Articles

  • Canada brings Venezuela to International Criminal Court

    Canadian Politics

    Requesting the International Criminal Court to investigate Venezuela’s government is a significant escalation in Ottawa’s campaign of interference in the domestic affairs of another country. Supported by five like-minded South American nations, it’s the first time a member state has been brought before the ICC’s chief prosecutor by other members.

  • 100 Years After: Winnipeg General Strike

    Labour

    What made the Strike “general” was that it mobilized an entire class. This included Winnipeg’s unionized workers who voted overwhelmingly to risk hunger, permanent dismissal and perhaps violent repression to support their colleagues. But perhaps half of the strikers were not union members at all. Most remarkably, the Strike mobilized in large numbers those who had benefitted little from a labour movement dominated by skilled men of mostly British origin who appeared primarily interested in defending their own relatively privileged place in the labour market.

  • The tipping point

    Labour

    Until last year, the only acknowledgment of this historical moment was a plaque hidden in the underground walkway beneath city hall. With renewed investment in public art by the Winnipeg Arts Council, who are overseeing this project with help from Heritage Canada, myself and sculptor Bernie Miller set out to create a memorial streetcar in bronze adjacent to the site of Bloody Saturday, on the present day Pantages Plaza at Market and Main St., one of the city’s busiest intersections.

  • The 1919 Winnipeg General Strike

    Social Movements

    The General Strike of 1919 was not only Winnipeg’s climactic event, but a watershed of some consequence in the evolution of Canada. It stands, too, among the great class-confrontations of capitalist history. It was far more massive and disciplined than the Seattle General Strike which barely preceded it, even without counting the general sympathetic strikes that occurred simultaneously in a dozen other Canadian cities — often massive affairs themselves, though barely mentioned in any record.

  • The cautionary tale of Superman

    Superman has always been identified as representing truth, justice and the American Way. He was an unambiguous superhero, no hints at darkness, not a trace of the anti-hero. Certainly, Superman has never been identified with any type of critique of capitalism. In a time where America represents neither truth nor justice (if it ever did) there may not be a rush to the bookstore to buy a graphic novel about the creator of the Superman mythos. However, that would be a mistake.

  • For Popular Sovereignty, Beyond Absurdity

    USA Politics

    It is disgusting almost beyond words that the onetime sexual predator and obvious dissembler Brett Kavanaugh will render judgement on matters of solemn legal, political, and societal relevance in Superpower’s most preeminent judicial body. Troubling as the noxious Kavanaugh’s personal history and untruthfulness are, however, it was even more depressing to see the highly personalized soap opera over his past behavior trump momentous questions of law and policy – abortion rights, torture, and more in his nomination fight.

  • Jason Kenney Calls it Socialist Propaganda, but Mouseland has Abiding Relevance in Canadian Politics

    Socialism

    Last week, Alberta United Conservative Party (UCP) leader Jason Kenney took great exception to a children’s story session. Why, you ask? Because Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley chose to read kids the story of Mouseland, which was originally told by Tommy Douglas in the 1940s. The story of Mouseland described a society where mice formed the majority of the population, and yet consistently elected governments comprised of cats. Those cats passed laws that benefitted them, often to the detriment of the mice majority.

  • Review of the Renegotiated NAFTA: Benefits and Drawbacks to Canada

    Globalization

    One can’t help wondering what Tommy Douglas and the CCF-NDP of a previous era would do at a time such as this. In all likelihood, they might assess that because of the elimination of chapter 11 and the energy proportionality rule, this is a somewhat better deal for Canada, but nevertheless, they would advocate that we give a six-month notice and simply get out of our current partial economic straitjacket. Is there any prospect of the NDP ever being revived in the way the British Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn suddenly became aware of its original socialist roots?

  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly on NAFTA 2.0

    Globalization

    For many years, the Council of Canadians and others have been writing and advocating to get rid of Chapter 11, the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) process. These are the provisions that allow corporations to sue countries over decisions, even if they are made in the public interest. For years, Canada has faced corporate lawsuits that made provinces renounce public auto insurance, accept toxins, and pay for refusing dangerous quarries. Now, at the request of the U.S., there will be no ISDS process between U.S. and Canada.

  • Canada capitulates to Trump on trade with renegotiated NAFTA

    Canadian Politics

    The USMCA is being spun in Canada as a tweak to NAFTA. By the time the U.S. implementing legislation gets written up, even the trade policy specialists usually onside are going to be critical of much that is new. So far not one new positive element has been identified in the USMCA as a benefit for Canada. Pierre Trudeau called the original FTA with the U.S. “a monstrous swindle.” The new deal is that, plus a set of unnecessary capitulations to shut up Donald Trump on trade. It won’t.

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