Photo Credit: CODIE MCLACHLAN / FOR STARMETRO)Within a few years, the cost of public transportation in Edmonton could be the highest in Canada. The city council has brought forward a plan to increase the price of a single bus ride from $3.25 to $3.50 in 2019, $3.75 in 2020, and $4.00 in 2021. This amounts to a 25 per cent increase in just three years. Such a drastic increase will negatively impact many workers who rely on public transit to commute to and from work and go about their daily activities.

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