The Call for a Living Wage
No surprise to those of us trapped in low-wage jobs, but for others more fortunate, let’s make it official: having a job is no longer a way out of poverty. The minimum wage in most provinces is so low that even someone working full time at a minimum-wage job falls far short of the poverty line. Indeed, it’s a fact that half of the families in Canada who are living below the poverty line have someone working 35 or more hours per week.
Wal-Mart’s Culture of Control
Canada could stand to learn from Germany’s example. The emergence of big-box enterprise marks an important turn in Canadian capitalist expansion, and, if Canadians are going to maintain control of their urban space and labour conditions, they’re going to have to take a lesson from the big guy. In dealing with the non-negotiable culture of Wal-Mart, Canadians could stand to develop a little non-negotiability of their own.
CLC Convention 2005
It is time for the labour movement to seriously debate the role and function of the Canadian Labour Congress. If the CLC is to assert itself as a leading institution in the labour movement it must be led by a president with the vision and courage to unite the labour movement in the key collective bargaining and organizational struggles that lie ahead.
Under the current leadership the Congress is viewed by many activists to be floundering and largely irrelevant to many of the important struggles of the labour movement. This is in spite of the fact that the Congress is widely recognized as doing valuable work, especially in the areas of research, and on issues such as racism, sexism, homophobia and equality.
The Cost of Consent
“The people here are the unluckiest people in the world,” our guide commented, as we drove through the winding back roads to avoid the many police outposts scattered throughout the mountains. We were all well aware that underneath the vast beauty surrounding us lay the source of a major conflict: the Kashipur region of the eastern Indian state of Orissa sits above one of the world’s largest bauxite reserves. While this may be good news for the major aluminum multinationals, like Canada’s Alcan Inc., it is a curse, not a blessing, for many of the local inhabitants.
Errol Sharpe does not have a corner office in a towering skyscraper. The view from his desk is not of the Toronto skyline, but of Croucher, Wood and Strawberry Island in the quiet cove of St. Margaret’s Bay. It is here, in Black Point, Nova Scotia, that Fernwood Publishing has its national office, publishing critical non-fiction that challenges existing scholarship on issues of race, economics, trade, globalization, gender, labour and numerous other social issues.
A Very Tory Commission
The Montreal hearings put the spotlight on a long line of prominent people, all of whom appeared to have been gleefully putting their hands into the taxpayer’s pocket. The creative villains in the “adscam” affair were Liberals or friends of the Liberal Party of Canada. Reporters, columnists, talk-show hosts and cartoonists bellowed and brayed about this betrayal of the democratic process, resulting in a frenzy of speculation over a possible snap election.
Why Quebec Says No to War
Just over half the Canadians polled this past November strongly opposed missile defence. In Quebec, opposition to Star Wars was stronger by far: nearly two thirds were strongly opposed. This popular opposition, in addition to being co-opted by the Bloc Québécois, also managed to break the ice with the Liberal Party and won the support of the Quebec section of the federal Liberal Party.
On March 15, 2003, 250,000 Montrealers responded to the call from the “Échec à la Guerre” (Block the War) Collective. They marched through downtown crying out their opposition to the Washington’s war of aggression against Iraq. Elsewhere in Quebec, a further 40,000 people were mobilized. Many sectors of the Quebec population rejected this war and came out into the streets.
Japan’s Yen for Dollars
The fall of the U.S. dollar is creating dilemmas and portending change around the world. No country has supported the dollar more steadfastly than Japan. Japanese bureaucratic elites are thus trapped between the rock of a potentially rising yen and falling exports, and the hard place of the mounting costs of their obdurate defence of the “global” currency.
Spongebob Squarepants, Pro-Homosexual Propagandist
SpongeBob Squarepants, Big Bird, Barney the Dinosaur, the Muppets, Dora the Explorer, Bob the Builder, Winnie the Pooh, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Jimmy Neutron and Canada are involved in an insidious gay plot to convert children to homosexuality. That’s according to James Dobson, who leads the conservative Christian organization, Focus on the Family.
Anatomy of a Neo-Conservative White House
The events we have witnessed in the last four years and what we will be–likely–seeing in the next term of the Bush Administration might seem incomprehensible. There is, however, method in the apparent madness, a method that was born out of the mind of a handful of philosophers in the second half of the twentieth century.
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