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On a Knife’s Edge: Canadian society stands at the brink

class struggle canadaOn the surface a calm seems to have settled over Canadian society with an apparent absence of mass movements or major labour struggles. But, it would be incredibly shortsighted to assume that this calm suggests an era of peace or stability. On the contrary; Canadian society rests on a knife’s edge and almost anything could set the class struggle alight. There is a paralysis of leadership on all sides — both from the labour movement and the capitalist class — which means that the underlying contradictions within society continue to build up.


Gross overspending enough to sink Harper's battleships?

warships canadian flagA report by Canada’s auditor general now confirms that the plan by the Department of National Defence (DND) to procure contracts to build 15 new warships will cost in excess of $100-billion over the next 30 years. This follows on the F-35 fighter jet cost scandal of 2012, and has Canadians once again asking why they are being asked to sacrifice to the demands of austerity while their government spends extravagantly on its own priorities.


Thousands protest cuts to veterans’ services in Nova Scotia

Over 3,000 people in Sydney, Nova Scotia came out to protest the closing down of the Veterans' Affairs office on Cape Breton Island. This decision was justified, in the government’s eyes, by the high death rate of veterans, as well as by the need for austerity and public sacrifice in hard economic times. The veterans of Cape Breton do not need lessons from Ottawa on the importance of sacrifice or the hardships of a struggling economy. This is a colossal slap in the face to tens of thousands of veterans from a government that loves to claim that it supports soldiers.

Rob Ford crack cocaine scandal reveals the weakness of the ruling class

rob ford drunk 2What the hell is going on in Toronto?  This must surely be the response of people around the world as the surreal scandal surrounding Toronto mayor Rob Ford filled newspapers from Britain to Germany to South Africa.  How is it possible that a crack-smoking drunk-driving man who likes to urinate in public parks and go on half-naked vodka-fuelled benders at City Hall still be the mayor of Canada’s largest city?  The fact that he remains in power speaks to the vacuum of leadership present in both the labour movement and within the ruling class.


Canada-Brazil Spygate scandal: Imperialism gets caught red-handed

canada imperialism go homeCanada has become the latest country to be caught in the scandal surrounding electronic espionage. In many respects, the fallout from Canada’s spy activities in Brazil could end up being more damaging than the revelations around the NSA and Spygate earlier this year.  The alleged activities by the Communications Security Establishment of Canada (CSEC) reveal the lengths that are being taken to defend Canadian corporate interests, at the expense of the working-class both in Canada and abroad, all in the name of so-called “national security”.


Capitalism is corrupt; Projet Montreal must fight the bosses

Municipal elections across Quebec are coming up at the beginning of November, following a roller coaster ride of scandal and corruption for municipal elections across the province. In Montreal, mayor Gérald Tremblay and his successor, Michael Applebaum, were both forced to resign in the past 12 months on charges of corruption and ties to the Mafia. This opens up large possibilities for Projet Montreal, but only if it presents a program that can break with the status quo and addresses the aspirations of workers and youth of today. Projet Montreal cannot fight the bosses’ corruption without fighting for the interests of workers and youth.

The grand distraction: The charter of Quebec “values”

After weeks of rumours, the Parti Québécois government has finally released the details of their proposed “Charter of Quebec Values”. According to the PQ government, the charter is needed to continue the traditions established during the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s, ensuring a proper separation of church and state and defending Quebec society from the dangers of religious indoctrination.  However, for many in Quebec, the charter is correctly seen as an attempt to target ethnic and religious minorities for the crisis that plagues Quebec society, and to set one sector of the working class against the other.

The Lac-Mégantic disaster — Who is to blame?

The train derailment in the small Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic on Friday 5th July has come as a huge shock. With 37 confirmed dead, and another 13 people still missing, this is turning out to be the worst train accident in North America since a 1989 train crash in Mexico, which left 112 dead and a further 200 injured. Anguish and grief has started to turn into anger as people are learning the reasons for the accident — massive cutbacks in railways and the particularly callous remarks of the CEO of Rail World Inc., Ed Burkhardt. The Lac-Mégantic disaster shows how, in the present period, capitalism is killing us.

BC NDP election disaster: What went wrong?

bc ndp adrian dixIt wasn't supposed to happen this way. After 12 years of BC Liberal rule, the scandal-plagued right-wing government was set to take a beating. The NDP entered this race with a 20-point lead in the polls; they were unstoppable! But that's not what happened on election night.  Instead, it was the NDP that took a beating, actually losing seats and strengthening the Liberal majority.  Amidst the stunned NDP activists at the “victory party”, one question was written across the face of everyone in the room — “How could this happen?”


Canadian health care under attack!

One of the most important reforms won by Canadian workers, public medicare, is coming under relentless attack by government austerity programs.  Recent provincial budget decisions in Ontario, for example, have cut $3-billion from health spending, which is putting the health of Canadians at extreme risk — especially those from the most marginalized sectors of society.  For the sake of our own health, we need to put a halt to the austerity agenda.