Archive for the ‘Canada’ Category

by Daphna Whitmore

When Winston Peters praises your immigration policy you know you have hit a new low. This week Labour announced it will slash immigration numbers and Peters teased they were being a bit xenophobic, and then praised them for putting New Zealand whistle

Andrew Little explained Labour’s new policy with claims that migrants are clogging up the roads, filling the houses and taking jobs. It’s time for a breather on immigration the Labour Party website announced. They will cut immigration by tens of thousands. (more…)


The article below was written late last year by a veteran Canadian Marxist and anti-imperialist.  It appeared in the Australian-based international Marxist journal Links.  We’ve included the discussion on the Links site, as it contains comments representative of the two positions taken by anti-imperialists: one which focuses on the imperialists’ machinations against the regime and one which focuses on the nature of the Syrian regime and its backers in Tehran and Moscow.

by Richard Fidler

November 14, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In Syria the rebel cities that rose up four years ago in revolt against the brutal Assad dictatorship are now under a genocidal siege, bombed and assaulted from the air by Assad’s military aided and abetted by Russian fighter jets and bombers. Their desperate fight for survival, if unsuccessful, will put paid to the Arab Spring and with it the potential for building a democratic, anti-imperialist governmental alternative in the Middle East for an extended period to come. Socialists and antiwar activists everywhere have every interest in supporting the Syrian people and opposing that war.

But where is the antiwar movement? And what if anything is it doing about Syria? The most recent statement on the Canadian Peace Alliance web site is headlined Stop Bombing Syria. But it is focused on NATO. Not wrong in principle, but the statement, addressed to Canada’s previous bombing of ISIS positions in Syria, is many months out of date. There is nothing on the CPA site about the current murderous air and bombing assault on Syria’s cities. And it would appear that across the country the movement is doing nothing to protest the war.

Why the silence? Is it only because Trudeau has pulled Canada’s fighter jets out of Syria; after all, Canadian planes and troops are active in other parts of the Middle East. The CPA denounces the bombing of Syria by Harper and Trudeau but says nothing about the bombing now by Putin. And most of the left and labour movement are likewise maintaining a disquieting silence on the war in Syria.

Part of the reason lies no doubt in the complex and confused situation on the ground in that country, and throughout the Middle East.

In Syria the Assad regime has from the outset responded with brutal repression, displaying no willingness to negotiate with the democratic and popular opposition forces. It has sought to deflect attention from its war by various tactics, including the release from its prisons of Islamic fundamentalists who are now fighting with Daesh, the reactionary Islamic State forces that have been drawn into Syria from Iraq as a result of the civil war.

Iran and now Russia have intervened in support of Assad, while traditional allies of the United States (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Jordan, with the obvious sympathy of Israel) have backed the opposition, although for their own reactionary purposes and without providing the opposition forces with the weapons and other material support they so desperately need.

The United States, no friend of Assad but fearing his overthrow will further destabilize the Middle East and jeopardize Israel’s defense, has doled out aid to the opposition as if through an eye-dropper, denying it the (more…)

Why the Liberals won in Canada

Posted: October 21, 2015 by Admin in Canada, Class Matters, World economy


Justin Trudeau, Canada's new prime minister

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s new prime minister

by Michael Roberts

So Justin, the son of the former Liberal PM of the 1970s, Pierre Trudeau, has triumphed in Canada’s general election.  The Liberal party came from behind to sweep into an outright majority victory, removing the incumbent Conservative government that had been in office for nearly ten years under Stephen Harper.

The third party, the New Democrats, similar to the British Labour party, which had been ahead in the polls at the start of the long 79-day election campaign, eventually fell back to a poor third.  The reason, it seems, is that the Liberals decided to adopt an anti-austerity programme, advocating budget deficits (not large though), improved minimum wages and an infrastructure investment plan, in opposition to the neo-liberal polices of the Conservatives.  The Liberals stole the NDP policies and romped to victory.

Justin Trudeau, though, faces a difficult task economically.  Canadian capitalism has been a
relative success story, based on its close proximity to US imperialism and its capital investment and its resources of oil, gas and other minerals.  But that ‘luck’ also delivers big vulnerabilities: the economy is (more…)

Queer and Trans workers have been at the forefront of Baristas Rise Up, a movement advocating for low-waged service workers and baristas. [Photo: Robin Metcalfe]

Photo: Robin Metcalfe. LGBT workers have been at the forefront of Baristas Rise Up, a movement advocating for low-waged service workers and baristas

This article uses the single gender-neutral pronoun “they”.

by Shay Enxuga

Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Nova Scotia, Canada: “Queer struggles are class struggles,” says Charlie Huntley, a 25-year-old coffee shop worker, “and should never be addressed as if they are isolated issues.”

On the heels of a successful union drive at Just Us on Spring Garden, and in the midst of an ongoing battle at Second Cup on Quinpool, the Baristas Rise Up (BRU) campaign was initiated as  “a worker-led union movement that is fighting to improve working conditions and industry standards in precarious and low-waged café jobs.”  Similar to the Fight for Fifteen that has exploded across the United States this year in such cities as New York, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, and Milwaukee where low-waged workers are organizing for dignity, respect, and justice, BRU has received extensive media coverage.

What is often missing from the mainstream media narrative is an analysis of the economic undercurrents pinning this organizing and how they affect young marginalized workers.

Young workers in an age of austerity

As a young queer and trans worker I find myself, like others in my generation, entering the work force in this neoliberal age of austerity where we are forced to compete for fewer and fewer jobs that often have none of the benefits such as health plans, parental leave, sick pay, or pensions which workers of the past fought for and won.

According to “Public Disservice: The Impact of Federal Government Job Cuts in Atlantic Canada,” a publication put out by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Atlantic Provinces are projected to lose 4,400 full-time public sector jobs by 2015. Moreover, the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council states that between 2001 and 2010, the region created about four times as many low-wage jobs as it did in high-wage sectors.

In Halifax, Nova Scotia, a city that swells to accommodate approximately 30,000 students annually, there was an alarming youth unemployment (more…)