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BTL 5

COVID-19

  • Has COVID-19 mandated a basic income?

    The rapid fraying of the economy due to COVID-19, with unemployment rates projected to reach 25 percent and higher, has prompted heightened interest in universal basic income (UBI). Can the CERB serve as a model? Is now the time to implement a UBI for Canada? If so, what needs to be done to create an effective, efficient and equitable basic income?

  • Under the shadow of contagion: Abuse of Filipino workers in Alberta’s largest COVID-19 outbreak

    The outbreak has been blamed incorrectly on everything other than the employers, from a community conspiracy against authorities to the necessity of workers to carpool. Around 70 percent of workers at the Cargill High River plant, it turns out, are Filipinos; some of whom are recent migrants who were hired through the federal Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) Program.

  • Kerala’s social policies are the best prevention against future pandemics

    Kerala, India’s communist state, has managed to flatten the curve with forceful measures. They activated controls at airports and train stations to detect the entry of the virus into the state, and established temporary quarantine shelters to lodge tourists and non-residents. This was followed by aggressive testing, contact tracing, long quarantine periods, shelters for migrant workers, and cooked meals for those most in need.

  • Disaster capitalism at work in Manitoba

    Manitoba is already receiving a glimpse of the austerity that many Canadians will likely have to face in the coming months. The Pallister government has shown itself to be incapable of moving beyond deficit reduction-obsessed politics and implementing a new economic model that prioritises mass prosperity over cutting and privatizing public services under the guise of the pandemic.

  • Canada’s COVID-19 response is leaving the homeless behind

    At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, government bodies quickly implemented preventative measures to stop the disease from tearing through communities and devastating populations. Yet the response to assist Canada’s homeless population has not been so swift, and governments at all levels are still scrambling to heed calls for improved protections to assist one of society’s most vulnerable groups.

  • Canada’s pandemic response threatens worker solidarity

    It doesn’t take careful analysis to determine that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) was structured in a way that not only fails to protect the most vulnerable Canadians, but continues to sow the deep divisions among working people that have allowed capitalist interests to dictate Canadian policy and maintain power for more than a century.

  • COVID-19 is exacerbating discrimination against asylum seekers in Québec

    As the coronavirus hit Québec in mid-March, detainees at Laval IHC held a hunger strike to appeal to the public and authorities to take action on their living conditions. The hunger strike ultimately brought attention not only to the conditions during the COVID-19 outbreak, but it has shown that the present crisis has exacerbated the unfair conditions that have long been the reality for many.

  • Why isn’t Canada treating climate change with the same urgency as COVID-19?

    Despite claiming to take the climate crisis seriously, the Trudeau government has failed to put Canada on track to meet even dangerously insufficient targets for reducing GHG emissions. The profits from oil and natural gas flow to their producers and distributers—as well as the banks that finance them—and other investors whose portfolios include these stocks. These are the people who, under the current economic system, hold the most sway in determining government policy.

  • A terrible triage: How COVID-19 speaks to our future

    These exceptional circumstances found all Canadians and the governments they elected woefully unprepared for its management and control. Hopefully, we will learn lessons from the many tragedies visited upon the elderly by this pandemic which will permit us to prepare for a very uncertain future. We do not want that perennial philosopher of our generation, Pogo the Possum, to prove prophetic: “We have met the enemy and he is us”.

  • Why the response to COVID-19 should include universal basic income

    With a UBI, Canadians out of work due to the pandemic would not be nervous about their prospects, knowing that their basic needs would be met. Life would go on–certainly with some trepidation and uncertainty, but Canadians would never fear losing their homes, being unable to feed their families, or terrified of needing to put themselves in vulnerable working conditions in the midst of a crisis.

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