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CUPE 2021 leaderboard

COVID-19

  • 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.

  • Trudeau Liberals block NDP pharmacare plan in the middle of a pandemic

    Liberal members of Parliament will tell you that they truly support pharmacare, but that they just don’t like the way the NDP is going about it. But, as Christo Aivalis explains, the reality is far clearer. Like with the wealth tax, the Liberals see a popular policy that their own base supports, but it is one which clashes with their core neoliberal ideology. In the end, allegiance to the latter is what matters.

  • Ontario’s hidden institutions

    Long-term care facilities in have been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with almost three-quarters of all pandemic-related deaths in Canada occurring within them. But there’s another type of institution in Ontario that is somehow even less regulated and less transparent than long-term care facilities: residential service homes, also known as domiciliary hostels, which are privately run and operate for profit.

  • Unmasked police are a public health hazard

    Unmasked police officers are a public health hazard. If the Winnipeg Police Service is concerned about maintaining its legitimacy, it will mandate all officers to wear a mask while on duty at all times. And, if the provincial government truly cares about public health, it will ensure everyone, without exception, is respecting public health orders.

  • Economic justice and the limits of the Charter

    As COVID pushes more people into poverty, the Charter’s limits must be recognized. But doing so requires greater care in our discussions. Civil liberty groups should continue to litigate, but they should also be more specific in what the Charter can and cannot do. This would provide space for extra-legal solutions, such as protests and mutual aid. Otherwise, those who use the Charter will unknowingly contribute to the problems they are fighting to end.

  • Organizing in the face of crisis

    The pandemic will continue to shape our lives for a long time to come yet. However, even when it is finally behind us, the economic fallout and deeper problems of global capitalism will be left in its wake. As workers and as members of communities under attack, we are going to have to be able to assert the popular will through powerful and united social movements.

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