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An Unjust Justice System

Volume 52, Issue 3: Fall 2018

Our cover showcases a poster by Julie Delzant. It is one of a large variety created by six Québec artists and designers for Québec solidaire’s election campaign this past fall. Julie is a Montreal-based graphic designer and illustrator. A nature-lover, she describes herself as driven above all by the desire to communicate in socially useful ways and to contribute to advancing the cause of environmental protection. Several QS campaign posters by other artists accompany Richard Fidler’s article on the Québec election, and one is shown at left.

The results of the Ontario and Québec elections this fall clearly indicate that Canada continues to reflect the alarming worldwide trend toward the right, which now encompasses more extreme right-wing elements. Analyzing the politics of meanness of Doug Ford and the Ontario PCs, Greg Albo observes that it “appeals to a hard-right provincialism, patriarchal family values set against a hostile world of crime and terrorism, mobilization of ethnic and racial chauvinisms, and mystical market solutions for every ill.”

Meanwhile, as Richard Fidler points out, François Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec represents “a regressive ethnic nationalism” that promises to reduce immigration quotas and expel immigrants who fail tests on language skills and so-called Québec values, while threatening “further privatization of public services, especially in education and health care, tax breaks to business, support for the oil and gas industry, and a general indifference to the ecological crisis.”

This issue’s CD Focus section, edited by coordinating committee member Kimberly Wilson, highlights a few aspects of our unjust justice system and the lives it affects, from anti-Black policing in Toronto to the repression of Indigenous land and water defenders who resist extractivism, to the laws, policies, and practices that have exacerbated the injustices of life in prison, sparking prisoner activism and demands for meaningful reform.

Phillip Morgan, a Toronto-based freelance writer of Jamaican heritage, takes us through the heavily policed streets of Toronto’s Midtown. Jarrod Shook, who spent more than nine years in Canadian prisons, gives us the prisoners’ views on what needs to be done to reform the system. And Tia Dafnos exposes the increasing militarization of the state as it thwarts attempts by Indigenous land and water defenders to stop the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

Launched in October and running through November, our goal of raising $20,000 came close to being fully realized, with nearly 150 supporters donating almost $19,000, either via GoFundMe or directly to the magazine. If you were unable to do so, you can still contribute. Donors of $30 or more can receive a one-year subscription, or a gift subscription, to the magazine. Write to [email protected].

Have a good read.

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Special Features

An Unjust Justice System

All That’s Left

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