The bosses’ trade deals hurt working people

By BARRY WEISLEDER On Oct. 2 negotiators reached a new continental trade deal. It’s called the USMCA. Despite a familiar cadence, it’s not a cover version of the song by the Village People. It’s NAFTA 2.0. Should we be grateful that it’s not worse than it is? First, the good news. Chapter 11 between Canada…

Quebec: CAQ takes power, QS is on the rise

By ROBBIE MAHOOD For the past 45 years, governmental power in Quebec has alternated between the federalist Parti Liberal du Québec (PLQ) and the sovereigntist Parti Quebec (PQ). That political era has ended.  Both these parties were punished by the electorate. The Liberals fell to less than 25% of the vote, the lowest in its…

Quebecois go to the polls

By ROBBIE MAHOOD  Oct. 1 is election day in Quebec, the first under a new law that requires a new mandate every FOUR years. As the population wearies of cutbacks in health care, education, and social services, the Liberal Party government of Philippe Couillard is facing defeat. But this will not be at the hands of…

Ontario election: IT’S WAR!

By BARRY WEISLEDER The June 7 election of the Doug Ford-led Progressive Conservative Party to government in Ontario means an escalation of the class war against working people, visible minorities, and impoverished social layers. The former right-wing Toronto city councillor and brother of deceased Mayor Rob Ford cloaked his fiercely anti-labour agenda in populist rhetoric…

What’s behind the anti-vaccine movement?

By ROBBIE MAHOOD Routine childhood vaccination is one of the cornerstones of modern public health. Evidence points to its major role in improving health by a dramatic reduction in the incidence of infectious diseases that formerly caused significant illness and death. Yet, as any nurse or physician delivering primary care can tell you, there is…

No to Ottawa’s purchase of Trans-Mountain pipeline

By BARRY WEISLEDER and GARY PORTER Q: When should workers oppose nationalization of an industry? A: When it is a bail-out of a nature-destroying, Indigenous rights violating, ruthlessly greedy corporation. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision on May 29 to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline is that, and much worse. While the Liberal federal government can’t come…

Kinder Morgan: Should Canadian taxpayers invest in a bailout?

By GARY PORTER On May 29, Canada’s federal government announced that it would purchase the Trans Mountain Pipeline from the American corporation Kinder Morgan—despite opposition from environmentalists and Indigenous people. “The Trans Mountain expansion project is of vital interest to Canada and Canadians,” Bill Morneau, the finance minister, told reporters after a cabinet meeting to…

Toronto van attack, toxic masculinity, and the Canadian forces

By YVES ENGLER Progressive on-line commentary about the April 23 van attack in Toronto has focused on the influence of “toxic masculinity.” The analyses should be expanded to include the alleged perpetrator’s ties to a powerful patriarchal institution that is Canada’s biggest purveyor of violence. Early reports suggest alleged mass murderer Alek Minassian may have targeted…

Canada: NDP tops couldn’t stifle convention delegates

By BARRY WEISLEDER The Feb. 16-18 convention in Ottawa was not just a gathering to “launch” Jagmeet Singh as the new leader of the labour-based New Democratic Party. It was an effort, not entirely successful, to assert his control over the entire apparatus and to impose a milquetoast political message. In that sense, it was very…

British Columbia NDP Fails Site C test

By GARY PORTER On Dec. 11, British Columbia’s New Democratic Party Premier John Horgan announced that his government would complete the third massive power dam on the beautiful Peace River in northeastern BC at a cost of $11 billion. Andrew Weaver, leader of the BC Green Party—who signed a “confidence and supply” agreement with the…

Solidarity with the working people of Iran!

