Articles

Toronto Municipal Elections: Beyond Politricks

 

By Salmaan Khan 

As election day draws nearer, the race for Toronto’s Mayoral seat has narrowed down to three out of the initial 65 registered candidates. Benefiting from selective corporate media exposure,  John Tory, Olivia Chow and Rob Ford have managed to build themselves campaigns that regurgitate many of the same vague promises: less traffic; greater accountability; transit relief; tackling youth unemployment; supporting businesses; and of course, talking taxes. The obsession with tax rates has become so normalized that even the “progressive” alternative has found it a useful mantra as all three candidates clamor for votes.

Colonialism and the Working Class in Canada
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Colonialism and the Working Class in Canada

By David Camfield

It’s good news that in a number of cities people “are meeting together in growing numbers to explore what it means – and doesn’t mean – to stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples within Canada,” as journalist Meg Mittelstedt wrote recently.

As Mittelstedt notes, this is happening because of the recent upsurge of protest and resistance by indigenous people. This includes Idle No More, campaigns around murdered and missing women, confrontations with companies that hope to make big profits from fracking, pipeline construction, mining and other activities on the traditional territories of indigenous peoples, and conflicts with governments that want to dismantle anything they see as barriers to corporate profit, including environmental regulations and indigenous rights

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BC Teachers Strike 2014

By Lisa Descary

It’s July in Greater Vancouver. Birds are singing, the sun is shining, and BC public school teachers like me are signing up for picket line shifts. Yes, that’s right: I am walking the picket line in July, a time when my school is not even in session. And I don’t even teach summer school. How did this happen?

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Austerity with a Smile: The 2014 Ontario Election

By James Cairns

It’s always good to see Conservatives lose. And Tim “Zillion Job Cuts” Hudak was the biggest loser on election night in Ontario. Hudak’s macho version of Austerity-by-Sledgehammer failed to win broad support. The Conservatives lost legislative seats, and their share of the popular vote dropped. Of course, they’ll be back, refreshed by a new leader, and perhaps by the directionally-intriguing “enema from top to bottom” Doug Ford has kindly offered to give the party. For the moment, however, I certainly am relieved not to be waking up in Premier Hudak’s province.

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NGOization: Depoliticizing Activism in Canada

By Dru Oja Jay

Across Canada, movement organizations are preparing for the People’s Social Forum, coming up in August. There’s a buzz of excitement and anticipation in the air as committees elect delegates, and strategies are debated. When hundreds of activists gather in Ottawa in a few months, we will be drawing from a rich, long-simmering cauldron of theoretical discussion and insight issuing from astute on-the-ground observations.

Articles

Hassan Husseini’s CLC Challenge

By Cindy McCallum Miller

This year’s Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) convention might be worth attending after all. With a presidential challenge in the air, labour leaders will have to trade in their silk shirts for a pair of overalls to show they still are connected to the working class in order to seek the support of delegates. But it will take more than a fashion change to rebuild the dormant and disillusioned labour movement. That is what activists hope challenger Hassan Husseini will bring to the House of Labour.

No Shortcuts to a New Left
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No Shortcuts to a New Left

By David Camfield

This article was first published by Canadian Dimension as part of a series of online viewpoints about challenges and prospects for the left. 

Derrick O’Keefe recently wrote in a piece on the Canadian Dimension magazine website that “beyond some very marginal formations and small publications, the left is missing. It’s just not there, organizationally.”

Articles

Strategies to Stop Climate Change

By Gene McGuckin

On December 3, the Vancouver Ecosocialist Group put on an event, “Strategies to Fight Climate Change.” We are republishing the speech by VEG member Gene McGuckin. A report on the event and links to videos of all the speakers’ talks is online hereNSW

Can Ontario Get Child Care?
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Can Ontario Get Child Care?

By Donald Hughes

At the recent Conservative convention in Calgary, Stephen Harper referred back to one of his first acts as Prime Minister, which was to demolish the national child care framework. Harper referred to the child care program as “lobbyists, academics and bureaucrats” and suggested that now the money (in the form of a small tax credit) was in the hands of “Mom and Dad.”

