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High school students take action against McGuinty's Bill 115

Photo: John Bonnar
Bramalea Secondary School staged a protest against Bill 115, the Putting Students First Act, that freezes teachers' wages for two years and prevents them from striking.

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Teachers deserve public support

Photo: andres musta / flickr
Ontario teachers rallying earlier this year -- they deserve public support. (Photo: andres musta / flickr)

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Dear Ontario teachers: Don't let McGuinty get away with this

I know you're angry right now. You should be. That your bargaining process has been interrupted by the reprehensible actions of the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives in Ontario should outrage you and all Ontarians who support you.

I want to acknowledge your pain. Having never had a student wet himself beside me, having never had to separate a fight where girls' hair is strewn across the floor, having never had to explain why the Merchant of Venice doesn't suck, having never had to stop myself from swearing for more than a few days at a time ... I know that what you do I could never do. What you do, most people can't do. Even with the shitty teachers lumped in, the service you give to the community deserves to be acknowledged, honoured and celebrated.


Ontario welfare workers strike for their rights

This week's 'Not Rex' commentary looks at Ontario welfare workers forced to strike for their rights.

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Ontario votes!

Photo:  Caro Lander/Flickr
Take part in our babble discussion forum as the results come in!

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Getting the Muslim youth vote out in Ontario

Wali Farah, running for the NDP in Ottawa-South, was one of the provincial election candidates called in to speak to Muslim youth in Ottawa.

Concerns have been raised about the lack of political engagement of Canadian youth. During the federal election, voting flash mobs at Canadian universities were seen as a way to get young voters excited and eager to vote.

Unfortunately, most efforts to engage youth have been initiated by groups and organizations that I feel do not reflect the ethno-cultural diversity of Canada's major cities. As an activist in Ottawa's Muslim communities who is passionate about civic engagement, I wanted to take a lead in addressing what I've seen as a lack of engagement among young Muslims of voting age.


Municipal Elections 2010: The Colour of Poverty in Toronto and Ontario

Colour of Poverty Campaign 2008. Photo: Women's Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc.

To mark the "International Day for the Eradication of Poverty," members of the Colour of Poverty Campaign -- Colour of Change Network (COP/C) from various parts of Ontario -- held a press conference earlier this month to call on all levels of Canadian government to help eradicate poverty in Ontario and Canada.

The group has many concerns about the "invisibility of racialized poverty" and the lack of attention to these issues in the media in Toronto and GTA's upcoming municipal elections.


G20 a month later: Reflections on confronting impacts of economic austerity

Photo: Harry Choi

A month ago, thousands of chanting voices echoed between downtown towers in the core of Canada's largest city, with people reclaiming the streets, facing down thousands of armed police -- a dignified challenge to the closed-door G20 summit.

Brightly coloured protest flags flew in the summer winds, people confronted a billion-dollar security machine aimed at stifling dissent. Behind multilayered razor security walls, far away from street protests, technocrats crafted global policy in an armed fortress at a distance from public accountability or media scrutiny.



Democracy: 'Government by amateurs'

I went to an all-candidates meeting recently in the race to replace our Toronto city councillor, Joe Pantalone, who's running for mayor. The candidates were mostly lawyer or city-planner types. But one differed: Derek Chadbourne, a bike courier for 16 years who runs The Bike Joint, a local repair shop. A neighbour, who works on Bay Street, said he knows Derek, he's a great guy, too bad he can't win. I asked why. He seemed to think it was obvious. He doesn't have credentials or expertise, like the rest. But, but -- I sputtered -- Democracy is government by amateurs. I must have read it somewhere.

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