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Quebec Liberals target pension funds: Solidarity with the municipal workers!

On 18th August, firefighters stormed Montreal City Hall, chasing the mayor from room to room and protesting against the recently announced cuts to their pensions. The police officers, whose pensions will also be affected, let the workers enter City Hall and looked the other way as the building was ransacked. Municipalities in Quebec are at war with city employees and this action shows the looming storm in the struggle against austerity.

“Anybody But Conservative” campaign weakens fight against Liberal austerity

As summer draws to an end, it appears that so is the Liberals’ generosity towards Ontario’s public-sector workers.  In order to maintain their hold on power at Queen’s Park earlier this summer, Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals made all sorts of overtures to the province’s labour movement, promising that the new Liberal government would treat labour with respect and raise workers’ standards of living, unlike Tim Hudak and the Conservatives — and unlike the Liberal governments of the past 11 years.

Ontario voters reject Conservative austerity, but NDP fails to capitalize

As the dust settles from the 2014 Ontario election, the province’s voters have soundly rejected Tim Hudak’s Conservatives and their anti-labour austerity program, rewarding the Liberals with a majority government.  The Liberals’ victory had less to do with enthusiasm for their program and more to do with keeping Hudak and the Tories out of office at all costs.  Unfortunately, the NDP has missed a grand opportunity to present itself as the anti-Hudak voice, which means that Ontarians will now face the hidden austerity of the Wynne Liberals. Although Hudak’s mass public-sector layoffs have been defeated, labour needs to begin mobilizing against Wynne’s attacks now.

Stop Hudak!... But Liberals are no better

As the provincial election crawls along, Ontario workers fear the prospect of a Tim Hudak-led Conservative government winning power at Queen’s Park.  Hudak has made it crystal clear that his government would slash jobs and program spending in order to balance the province’s books.  This has led many in the labour movement, and even in the so-called “left”, to push Ontario workers to re-elect the Liberals in order to stop Hudak’s advance.  However, this “advice” will only disorient the labour movement and ill-prepare workers for the coming attacks and austerity, which will occur regardless of whether the Tories or Liberals are elected.  

Toronto Community Housing bureaucrats embroiled in scandal — once again

tchc-gene-jonesThe Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) is back in news headlines. On Friday, Apr. 25, the resignation of TCHC chief executive Gene Jones was announced, in his absence, by the board of directors of the TCHC. This scandal at top levels of management comes just three years after a previous scandal led to a series of dismissals and resignations in 2011-2012. In less than 18 months since Jones took control, some 88 staff left the TCHC, most of them due to firings. Crean asserted that Jones and other top management ran the TCHC “like their own personal fiefdom”.

Is an Ontario election coming? NDP must stand with workers, not Bay Street

ndp-horwath-podiumAs this article goes to print, Ontario looks set to be plunged into an election campaign that will satisfy no one.  None of the political parties are offering any real solutions to the deep crisis that is afflicting the province.  The two bosses’ parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives, are thoroughly discredited and reviled, giving great opportunity to the NDP to rise to the fore.  However, the party’s hesitation to put forward working-class demands, as well as its courting of Bay Street, is likely to keep NDP supporters home and once again hand the keys to Queen’s Park to the Liberals or Conservatives.

Stop the (Un)Fair Elections Act!

harper-not-voteDuring the 2011 federal election, the Conservatives were linked to a series of voter-suppression tactics now known as the “Robocalls scandal”. In response to this scandal the call went up to amend the election laws in order to empower Elections Canada to stop such actions. Three years later the Conservatives have unveiled their amendments to elections law and, scandalously, the amendments are designed to facilitate voter suppression and actually weaken the ability of Elections Canada to investigate wrongdoing. Voter suppression is a tactic normally associated with the US Republican Party. Voters who usually oppose the right-wing — typically the poor, immigrant, and student population — are systematically excluded from the ballot. Now, the Canadian Conservative Party is heading down this road.

Liberals win majority in Quebec election: Charter rejected, austerity to come

Less than two years after it was kicked out from power, the Quebec Liberals have been returned to government with a crushing victory. The 33-day campaign started with premier Pauline Marois confident that her Parti Québécois would be forming a majority government.  Instead, the election ended with Marois losing her own seat and the PQ capturing its lowest vote total since 1973. Now, there is an ominous feeling amongst Quebec’s workers and youth as memories of Jean Charest’s majority government come to the fore. Yes, the charter has been defeated, but austerity is still on the agenda — more firmly than ever before.

Quebec: On Apr. 3 fight austerity, fight for socialism!

asse demo 3apr2014In reaction to the last budget put forward by the Parti Quebecois, the Association for Student Union Solidarity (ASSE) has decided to take to the street in opposition to the austerity measures being proposed. This will take place in the form of a national demonstration on April 3 at 2pm, at Place Emilie-Gamelin in downtown Montreal.


Quebec elections 2014: Defeat austerity and the charter!

quebec election marois peladeauJust 18 months since the last election, voters in Quebec will once again head to the polls on Apr. 7. With a weak minority government and a parliament that has been deadlocked on pretty much everything, the Parti Québécois is looking to secure that majority government they failed to obtain in the fall of 2012. The PQ’s support has increased by about ten percentage points in less than a year, making this goal a possibility. But what does this election mean for workers and youth in Quebec today?