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Whose Values? On Nationalism in English Canada and in Québec

By Darryl Leroux

Since the details of the PQ’s proposed Charter of Québec Values were first leaked to the media a few weeks ago, there has been a firestorm of condemnation across the Rest of Canada (ROC). The corporate media’s universal denunciations on the matter are matched only by the many petitions circulating on social media calling for an end to this display of racism in Québec. It’s an auspicious moment indeed when stories in the National Post and the Globe & Mail sound very much like the ones penned by activists on social media.

Defederate or Organize? The Student Left and the Canadian Federation of Students
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Defederate or Organize? The Student Left and the Canadian Federation of Students

By Doug Nesbitt

A September 4 press release published on Rabble has once again stirred debate among left-wing student activists about the Canadian Federation of Students. A network of left-wing students are at the forefront of a coordinated effort across 15 different campuses to gather sufficient signatures to initiate referendum campaigns on CFS membership.

Other left-wing students have responded with incredibly sharp criticisms, the most incendiary being the claim that defederation will actually aid the Right on campuses.

Canadian Capitalism and the Dispossession of Indigenous Peoples
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Canadian Capitalism and the Dispossession of Indigenous Peoples

By Todd Gordon

This article from the special Indigenous Resurgence issue of New Socialist magazine in 2006 now rings more true than ever. Seven years later, indigenous struggles against the corporate pillaging and desecration of their traditional territories continue in Canada – at the forefront of these is the battle against the Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker route through the northern British Columbian mainland and coastal islands.

Neoliberal globalization has brought with it the intensification of what Marxist geographer David Harvey refers to as accumulation by dispossession [check out Harvey’s 2009 talk on Youtube – Eds].

Lac-Mégantic: A Social and Ecological Tragedy
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Lac-Mégantic: A Social and Ecological Tragedy

A statement by Le réseau écosocialiste (the Ecosocialist Network)

“The disaster at Lac-Mégantic cannot not be resolved by a strict inquiry, individual accusations, some superficial regulatory modification and false promises of security. This episode is not just a technical problem, but is a springboard for social mobilisation, for political action aimed at both ecological transition and the liberation from the yoke of unscrupulous big business and their accomplices in the Canadian State.”

Québec has just experienced the most brutal ecological catastrophe of its history. On July 6, 2013, a train loaded with 72 cars carrying crude oil derailed during the night. It exploded in downtown Lac-Mégantic, a small Eastern Townships municipality of 6000. A series of explosions and a fire completely destroyed more than 30 buildings including the municipal library, the town’s archives, heritage buildings, businesses and residences. Police have confirmed that 50 people were killed by the blast.

Articles

Environmental Activism After the 2013 BC Election

By Harold Lavender

This is the second part of a two-part article on ecological politics in BC. The first part, on the provincial election, is here.

The dust has settled on the May 14 provincial election in British Columbia, with Christy Clark’s Liberals once again forming a clear majority government. However, the struggle to stop pipelines and the destructive impact of resource extraction megaprojects remains a very hot issue which is not about to go away. Under the Liberals, we can expect a big push for mega-resource development, with a big focus on exporting liquified natural gas (LNG) to Asia along with an austerity agenda with respect to social and environmental protection programs.

Socialism from Below and Indigenous Resurgence: Reclaiming Traditions
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Socialism from Below and Indigenous Resurgence: Reclaiming Traditions

By DL Simmons

With the indigenous activists of Idle No More and Defenders of the Land calling to make the summer of 2013 “Sovereignty Summer” — a “campaign of coordinated non-violent direct actions to promote Aboriginal rights and environmental protection in alliance with non-native supporters” — it’s a good time to look at the relationship between indigenous struggle and radical politics. With this in mind, we are glad to publish a revised and updated version of a piece that originally appeared in the special Indigenous Resurgence issue of New Socialist in 2006.

During the peak of the Red Power movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s, many newly radicalizing indigenous people became interested in exploring various theories of revolution and socialist organization.

Environmental Activism and the 2013 BC Election — Part 1
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Environmental Activism and the 2013 BC Election — Part 1

By Harold Lavender

Many people were caught off guard by the results of the provincial election in British Columbia on May 14. Prior to the election, the New Democratic Party (NDP) held a large lead in the polls. The incumbent Liberal government seemed in major disarray, and most people assumed the result was a foregone conclusion. The NDP campaigned on the full expectation that it would form the next government.

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