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…

Quebec Student Revolt Continues

<!–[if !mso]><![endif]–> MONTREAL—On May 19, Quebec’s Liberal government passed draconian legislation, Law 78, to smash the mass student strike that has shaken Quebec society over the past four months. The so-called Loi de Matraque (truncheon law) is an attack on the rights of association, demonstration and free speech. It suspends academic sessions at all Quebec…

Northern Lights

Labour and socialists oppose Ontario NDP sell-out It was a momentary alliance. Was it a sign of things to come? Labour and socialist delegates at the Ontario New Democratic Party Convention, April 13-15 in Hamilton, jointly opposed an emergency resolution backed by the party tops that was very soft on the Ontario Liberal austerity budget.…

Whither Mulcair and the NDP?

<!–[if !mso]> <![endif]–> Some are already calling it the New Liberal Democratic Party.  That’s clearly premature. The New Democratic Party of Canada remains a working-class, labour-based, mass electoral party. One glance at the 4000-plus delegates at its March 23-24 convention in Toronto confirmed it. The insignia of labour unions, progressive causes, and social justice movements…

Tragic Ontario accident exposes migrant workers’ plight

TORONTO—In early February a horrific accident shocked Ontario. A flatbed truck struck a passenger van at a rural intersection near Stratford, two hours west of Toronto, killing 11 people. Of the deceased, only one was a Canadian citizen; the others were agricultural migrant workers from Peru who were being transferred from one job to the next…

Northern Lights (news & views from Canada)

Ontario workers rally against concessions and lock-out Some 10,000 people, according to the Toronto Star, converged at London’s Victoria Park, two hours west of Toronto, on Jan. 21 to participate in the rally sponsored by the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) against the lockout of 500 workers. The London workers are members of the Canadian…

Northern Lights

Attawapiskat: Native people suffer while corporations mine riches by Eric Kupka It has been called Haiti at minus 40 degrees celsius. Attawapiskat, an isolated Cree First Nations community located near James Bay in northern Ontario, is enduring a severe housing crisis that is just the latest in a series of tragedies that have affected the…

Northern Lights

The future of the Occupy movement by Barry Weisleder, the federal secretary of Socialist Action (Canada), and Canada editor of Socialist Action newspaper. TORONTO—On Nov. 23 police enforced an Ontario Superior Court order to Occupy Toronto to vacate St. James Park, a few blocks from Canada’s corporate financial hub. Occupy camps around the world are…

Northern Lights

NDP Leader race crowded, on the right Montreal MP Thomas Mulcair, a former Quebec Liberal cabinet minister who takes pride in his role in early “free trade” negotiations, brings a decidedly pro-capitalist, anti-Quebec self-determination perspective to the New Democratic Party leadership race. When Mulcair announced his candidacy, he had the backing of 15 MPs, soon…

Northern Lights

Ontario voters put Liberals on a short leash by Barry Weisleder In the lowest turn out in Ontario history, voters reduced the Liberal Party regime of Dalton McGuinty to a minority government in Canada’s most populous province on Oct. 6. Broad social discontent with higher fees, tuitions and taxes put the Liberals on a short…

Northern Lights

Ontario: On Oct. 6, Vote NDP! Tax cuts for the rich. Service cuts and fee hikes for the rest of us. That’s how the bosses make workers pay for the capitalist crisis around the world. Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, is no exception. And if the governing provincial Liberals, or the official opposition Progressive Conservatives,…

Northern Lights

Get with the program, Andrea When voters in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, go to the polls on Oct. 6, will they reward the party with the “coolest” leader, or the one with the best policies? Andrea Horwath, Leader of the labour-based New Democratic Party of Ontario, seems to be aiming at “cool,” sadly at…