The Conservative Party and the renegade Bernier

BernierOn Aug. 23, former Tory MP Maxime Bernier delivered a prepared statement in Ottawa announcing his resignation from the Conservative Party of Canada and his intention to form a new party that “represents Conservative values”. In his statement, Bernier said his former party was “too intellectually and morally corrupt to be reformed,” and went on to denounce them for their support of corporate bailouts, retaliatory tariffs against the United States, “identity politics”, and supply management, among other things. Bernier also added that the election of Conservative leader Andrew Scheer as Prime Minister would be “a more disastrous form of the Liberal government”. As for the as-of-yet unnamed party, Bernier mentioned only that it will run in the 2019 federal election. The question on everyone’s lips is the same: what does this mean for Canadian politics?

Quebec elections 2018: Where is the voice of workers?

Candidates for Quebec general election 2018On Oct. 1, Quebec voters head to the polls. With the right-wing CAQ polling in first place, things are not looking good for the working class. Legault’s “change” will mark an acceleration of the program of gutting social services, attacking unions, and the dismantling of the “Quebec model” established during the Quiet Revolution. Meanwhile, there has been a resurgence of the class struggle this year with big strike votes and several key strikes. This begs the question: Where is the voice of the workers in this election?

Ford’s war on the poor: Tories slash welfare, cancel UBI program

Ontario’s Children, Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod who announced cuts to the province’s welfare program.  (Photo Credit: CHRIS YOUNG / THE CANADIAN PRESS)During the Ontario provincial election campaign, the 4,000 participants in Ontario’s Universal Basic Income (UBI) pilot program were eager to know whether the program would survive if Doug Ford’s Conservatives were elected to form the next government. These individuals had planned their lives with the expectation that they would receive three years of guaranteed income. Some made decisions to return to school or to move into better housing. The statement from Ford’s campaign was reassuring: that the Tories were “looking forward” to seeing the results of the program. Some individuals on UBI voted for Ford with that promise in mind.

Doug Ford cuts Toronto city council in half

Ford as Thanos, cutting city council in halfIn the latest in a series of attacks against workers and the poor in Toronto, Doug Ford has announced he will table legislation to slash the number of city councillors nearly in half, from a proposed 47 to 25. This announcement comes halfway through the ongoing municipal election campaign and mere months in advance of Toronto’s election day.

Ford, Tory use shooting tragedy to bolster policing

Ford, Tory city hall meeting  (BERNARD WEIL / TORONTO STAR)In the days since Faisal Hussain opened fire on the Danforth in Toronto, killing 2 and injuring 13 before taking his own life, both authorities and the public have been questioning what could lead to such horrific actions. Thus far, there seems to be little to indicate that Hussain posed a risk - while he had had contact with the police over ten years ago, he had no police record, and no information has been released regarding a possible motive. What has come to light seems to be the story of a man afflicted with mental illness and personal tragedy. While mental health problems are not in themselves an explanation for violence (the vast majority of individuals suffering from mental illness are not violent and are far more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators), this tragedy has stirred a public conversation on how to meet the mental health needs of Toronto.  

Justin Trudeau and the disorder of the Phoenix (payroll system)

Protest over Phoenix payroll system in Ottawa, Oct. 31, 2016. Credit: REUTERS/Chris WattieIt has been more than two years since the federal government rolled out Phoenix, the notorious payroll system that has failed to correctly pay more than half of the 300,000 workers in the federal public service. The Auditor General, in his spring reports to Parliament, described the system as “an incomprehensible failure”—words that will shock no one who works for the public service. Huge numbers of workers have complained of being overpaid or underpaid, and still more have gone completely unpaid for months at a time. Some are owed thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in back pay. The “solution” that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have offered could take up to a decade to come into effect, leaving many of these workers stranded and with no way out.

Doug Ford weakens police oversight

Police BrutalityAs one of his first initiatives, Ford is rolling back reforms intended to strengthen civilian oversight of police, increase accountability, and ultimately, remedy some of the worst excesses of police violence and harassment against poor, racialized, and otherwise marginalized communities. Passed in March of this year, many of the provisions of the Safer Ontario Act have not yet come into effect. Now, thanks to Ford, they will never see the light of day.

Doug Ford’s austerity targets schoolchildren

Doug Ford Cutting Carbon TaxThe first victims of Doug Ford's austerity program are children. Ford is cutting $100 million earmarked to fund school repairs in Ontario. The schools in Ontario are already in a state of disrepair. In Toronto alone there is a $4 billion repair backlog. The province overall has $15 billion in repair backlogs across 4,900 schools. Schools have inadequate heating and cooling systems, mold infestations, wiring issues, and even structural damage.

Trucking deregulation results in hundreds dead

Truckin Accident on the 401 (Credit CTV)

The King’s Highway 401, commonly known as the 401, traverses 828 kilometres of southern Ontario starting in Windsor and ending at the Quebec border where it becomes Autoroute 20. In Toronto, it widens to 18 lanes and becomes the busiest highway in North America and the world’s busiest truck route. It also continues to be, since its completion in 1968, the scene of horrific truck accidents with multiple deaths, not only from the initial collisions, but also from the resulting fires and explosions.

Justin Trudeau: the king of corporate handouts

Canadian big business has a friend in Justin Trudeau. At the end of June, it was revealed by CBC news via an Access to Information request that the Liberal government wrote off a loan to Canada’s auto industry in March. The exact amount of the loan and its recipients are unknown due to the heavy censorship of those documents which CBC obtained. However, it is highly suspected that GM and Chrysler were the two companies concerned, both of whom have amounts in arrears on commercial loans to the Canadian government to the tune of $1.15 billion as of March 2017. These loans, $1.3 billion for Chrysler and $220 million for GM, were given as part of the bailout of Canada’s auto sector after the financial collapse of 2009. In total, the Canadian government injected $13.7 billion into the auto sector at the time to keep it afloat.

Support Fightback today. Help build the revolution!