Ontario’s priority should be public health—not profits and police
If social media is any barometer, there is hunger for change across Ontario. All factions of the left need to propose an alternative agenda at the scale of the crisis that prioritizes public health over profit and police. Only then can we break with the lethal logic underpinning the Ford government: that death and disaster are an acceptable cost in the pursuit of profit.
Beyond the New Democratic Party
In charting a course forward, amid the pandemic and beyond, socialists must use their energy strategically. Transforming the New Democratic Party, for many, might simply prove to be too costly or too pointless to manage in a time of great upheaval and even greater opportunity. With so many trains leaving the station, is the NDP’s the right one to jump on?
Grocery’s long war: Part II
Following the corporate attacks of the 1980s and 1990s, and their attending defeats, grocery workers across the country ended the century in a workplace radically different from the one that existed several decades earlier. Workers who spent years making careers at supermarkets watched as their former world unraveled in a few short years and was replaced by a new low-wage, low-benefit, part-time reality.
Grocery’s long war: Part I
The story of grocery’s aggressive low-wage, part-time restructuring is a broader history of the vicious rollbacks of the 1980s and 1990s. But it’s also partly a history of labour bureaucracy and of how a bill had come due. The result was a mostly unchecked assault across the entire industry that decimated the key benefits that characterized grocery work for half a century prior. But the story is still being written.
Basic income is on the table in Canada. Is it the fight we want?
As unemployment remains high, CERB remains an important way to keep Canadians afloat. We should continue fighting for its survival. But the long-term idea of converting CERB to basic income, both as a policy and strategy for the left, is less a matter of principle and imagining the possible than it is a gamble with conservatives and free market fetishists.
Toronto needs a bailout for the ages
Without proactive and big-dreaming progressive leadership at all levels, the municipal financial crisis will only grow worse. As we ask about the city we want, the question then becomes: what kind of leaders do we want, and what kind of leaders should we kick to the curb? Is their urgency proportionate to the scale of our city’s crises? Is it life and death to them as it is to us?
In the time of COVID, laissez-faire comes to bear in Ontario
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has been praised for his government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, but his “hands-off-the-market” approach is simply a continuation of neoliberal, small-government ideas that harken back to the Mike Harris government of the mid-1990s, which led a full-frontal assault on the public sector.
Forget basic income—in Canada, the new normal should bring a public housing revolution
To better address inequality, we might first consider the comparatively unsexy, un-new idea of pursuing public housing and housing decommodification on a massive scale—call it a public housing revolution. Building tens of thousands of new social housing units every year, thus addressing backlogs and waitlists in the major megacities, is an obvious way forward.