Articles Canadian Politics

  • Turning Doug Ford’s Attack on Toronto into a Movement for Democratic Renewal

    Canadian Politics

    An open letter about Bill 5 Better Local Government Act. We, the undersigned group of scholars and teachers, deplore the autocratic and arbitrary reduction of ward representation for Toronto city council contained in Bill 5 being rushed through the Ontario Legislature by the just-elected Doug Ford-led Conservative provincial government. There are numerous problems with this initiative – both in terms of policy and process – that cannot be squared with democratic values or procedures.

  • Trudeau clings to Chapter 19 in NAFTA, but why?

    Canadian Politics

    Let us also remember that the NAFTA talks not only lack transparency and genuine public input, but they are now being rushed, in part, so that they can be concluded under outgoing NAFTA-friendly Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto, rather than Andrés Manuel López Obrador (who was elected on July 1 and is to be sworn into office on December 1). NAFTA is part of the architecture of corporate rule, the Chapter 19 provision doesn’t change that fundamental truth.

  • Appropriated identities and the new wave of dispossession

    Canadian Politics

    This new wave of dispossession is something completely different. French settlers and indeed other non-Indigenous peoples will quickly be able to= undermine our Indigenous efforts to reassert our identities and rights if we allow reconciliation to become the shield under which white supremacists hide. We must confront this threat head-on despite the inevitable claims of “lateral violence,” “colonial mentality” or “unsafe space” every time someone questions the appropriated identities of these groups.

  • Will the Ontario Labour Movement Return to Class Struggle as Austerity Deepens?

    Canadian Politics

    The Ontario labour movement is in deep crisis, and has been staggering since the end of the 1990s. Given the labour movement’s historic role in leading and supporting progressive change, its current disorientation should be a matter of alarm to its members of course, but also to anyone concerned with countering the insatiable greed and social destructiveness of capitalism.

  • Opportunity knocks

    Canadian Politics

    We should seize this unexpected opportunity to withdraw from NAFTA and any other agreement that puts corporate interests before the public interest. Canada is a trading nation and always will be and the U.S. economy will always be a major factor in Canadian economic life — but our economic stability depends on an inward turn toward an east-west rather than a north-south axis, wherever possible replacing global value chains with domestic ones and choosing democratic national planning over capitalist global planning.

  • Maxime Bernier’s bold move

    Canadian Politics

    Ultimately, we have no real sense of how Bernier’s plan will unfold. History tells us that the vast majority of political parties in Canada fail due to our first-past-the-post system. Indeed, only three federal parties have official party status right now; two with roots back to Confederation and one with roots in the Great Depression. But don’t count Mad Max out. If politics has taught us anything over the past few years, it’s that the impossible is a lot more likely than we’ve previously thought.

  • Doug Ford’s New Poor Laws Replace Basic Income

    Canadian Politics

    The decision of the new Tory Government in Ontario to terminate the basic income pilot project confirms that the right is as divided as the left on this issue of social policy. The Doug Ford Tories form part of an international right wing opposition to BI that does not share the view of the Silicon Valley billionaire set, the World Bank and a range of others within the neoliberal order that this form of income support could serve the needs of capitalist exploitation.

  • Referendum on Portage and Main is a huge opportunity for Winnipeg urbanists

    Canadian Politics

    When you account for these economic and political factors, one comes to a fulsome picture: a true people’s urbanism (not one for the privileged few) must bring together people from across the city to prioritize public transit, accessibility, and a robust local democracy promoting engagement on civic issues. The space is there to create this kind of culture. The referendum on Portage and Main this fall is the perfect chance to create it.

  • Trump Threatens Canada: “Defence” Community Remains Silent

    Canadian Politics

    Instead of responding to Trump’s belligerence by ramping up military preparedness — which the US president demanded in a letter to the Prime Minister last week — we should be debating the point of a Canadian “defence” sector unwilling to even discuss defending our country from its primary military threat. A critical question to ask: Why do we spend over $20 billion a year on a Department of National Defence?

  • Putting Public Ownership Back on the Table

    Canadian Business

    If we are to build a just society, we require a just economy. And while that must include better social programs financed through redistributive taxation, the democratic socialist project is not encompassed by social programs alone; it must concern itself with the democratization of the economy. And while this shouldn’t be done solely through state ownership—worker, community, and consumer cooperatives all being viable mechanisms here—public control will nonetheless be a central plank.

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