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The Peoples' Social Forum (PSF) in Toronto drew progressives to Ryerson's campus this weekend for discussions and workshops on everything from austerity to anti-racism.
The PSF is a counter-summit to the Pan American economic summit, just as the World Social Forum is a counter to the World Economic Forum.
Solidarity Unionism: Rebuilding the Labor Movement from Below
In 1982, when service and maintenance workers at a hospital in Warren, Ohio went on strike, they were not alone. Members of the Workers' Solidarity Club from Youngstown, Ohio -- about 200 km away -- joined the picket line. They made leaflets, invited members of other unions to join the hospital workers in rallies every week, and got themselves arrested while chanting "Warren is a union town, we won't let you tear it down."
A news story this week blandly described the perverse reality that is the current state of the Canadian economy. The headline read "Corporate profit margins at 27-year high and likely to stay there." Pretty heady stuff if you took it out of context. But the context is everything: pathetic growth projections, record high personal debt, stagnating wages, hundreds of billions in idle corporate cash, a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure deficit, a growing real estate bubble and a Bank of Canada chief who has no idea how to fix things. And, of course, a prime minister who thinks fixing things is heretical.
The federal government has warned the thousands of temporary foreign workers (TFWs) whose work permits are expired yesterday, April 1, to comply with the new law by leaving the country or be dealt with accordingly.
"Let there be no mistake: We will not tolerate people going 'underground.' Flouting our immigration laws is not an option, and we will deal with offenders swiftly and fairly," said Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and Employment Minister Pierre Poilievre in a statement.
Four years ago, April 1, 2015 was set as the deadline for TFWs in low-skilled occupations to either become permanent residents or return to their home countries as a means to encourage employers to hire Canadians.