With the 2011 Ontario provincial election mere weeks away, all the major parties are honing their focus on the most competitive ridings in the province. While some of these battleground ridings are attracting attention from politicians and commentators alike, the following ridings are somehow slipping under radar, despite their potential Election Day interest.
Nathalie Des Rosiers, general counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and James Clancy, the National Union of Public and General Employees's national president, spoke to rabble.ca about the release of a report by the CCLA and the NUPGE based on public hearings on the G20 mass arrests. The hearings were held in Toronto and Montreal last November.
"Send in the clowns
Don't bother they are here."
Stephen Sondheim from the 1973 musical 'A Little Night Music'
As a transit rider and taxpayer in Toronto, I write of our right to moral outrage. The events since the October 25 municipal election have left me reeling -- from the Ringling Brothers pomp and circumstance of Don Cherry's inauguration of Rob Ford as mayor of our once progressive city, to the new regime's attempted transit fee hike and service cuts, and to the higher personal income tax garnered to subsidize corporate tax cuts, our political arena has become a three-ring circus.
Twenty years ago this month, the founding conference of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) took place. In the two decades that have followed, OCAP has organized and mobilized communities under attack in the context of an advancing agenda of neoliberalism. The present situation is dominated by a world-wide crisis of capitalism and, as a result, an intensified drive to impose austerity on working class populations and the poor in particular. We are in the early stages of this assault but it seems likely that it will dominate the period that lies ahead. On this basis, it makes sense to assess the work of OCAP from the standpoint of building effective resistance to the neoliberal agenda.
Single parents with two children are up by just $10 a month in Ontario, thanks to the McGuinty government's Budget on March 25. This was their response to Dalton McGuinty's re-election campaign promise to reduce poverty in the province -- the raising of social assistance rates by 1 per cent.
One of the depressing aspects of the last few decades is the ease with which seemingly normal people walk obliviously past the aching pools of humanity spread out on our sidewalks.
At what point will people start looking up from their iPhones -- at least momentarily -- and think: Something must be done.
That moment should have come with the recent axing of Ontario's "special diet allowance," in which Dalton McGuinty's government literally took food out of the mouths of hungry people, in the name of deficit reduction.
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The ongoing labour crisis in Ontario's public schools may just be a prelude to a much broader battle about to unfold between the government and all public sector workers in the province.