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Our Times 3

COVID-19

  • A post-pandemic social peace accord?

    The key consideration is how the left should orient itself in the period that is now opening up. The concessions that employers and states make aren’t driven by wishes and hopes; they hinge on the willingness of those in power to provide them. The post-war approach was based on a capacity to broker social peace, while ensuring a robust flow of profits. There is no such prospect before us at present.

  • Ontario’s priority should be public health—not profits and police

    If social media is any barometer, there is hunger for change across Ontario. All factions of the left need to propose an alternative agenda at the scale of the crisis that prioritizes public health over profit and police. Only then can we break with the lethal logic underpinning the Ford government: that death and disaster are an acceptable cost in the pursuit of profit.

  • Doug Ford is killing Ontarians and violating their civil rights

    Doug Ford’s latest measures to fight COVID-19 will do nothing to actually stem the tide of the pandemic, but they will put the blame on working class people, steal their public spaces, allow profiteers to enrich themselves off employee suffering, and give the police dangerous powers which will almost certainly be levied against the most vulnerable Ontarians.

  • Cuba libre to be COVID-libre: Five vaccines and counting

    What Cuba has achieved is remarkable, but without the unjust US blockade, Cuba could have more and better results. Cuba has become a world leader in biotechnology because it has a socialist state with a centrally planned economy, that has invested in science and technology and puts human welfare before profit; that is, with the absence of capitalism and greed that British Prime Minister Johnson celebrates.

  • Amazon’s Brampton warehouse is back in business—but workers are still at risk

    More than one year into a pandemic during which Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ personal wealth topped $70 billion, the local public health agency told the company to adopt elementary precautions that should have been enforced when news of the virus broke. Despite “pulling the emergency brake” on the entire province, the ruling elite’s response to underlying and unaddressed issues of worker protection remains inadequate.

  • Brampton Amazon outbreak exposes racism and classism of COVID-19

    The challenges intensified by COVID will not dissolve once life returns to some semblance of ‘normalcy.’ Racism, classism, discrimination, weak labour legislation, lack of respect for essential workers, and diminishing investment in healthcare will all continue to rear their ugly heads. Going forward, we must challenge the ethos of capitalism if want to build a just world out of the ashes of the crisis.

  • Doug Ford’s racism is risking First Nation lives

    The time to confront individual and systemic racism is long overdue. Ontario Premier Doug Ford needs to do more than apologize to NDP MPP Sol Mamakwa late on a Friday afternoon. He needs to apologize to all Indigenous peoples for what Mamakwa calls “shaming First Nations people for getting medical care.” Then he needs to kick priority vaccinations for off-reserve Indigenous peoples into high gear.

  • The pandemic and capitalism’s essential workers

    The pandemic has political leaders and policy-makers floundering about. They declare some areas free from restrictions, while others are to abide by varying degrees of lockdowns. Then the virus does an about-turn, and so do the so-called leaders and policy wonks. New and different restriction rules are put into place. Throughout all this reactive helter-skelter, there is one constant. Essential workers are to continue working. There are many of them.

  • Tracking the pandemic’s toll on Canada’s largest retail network

    Despite trying to “deliver a smile,” Canada Post is inadvertently adding additional stress on postal workers by making them distribute 13.5 million additional pieces of mail—all while ignoring their calls for better health and safety. What workers need from our publicly-owned postal service is economic transformation, not adding millions of pieces of mail to their pick-up points, sorting stations, and delivery routes.

  • It’s not too late for Canada to support a temporary waiver of COVID vaccine patents

    With an upcoming meeting of the World Trade Organization’s Council on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property scheduled for next month, it is not too late for wealthy countries including Canada to do the right thing and support the temporary waiving of intellectual property rights to enable poor countries to import cheap generic versions of patented COVID-19 vaccines—and save many lives in the process.

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