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COVID-19

  • Why COVID-19 shows it’s time to consider prison abolition

    Prisoners are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, and the response to this risk within correctional facilities across Canada has only created an alternate outbreak of health problems. For prisoner advocates like Michelle Gushue of the Elizabeth Fry Society, the most compassionate and effective response to this problem is removing people from these institutions and returning them to their communities.

  • ‘Warehouses like this are not the answer’: Exposing the crisis of long-term care in Manitoba

    Institutionalized people in Manitoba are experiencing the brunt of COVID-19—from jails, to long-term care homes to hospitals. Our demands for a just recovery must centre those most impacted by the virus, and this requires a movement away from neoliberalism towards a system of rapid decarceration and deinstitutionalization. Only then can we begin to reckon with the legacy of austerity and adopt more ethical models of care.

  • ‘Don’t come unless you have a death wish’: Nurses describe pandemic’s toll on Winnipeg hospital

    The failure to contain multiple preventable COVID-19 outbreaks at Winnipeg’s Saint Boniface Hospital (which is currently experiencing the worst of three hospital outbreaks in the city) is attributable not only to mismanagement by the hospital’s executive staff, but also to years of austerity under Premier Brian Pallister’s Conservative government. The effects are—and will continue to be—devastating. 

  • 72 hours and 18 deaths later, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister finally faces the province on COVID-19 surge

    As of Monday, November 2, there are over 3,400 active cases in Manitoba, which has an astounding test positivity rate of nine percent. Instead of doing the job we elected him to do—that is, supporting teachers, nurses, small businesses, and minimum-wage workers who are directly impacted by the move to code red—Premier Brian Pallister has chosen to shirk responsibility and download it onto the people.

  • ‘They won’t even give him Tylenol’: An interview with the spouse of a COVID-positive prisoner in Manitoba’s Headingley jail

    Headingley Correctional Centre, a provincial jail on the western edge of Winnipeg, is among the sites hardest hit by the pandemic. As of Friday, October 30, the jail had 69 confirmed cases—mostly prisoners along with a handful of staff. Canadian Dimension spoke with someone whose husband is incarcerated in Headingley. After a major bout of sickness, he was finally diagnosed with COVID-19.

  • Dispatch from Winnipeg, Canada’s newest COVID hotspot

    Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and his cabinet have shown little interest in implementing the widespread, long-term restrictions necessary to stem community transmission. As cases continue to spiral out of control in the province, it is once again clear that the PC government is allowing private interests to run rampant over the needs of the people.

  • Anti-maskers, the alt-right, and leftist messaging

    Last week, hundreds of people gathered in Winkler, Manitoba to publicly oppose their school division’s COVID-19 precautions. This was the latest anti-mask rally in a string of demonstrations across Canada in recent months. While the rallies themselves aren’t particularly threatening, the messaging being used by demonstrators is plucked straight from the lexicon of progressive social justice movements. And that is cause for concern.

  • The fate of capitalism hangs in the balance of international power

    Most commentary on international relations proceeds as if the global order floated above the patchwork quilt of the world map, an ethereal stage on which disembodied states play leading or bit parts in consequential but ultimately inexplicable plots. Inadequate at the best of times, such commentary will not serve when the fate of capitalism itself hangs in the balance of international power.

  • COVID-19 is taking a heavy toll on Toronto’s homeless

    On any given day, over 9,200 people in the city of Toronto meet one of the definitions of homelessness. Shelters in the city generally reach an average occupancy rate of approximately 98 percent every night, and 76 percent of the homeless population claim that the key factor in improving their situation is “aid and accommodation in paying the high rents of the city.” COVID-19 is making the situation even worse.

  • Trudeau’s game of throne speech

    Throne speeches are part of a tradition of parliamentary hypocrisy. We may sometimes win things in those settings, but the far more decisive question is the struggle that is taken up on the streets. In this time of crisis, that is truer than ever before and we must build the movements to hammer out and win a post-pandemic future based on the needs of workers and communities rather than empty Liberal promises.

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