Articles Canadian Politics

  • Democracy in Montréal: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

    The municipal political boundaries of Montréal are to be redrawn once again. Instead of one big city divided into 27 boroughs, Montréal will be one big city interspersed with 15 small municipalities. But apart from the question of identity, with its socio-economic and ethno-linguistic dimensions, does this movement represent a bid to strengthen local democracy?

  • Winnipeg: City of Contradictions

    Winnipeg’s history is one of contradictions. On one hand, it was once the “Gateway to the West”. On the other hand, it was the city of labour and struggle. Out of their struggles sprung a wealth of labour and social activism and progressive political thought and organization.

  • The Parkland Institute: Alberta’s Unofficial Opposition

    In an oil-rich province with a seemingly undefeatable Progressive Conservative government, it can seem more than a little difficult to challenge the status quo. Gordon Laxer knows this, but it didn’t stop him from creating the Parkland Institute, a left-wing think tank he describes as Alberta’s “lone alternative voice.”

  • The 2004 Election & the Left: Some Lessons from Quebec

    A few thoughts on the June 28 federal election, focused on the Québec results and their implications for the Left in the Rest of Canada.

  • Cities and Imperialism

    Armoured Caterpillar D-9 bulldozers tearing down neighbourhoods in Gaza; fierce battles raging in the winding streets of Fallujah; smart missiles blasting dense housing blocks in the West Bank – these recurrent images from the Middle East point to more than attacks on “terrorist” targets and “regrettable” collateral damage, as is often claimed by the Pentagon or the Israeli Defence Force. They also represent two examples of urbicide: a concerted and preemptive military strategy designed to undermine the urban foundations for independence; destroy networks of resistance; and separate settlers and occupiers from immobilized colonized populations while demolishing their infrastructures of survival.

  • Sustainable Communities

    When one thinks of “cities” or an “urban agenda,” the university town of Wolfville, Nova Scotia (population: 8,000, including students) is likely not the first place that comes to mind. “The city” here almost invariably refers to Halifax, some 90 km to the east. But - perhaps because of a quirk of Canada’s electoral system, which disproportionately favours rural voters over urban - Paul Martin’s “New Deal for Cities” is (or has quickly become) in fact a plan for municipalities, encompassing Wolfville (and surrounding Kings County) as much as Canada’s metropolitan centres. The urban agenda thus matters to Wolfville, and developments in Wolfville around issues of “sustainable communities” may be important for those elsewhere, who are concerned with the ecological sustainability of the urban form.

  • Compete or Die

    The campaign to make the city of Toronto competitive has been waged for more than a decade by supporters from across the political spectrum. Competitiveness, a catch-all term, is often measured by how many companies and tourists are lured here instead of Chicago or Cleveland or Charlotte. And there is a list of things a city like Toronto apparently needs to have in order to attract the big-spending tourists and investors looking for places to park their fortunes.

  • Plan Petroleum in Colombia

    Despite U.S. government claims, there is still no evidence that Plan Colombia has achieved its principal goal of dramatically reducing the flow of cocaine to the United States. On the other hand, Plan Colombia’s militarization of Putumayo has contributed significantly to increased oil exploration by multinational companies in this resource-rich region.

  • How Patriarchy Undermines Canada’s Charity Law

    There appears to be a grotesque hypocrisy between the government trying to de-list progressive feminist, environmental and animal rights groups while permitting so-called charities that have a right-wing, patriarchal and economistic ideology to engage in highly political activities. It’s time for the Canada Revenue Agency to keep up with the times and to provide a progressive, balanced, and fair voice in its implementation of Canada’s charity laws.

  • Cities: Old Dilemmas, New Deals, Urban Dreams

    It is our view that the dilemmas facing cities in Canada, and around the world, are of staggering importance; that local politics and struggles are crucial to political organization today; and that confronting neoliberalism is also a confrontation with the political forces shaping today’s city of glittering towers, endless sprawl, shameful poverty, public wreckage.

Page 44 of 45