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SNC-Lavalin update: The whole damn system is even more guilty!

Gerald Butts, left, and former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould, right,. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press, Chris Wattie/Reuters)For weeks, Canada has been gripped by the political drama surrounding SNC-Lavalin, a scandal which has implicated Canada’s political and business elite in a web of corruption, deceit, and abuse of power. By now, the allegations are widely known: that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau put inappropriate pressure on former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to interfere in an ongoing corruption case against SNC—a construction giant with close links to the Liberal Party—and removed her as attorney general after she refused to do so. In the intervening weeks, Canadians have borne witness to new revelations, high-profile resignations, and almost daily reassurances from the prime minister that everything is just fine.

SNC-Lavalin affair: The whole damn system is guilty!

TrudeauRaybouldOn Feb. 7, 2019, The Globe and Mail published a story which alleged that Justin Trudeau’s office “attempted to press” former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould to interfere in the corruption case of SNC-Lavalin, a major Canadian construction firm. According to the Globe, Raybould resisted the pressure, leading to her removal as Minister of Justice and demotion to Minister of Veterans Affairs. What has unfolded since then is a political drama that has dominated news headlines, unveiled the shady inner workings of the Liberal Party, and threatens to discredit the country’s political and business elite. Something, no doubt, is rotten in the state of Canada.

RCMP attack on Wet’suwet’en camp: No reconciliation is possible under capitalism!

RCMP attack Wet'suwet'en territory. (CBC)On Jan. 7 the RCMP, including members of the Tactical and Emergency Response Teams, attacked and dismantled the Gidimt’en checkpoint on Wet’suwet’en territory in Northern British Columbia, arresting 14 people. The Gidim’ten checkpoint was set up in December 2018 after the B.C. Supreme Court granted TransCanada Coastal GasLink an injunction to remove another camp, the Unist’ot’en checkpoint, which was established in 2009 to control and block access by pipeline corporations to Wet’suwet’en territory.

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?

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.

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.

Asylum seekers and the hypocrisy of Canadian imperialism

There has been a recent increase in the number of people crossing the U.S.-Canadian border seeking asylum in Canada. Right-wing nationalists in Quebec and Conservatives in English Canada have been using this question in a disgusting manner to sow fear and division, claiming that the border is a “sieve” and that “we shouldn't have to pay” for the influx of refugees, etc. These very same people maintain the hypocritical stance of supporting corporate bailouts and cuts to public services while claiming that there is no money to help people fleeing the racist demagogue south of the border. They also conveniently ignore the dastardly role that Canadian imperialism played in destabilizing Haiti.

Canada 150: Erasing struggle from Canada’s past

Canadian genocideAs federal and provincial governments prepare to spend $500 million on the celebration of Canada’s 150th “birthday”, Canadian workers continue to be forced to accept privatizations, falling living standards, and austerity.

NDP Leadership: Support Ashton, Fight For Socialism!

rlashton02On Friday 23rd June, Fightback’s editorial board sat down to discuss with 2017 NDP leadership candidate Niki Ashton. Based upon that interview, and Ashton’s statements since the start of the campaign, Fightback has decided to support Ashton’s candidacy and encourage all socialists to do the same. 

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