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…

Canada: Tories yield to Liberal deceivers

By BARRY WEISLEDER It was a shift from dark, overtly reactionary ideas to a deceptively sunny version of the prevailing corporate agenda. That’s what voters across Canada got on Oct. 19. Many people were spooked by the autocratic, racist wedge politics of the Stephen Harper Conservative regime. Desperate for “change,” they opted for the major…

Revolutionary activism in the ’50s & ’60s

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Indigenous women demand murder inquiry

By CARRIE LESTER The author is of Kanien’ke’ha:ka (Mohawk)-Onondaga and British-Canadian settler ancestry. TORONTO—There is a renewed push for a national inquiry into the disappearances and murders of Indigenous women and girls across Canada. The numbers are ever changing, but the most recent list involves 824 Indigenous women and girls whose murders or disappearances over…

Kellogg’s takes the money & runs

By BARRY WEISLEDER How can they get away with it? Ontario taxpayers have given millions to cereal-maker Kellogg Co., which amassed $2 billion in operating profits last year. In 2007, the Liberal government gave the breakfast food giant $2.4 million to buy processing and packaging equipment for its London, Ontario, plant, two hours west of…

Toronto: Disarm the cops!

By BARRY WEISLEDER Bowing to enormous public pressure, the Special Investigations Unit of the Toronto Police Service on Aug. 20 charged Constable James Forcillo with second-degree murder in the death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim, three weeks after the shooting on an empty streetcar. While the charge is a nod to the power of street protest,…

Demand truth about experiments on indigenous children!

By CARRIE LESTER — TORONTO — In July, old news became new again. Media published stories about medical and nutrition experiments conducted in Canada’s Indian Residential Schools during the 1940s and ’50s. Why call it “old” news? Because an article on this topic appeared in the Vancouver Sun in 2000 (http://canadiangenocide.nativeweb.org/keynewsnativekidsusedforexperiments.html). Information about these experiments was…

Who is to blame for Quebec rail disaster?

By DAVID RIEHLE They even make movies about runaway trains, most recently “Unstoppable” (2010), starring Denzel Washington. That one had a happy ending. But the runaway Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railroad train, initiating the derailment and the catastrophic fire in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, has not had a happy ending. It is the worst freight railroad accident…

NDP slide to right sparks socialist opposition

By BARRY WEISLEDER — MONTREAL—Despite the move to water down the reference to socialism in the Federal New Democratic Party Constitution, the word remains, as does the working-class nature of the party. Indeed, socialism is still both a very lively topic and an active movement within the NDP. The party leadership certainly pushed hard to…

Movement rises against XL pipelines

By BARRY WEISLEDER The movement to oppose Keystone XL is huge in Canada. It ranges from activists and scientists to indigenous peoples of the threatened Canadian plains and boreal forests, where the tar sands are located. It includes rural farmers and ranchers, and important sections of the labour movement. Dave Coles, President of the Communications,…

Victory for Ontario LGBT youth

Prodded by years of lesbian/gay rights agitation, Ontario New Democrats compelled the provincial Liberal Party to stand up and defy theocracy. The parties passed the Accepting Schools Act in June, mandating that all Ontario schools allow Gay-Straight Alliance clubs to be formed in publicly funded Catholic Separate schools. In Mississauga (west of Toronto), Catholic high…

Ontario Conservatives plan to starve unions

By RICK EKAPUK Shortly after the governing Liberal Party passed its austerity budget in early June, the right-wing opposition Progressive Conservatives sought to squeeze more out of Ontario workers through a full-frontal assault on labour unions. In a “white paper” outlining their labour policy, the Conservatives propose to eliminate the requirement that employers deduct union…

Ontario teachers gear up for battle — despite divisions

By BARRY WEISLEDER TORONTO—Labour Day 2012 inaugurates a season of intense class conflict between public service workers and the Ontario Liberal government. Teacher union officials are now locked in battle with their erstwhile supposed-ally, Premier Dalton McGuinty, whose Spring budget demands major concessions to balance the books at the expense of education and other social…

QUEBEC: Mass struggle continues / Election pending

By ROBBIE MAHOOD MONTREAL—As many as 80,000 protesters hit the streets of Montreal on July 22, proof that the mass struggle over the Liberal government`s unilateral decision to raise university tuition fees has far from dissipated. The central slogan this time was “Out with the Neo-Liberal Parties,” reflecting the growing radicalization produced by the struggle…

Revolutionary solidarity from Canada to Greece

<!–[if !mso]><![endif]–> The following is the text of a presentation to a meeting of OKDE-Spartacus, in Athens, on June 24 by Barry Weisleder.  Weisleder is Federal Secretary of SA/LAS. Kali spera, sintrofisses ke sintrofos (good evening, women and men comrades). We have been in Greece for 12 days, but I’m sorry that I still do…