Articles Canadian Politics

  • Pacification by pipeline

    Canadian Politics

    The framing of TMX as vital to the national interest, and further cloaked with a national security rationale, could make infringement all the more compelling. At the same time, it provides the justification, within Canada’s legal framework, to take measures to prevent opponents from disrupting Canada’s imagined energy future by defining them as threats to (future) national security.

  • When these streets talk, do we listen?

    Canadian Politics

    Whether through the blood rinsed down sidewalks and into our sewers, or through organized protest, the streets have spoken many times over. They have told us that Toronto, like so many other cities in this land we call Canada, is a place of grotesque violence, abuse, and shame. As I wait for the streetcar, I picture a young Black man, not yet grown into his adolescent body, being pinned down to the ground. The officers kneel on the boy’s spine as his lips and teeth gnash against the ground below. “I didn’t do anything!” he yells. “You’re hurting me!”

  • The criminalized lives of others

    Canadian Politics

    The Stanley verdict drew attention to a system marked by hypocrisy that results in unfair treatment. It was a harsh reminder that the criminal justice system has been deployed ever since Canada’s inception to protect the use of the land for European settlement, to maintain and promote business ventures and private investments, and to control people living in poverty, especially in urban areas.

  • Don’t blame seniors for rising healthcare costs

    Canadian Politics

    It is easy to blame seniors for the mounting financial burden of healthcare. Statistics are stacked against them, and having left the labour market, they are not organized. These conditions allow ageism to operate with impunity. But examining the context in which seniors incur a high proportion of healthcare costs reveals many factors for which they are not responsible. Reinvestment in public healthcare would enable everyone not only to avoid the worst impacts of senescence, but also to enjoy physical, mental, and social well-being as they age with dignity.

  • Doug Ford’s Ontario: Hard Right Turn

    Canadian Politics

    In sum, Fordism in Ontario is an extraordinarily contradictory agenda. The antistate, market populism used to sustain the rate of accumulation at any cost exists alongside an increasingly interventionist and authoritarian state mobilizing its resources and reordering its administrative apparatuses to buttress this process. Ford’s “government for the people” thus pivots, like Trump’s regime in the U.S., around ideological appeals to a hard-right provincialism, patriarchal family values set against a hostile world of crime and terrorism, mobilization of ethnic and racial chauvinisms.

  • Trudeau’s “progressive” trade agenda is anything but

    Canadian Politics

    Mass protests against free-trade agreements have died off since the days of the annual confrontations in the aughts, but this is at least in part because progress on opening trade globally appears to have stalled. In recent years, international trade volumes relative to global GDP even fell substantially for the first time in decades. Canada, however, has pushed back against this tide over the past few years, signing several major new pacts.

  • May warns Ottawa will be forced to pay for oilpatch cleanup costs

    Canadian Politics

    May noted that the sector, which extracts heavy oil from tar-like bituminous deposits of sand beneath Alberta’s boreal forest, has been heavily subsidized ever since former prime minister Jean Chrétien’s Liberal government offered billions of dollars in incentives. She said the cost of liabilities would dramatically rise if governments continue to allow the industry to expand. She suggested it would be better to maintain current levels of production, refining the product in Alberta and cancelling new pipeline expansion projects to reduce carbon pollution.

  • One Key Way NAFTA 2.0 Reinvigorates Canadian Sovereignty

    Canadian Politics

    The federal government should pursue new agreements — as New Zealand has done under the re-born Trans-Pacific Partnership — to drop ISDS. We should respect each other’s democracies and courts and, if some companies have doubts, they have the option to negotiate for ISDS in their government contracts, buy insurance against political risks, or just decline to invest in unreliable countries.

  • 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.

  • 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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