Articles Canadian Politics

  • 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.

  • Cutting Through Life under Corporate Rule

    The first thing the young man sees as he emerges from The Corporation is the theatre’s bright, shiny Pepsi Machine. Where once he saw a harmless soft drink, he now sees a bloated and arrogant corporate product. He gives the machine a slap.

    “So long, sucker. It’s over. I’m ready to give you up.”

  • Canada And The Big Business Of War

    Millions of working Canadians are being fiscally conscripted into the shameful business of war. We are forced into this unwitting participation in the arms trade and imperialist American wars, thanks to the Liberal government’s legislation governing the Canada Pension Plan. Through our mandatory CPP contributions, we are entrapped in complicity with many of the world’s most notorious warmongers.

  • The Charest Factor

    It is an inescapable fact that, since the 1995 referendum, Québec politics have been dominated by two of Brian Mulroney’s former cabinet ministers. The first, Lucien Bouchard, made his way to the top post of the Parti Québécois (PQ) to replace the fallen Jacques Parizeau. The second, Jean Charest, a much younger politician, was pushed to the head of the Parti Libéral du Québec (PLQ) by the federal Liberals in order to fill the void left by the dull and uncharismatic Daniel Johnson Jr.

  • Labour Battles in B.C. and Quebec

    Recent political developments do not bode well for unionized public-sector workers. While the decisive defeat of the Tories in Ontario is welcome news, the actions of the provincial Liberals reveal they have no intention of undoing the damage inflicted by Mike Harris.

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