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.


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.


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”.


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.

Mass demonstration in Montreal against EI reform

April 27 marked the first demonstration of the spring season in Montreal. Tens of thousands of people gathered from across Quebec in a protest called by the main workers' unions against the Employment Insurance (EI) reform put forward by the Harper government. The draconian measures are meant to push unemployment recipients back onto the job market at reduced pay. These measures are being resisted by workers across the country, and the weekend’s demonstration in Montreal was a good beginning for the movement. We must extend the fight against austerity at federal and provincial levels, and the student strike last year has shown us that militant action is the only way to win.

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