The Niqab Debate: A Weapon of Mass Distraction!

Canadian politics has been plagued by a debate about the niqab. Federal party leaders have been trading barbs over the issue in public statements as well as during the most recent French-language election debate. Plagued by the Senate corruption scandal and a sputtering economy, this niqab debate has arrived as a godsend for the Conservatives who seem to have gained new life in the polls. But what is this debate really about?

Conservatives Implement “Second-Class Citizenship”

second class citizen 897x494Second-class citizenship has now become a reality in Canada. Bill C-24 - the “Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act” - came into effect on May 29, granting the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration the ability to strip dual-citizens of their Canadian citizenship.

New “anti-terrorism” act is an assault on democratic rights

As this article is being written, the federal Conservative government is rushing to pass Bill C-51, also known as the “Anti-Terrorism Act”. This bill has arrived in the wake of highly publicized attacks, both in Canada and abroad. During the unveiling of his new legislation, Prime Minister Stephen Harper proclaimed, “A great evil has been descending upon our world, an evil which has grown more and more powerful — violent Jihadism.” These are frightening words, but what will the Conservative's fear mongering mean for our civil liberties and democratic rights?

Mansbridge-Lang Scandals Highlight Corporate Media Hypocrisy

Recent disclosures of conflict-of-interest among top journalists at the CBC have led many to grow sceptical of the integrity of media sources across Canada. Having discovered that high profile correspondents like Peter Mansbridge and Amanda Lang secretly pocketed money from corporations they covered as reporters, it is no wonder that people perceive the line between journalism and conveyance of business interests as beginning to blur.

Canada’s epidemic of overcrowded prisons

Prison populations are rapidly increasing, far outstripping the capacity of the provincial and federal prison systems in Canada. This has created an enormous strain on the prison system, with the practice of overcrowded cells becoming very common. It is has become typical practice for three inmates to be packed into a cell meant for two inmates. Often, inmates are forced to sleep and even eat on the cell floor. This practice has been linked to increased conflicts and violence within the prisons. It is expected that the number of inmates will only increase due to tough-on-crime laws passed by the Harper federal government.

Harper’s Family Tax Cut: Take from the poor, give to the rich

The Conservative government has been touting their new income splitting plan, billed as the “Family Tax Cut”, across Canadian airwaves. The advertisement, brought to you by the Government of Canada, informs us that Canadian families have been working hard and deserve a break. The Family Tax Cut allegedly gives families this break by allowing one parent to transfer up to $50,000 to the other parent’s income in order to fit into a lower tax bracket and therefore pay less taxes. But, do all families really get a break with the Tories’ plan?


Parliament Hill shooting is a symptom of a rotten system

Ottawa was rocked on Wednesday by news that a lone gunman shot, and killed, a Canadian Forces reservist on Parliament Hill, before storming Parliament itself. This attack came just two days after a similar incident in Quebec. The mainstream media has been very quick to raise the spectre of a wave of Islamist terrorist attacks striking Canada, based on the fact that these two individuals recently converted to a fundamentalist form of Islam, and apparently expressed support for ISIS.


Harper goes to war in Iraq: No to imperialist intervention!

On Friday, the Conservatives announced their plan to send six CF-18 fighter jets for up to six months to join the United States and other Western powers in a new bombing campaign in Iraq. Canadians have now been dragged into the colossal mess in Iraq that was caused by Western military intervention in the first place, and which seems to have no end in sight. 

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.

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.


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