The Vancouver Olympics: An expensive attack on democratic rights

This coming weekend sees the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.  Despite the images of natural beauty and pleasant ‘middle class’ life that will be broadcast to the world, Vancouver is a troubled city and B.C. is a troubled province.  Billions are being spent for a party that most of us are not being invited to.  And, the federal Tories are using the Olympics to distract workers from the real ails that are assailing us.

The coming struggles in BC

With the combination of growing anger over the Olympic Games and rapidly increasing pressure from the economic crisis, workers, students, and youth could be facing massive struggles in the new year. Combined with a new provincial budget being introduced in March 2010 that will likely slash public spending, workers in many different unions will also be faced with a new round of collective bargaining. Caught between a rock and a hard place, working people may be forced to fight back in a massive way; indeed, a collision that could throw the entire province into struggle against the Liberal government seems likely for 2010.

Stop the business tax revolt in BC: Make the bosses pay!

A tax revolt is brewing in British Columbia but not the kind of tax revolt you are thinking, where the population decides they are not willing to pay taxes to a government that doesn’t represent them. No, this is a tax revolt of a different type: a tax revolt of the big corporations. These corporations leech their profits from the resources and hard work of the people of this province and now they have decided they aren’t even willing to pay their share to maintain the infrastructure necessary to do that. These parasites have shown in the past that they have no respect for the basic living standards of their own workers, let alone of the wider community. Now with their economic system in crisis, they are demanding even more.

NDP Loses BC Election -- Carole James must go!

Gordon Campbell, one of the most hated premiers in British Columbia’s history, has won a third term in office.  His government is surrounded by the BC Rail scandal.  He was actually caught and convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in his first term.  His attacks against the public sector have repeatedly brought the province to the brink of a general strike.  He has frozen the minimum wage for eight years and sold off BC’s rivers to the highest bidder.  Under Campbell’s government, BC Ferries have slashed services and jacked up prices.  He closed 300 schools and did nothing while BC’s child poverty rate slipped to the worst in the country.  The economy is in free-fall and tens of thousands of workers have lost their jobs under his watch.  Clearly, Gordon Campbell cannot be given credit for his election victory.  No; the responsibility for this defeat lies squarely on the shoulders of the leadership of the BC NDP.

BC Election 2009: NDP leadership prepares to hand Campbell Liberals a third term

With the BC election campaign kicking into high gear, the NDP again finds itself behind in the polls.  BC is being hit hard by the economic crisis with over 22,000 jobs lost in the last month alone.  Gordon Campbell is one of the most hated leaders in BC history and his approval rating sits at just 34%; but amazingly, NDP leader Carole James’ rating is even lower at 29%. Something is clearly wrong here.

Olympic spirit waning: Dismal perspectives for Vancouver and its 2010 Winter Games

After years of lies about the 2010 Winter Olympics and the prosperity they will bring to the city, province, and country, it’s no surprise that workers are a bit perplexed by the way things are really panning out. Despite promises of economic windfall, the games were wildly unpopular from the very beginning of the bidding process. Now, in the face of world economic crisis and a teetering housing market, the Olympics are projected to be almost $1 billion over budget.

Crisis in the Forest Industry

Workers in British Columbia have seen their pulp, paper, and lumber mills closing at an alarming rate, leaving thousands jobless and facing an uncertain future. Whole communities have been devastated as large forestry companies such as Interfor and Canfor pull out operations and ship jobs overseas where labour is cheaper.

No to Private Healthcare -- False Creek Urgent Care Centre open for business in Vancouver

Healthcare is once again under attack. The politicians have deliberately starved our healthcare system of funds. They have created a crisis in order to gain public support for private healthcare, but so far it hasn’t worked. The vast majority of Canadians are still strongly opposed to for-profit healthcare. Now, a private clinic has opened its doors in Vancouver in blatant violation of the law, but the governments will not shut it down.

The Queen of the North: The cost of privitization

British Columbia’s residents have always considered the BC Ferries system to be a natural extension of the provincial highway system. Over the decades, the province's ferry system has grown to one of the largest in the world. With 34 vessels, it services 21 million passengers and 8 million vehicles annually on 25 routes, many of which connect communities that would otherwise be completely isolated from the rest of the world.

BC Liberals buy class peace... for now

Stop Press!  As we go to print the BC Teachers’ Federation has just reached a settlement with the government. The deal appears to be a compromise with the teachers receiving a 16% wage increase over five years. Such a lengthy contract may not be the best deal for teachers, but whether or not it is ratified by the membership remains to be seen. The vote is not until September, so BCTF members will have an entire summer to consider it. Despite the recent developments, we think it is appropriate to print the original article as the general perspectives remain the same.
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