A statement by Socialist Action, Canada — Despite the frigid temperatures and biting wind, there was a very good turn-out to the Solidarity with the Workers of Iran rally in Toronto on Saturday, Jan. 6. Socialist Action joined over 100 like-minded people rallying in support of the mass protests that have taken place across Iran…

Ontario Federation of Labour opts for political action

By JULIUS ARSCOTT The Ontario Federation of Labour convention, held in Toronto, Nov. 20 to 24, saw several large affiliates that had withheld dues for four years rejoin the House of Labour in Canada’s most populous province. The dues strike by OPSEU, SEIU, and ONA, actuated by a factional battle between conservative union bureaucrats and…

Trudeau’s defective apology to LGBTQ people

By JOHN WILSON — TORONTO — Some (mostly) good news for a change! Arising out of the effective resistance to a police campaign of anti-queer harassment, and arrests in Toronto’s Marie Curtis Park, all contested charges have been dropped. [In 2016, at least 78 people were entrapped by plainclothes officers, who tried to lure LGBTQ…

Canada: A big opportunity for the Socialist Left

Jagmeet Singh’s election as federal party leader is, at least in part, the revenge of the NDP top brass and the liberal media establishment. They never forgave the party and labour union ranks for forcing the leadership review that ultimately deposed Tom Mulcair following his disastrous 2015 election campaign. Enormous resources were marshaled to portray…

NDP Socialist Caucus urges critical support for MP Niki Ashton

The New Democratic Party Socialist Caucus strives for a socialist Canada in a socialist world. For nearly 20 years it has uniquely and successfully advanced this goal inside North America’s only mass, labour-based political party. From convincing the NDP to fight for public pharma care, for public dental care and free post-secondary education, to getting Canadian troops…

Khadr deal exposes Ottawa’s hypocrisy

By BARRY WEISLEDER Omar Khadr, the Canadian who was captured in the frenzy of a firefight in Afghanistan, and who was tortured in Guantanamo, remains a lightning rod for controversy. At the same time, his case reveals much about the character of the political parties that inhabit Parliament. The $10.5 million settlement and apology by the…

Ontario NDP’s Horwath shifts slightly to the left

By BARRY WEISLEDER During the three days of the Ontario NDP Convention, April 21-23 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the party’s left wing won several significant policy and procedural victories. Leader Andrea Horwath adapted to the situation, somewhat desperate to present a progressive face to the sparse crowd, and to a somewhat indifferent electorate. The provincial Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne is…

Is Ontario NDP ready for 2018 election?

By BARRY WEISLEDER The Ontario New Democratic Party is heading toward the June 2018 provincial election, stuck in third place behind the discredited Liberal government at Queen’s Park and the chameleon-like official opposition Conservatives, according to most opinion polls. Hydro electricity rates, which have doubled in 10 years, command public attention. Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne’s last…

Canada-EU trade pact still not a done deal

By Y. FIKRET KAYALI The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, barely rescued from the grave, may yet prove to be one of the walking-dead. The signature of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and those of his European counterparts on the document are, at this point, merely ceremonial. Before implementation, ratification votes must be held in Ottawa and…

Pipeline fighters resist climate catastrophe

By CARL SACK  Humanity is faced with a worsening climate catastrophe. In June, levels of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere topped 400 parts per million at the South Pole, a concentration not seen on this planet in the last four million years. Scientists at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, which is registering…

NDP convention: Mulcair is out, change is in

By BARRY WEISLEDER  — EDMONTON, Alberta — The stunning defeat of Leader Tom Mulcair, and the launch of a cross-country discussion of the Leap Manifesto, signals a shift in the relationship of forces in Canada’s New Democratic Party. The right-wing forces of the party and the union bureaucracy are now on the defensive. The “progressive,” soft-left…

RCMP spied on my father

By ROBBIE MAHOOD On Oct. 30, 2015, revelations of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) spying on my father, Ed Mahood, almost 60 years ago, recently came to light courtesy of a phone call from an Ottawa journalist to my sister. A small group of journalists in Ottawa are reviewing the heavily edited RCMP intelligence reports from that era…

When “withdrawal” means escalation

By BARRY WEISLEDER — TORONTO — As if in a dance of the seven veils, Canada’s  Liberal government of Justin Trudeau is sequentially exposing its false election promises, revealing an agenda that increasingly resembles that of the widely despised Conservative predecessor regime. For starters, an immediate and meaningful increase to the Canada Pension is now…

Biggest strikes in Quebec since 1972

By ROBBIE MAHOOD — MONTREAL — Leaders of Quebec’s Common Front of public sector unions and the provincial Liberal government of Premier Philippe Couillard announced a tentative agreement on Dec. 17. The deal covers wages and pensions. Working conditions are negotiated separately by sector. Grouped in the Common Front are the unions representing government employees affiliated with the…