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With attack on Ontario teachers, McGuinty and Hudak put all workers' rights at risk

Ontario teachers rallied last week at Queen's Park in Toronto.

The much publicized attacks on teachers and educational support workers by the McGuinty government for the last eight months have proved to be an excellent distraction from the many political issues that have dogged the provincial government since its re-election in October 2011. These attacks have culminated in the creation of a piece of legislation, inaccurately entitled "Putting Students First Act," or Bill 115. 


Quebec election: Strategic voting and the myth of change

Photo: D'Arcy Norman.

For the second time in sixteen months, Quebecers will head to the polls and cast their ballots. Once again the Quebec voter, like all those who have voted before her/him, is faced with a daunting choice: do I vote for the change I wish to see, or do I vote to keep those who represent the policies I vehemently oppose out of office?

Granted, a voter scarcely finds a party that stands for all she believes in, hence the differing positions within a political party during a leadership race. Yet, there will almost always be a party that best represents a voter's aspirations, with the voter having to compromise on other, less significant, positions.


Labour Day reminder: Harper's EI changes hit immigrants hardest

Photo: http://aclaontario.ca/

For more than 130 years, workers have celebrated Labour Day in Canada to recognize the hard fought struggles that women and men have undertaken for better working and living conditions.

As we celebrate our past accomplishments, the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance (ACLA) reminds us all that the struggle for dignity and respect in the workplace is an ongoing process. Recent changes to our Employment Insurance will have a tremendous impact on all workers: and we all need to resist these changes.


Labour Day 2012: Get ready to rumble

The Labour Day picnics and parades might be the calm before the storm for the labour movement this fall. On top of terrible job losses in manufacturing and resource industries, governments in Canada are sharpening their swords, preparing to do battle with the country's trade unions.

It's not just unions that should be worried. The lagging economy is failing all Canadians, whether in unions or not. Historically, the trade union movement has played a pivotal role in turning things around and raising living standards for everyone. But the political and bargaining strengths of unions are at one of the lowest points in decades, and opponents are preparing to take advantage of this weakened state.


Turning anger into action to stop Harper's foreign policy

If you're reading this you probably know that the Harper-led Conservative government has ramped up the corporate and military orientation of Canadian foreign policy. But, the extent to which they’ve done so will likely be a surprise.


Everything in moderation (including moderation): Moving away from 1 per cent solutions

In Quebec, they are rising up against neoliberalism and '1 per cent solutions'.

Capitalism's been giving itself some extremely bad press lately. Finance capital's approval ratings (if any were taken on a regular basis) have to be at as low a level as at any other time in the last hundred years.

Even the mainstream business press seems at a loss to justify the new mantra of austerity in any way that makes sense. The 'shock doctrine' as applied to the current historical moment has meant yet another tired strategy of attacking the welfare state and privatizing everything, while unemployment skyrockets and life becomes more tenuous for everyone, even in the richer northern states (everyone but the 1 per cent, of course).



Wall Street crooks: A brief history of financial deregulation

'Deregulation for Wall Street crooks' is one chapter of a manuscript entitled, Wall Street Thieves: the Crisis of Capitalism and the 99% Movement for a Just and Better World. I wrote the first draft of this book from Havana where I live half the year with my Cuban wife and family.  Over the three months from November to January as I was writing the original draft, the rapid spread of the 99 per cent movement in the US and elsewhere was unfolding. 


Green Party of Canada convention: 'Cooperate to defeat Harper'

New Zealand Green Party Leader Metiria Turei attended the convention.

The Green Party of Canada's three-day long convention in Sidney, B.C. has just wrapped up. Here is an account of the major decisions taken, from one of the nearly 300 delegates who were in attendance. 

This year's convention saw discussion of 27 policy motions, six constitutional motions, eight directive motions and three emergency motions.

All of the policy, constitutional and directive motions were subjected to an online vote prior to the convention. Emergency motions were first presented at the convention itself and thus had not previously been voted on. All resolutions will be subjected to a final and conclusive vote by the membership after the convention.


Why the Harper government was happy with the ouster of Lugo in Paraguay

 Fernando Lugo campaigning in 2008. (Photo: Fernando Lugo Méndez / flickr)

Six weeks ago the left-leaning president of Paraguay Fernando Lugo was ousted in what some called an "institutional coup." Upset with Lugo for disrupting 61-years of one party rule, Paraguay's traditional ruling elite claimed he was responsible for a murky incident that left 17 peasants and police dead and the senate voted to impeach the president.

The vast majority of countries in the hemisphere refused to recognize the new government. The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) suspended Paraguay's membership after Lugo's ouster, as did the MERCOSUR trading bloc. Last week the Council on Hemispheric Affairs reported: "Not a single Latin American government has recognized [Federico] Franco's presidency."


Rewarding bad behaviour: Israel and the West

Protest outside the U.S. Embassy in London, UK. (Photo: http://londonbds.org)

Israel has barely put a foot right with the international community since its attack on Gaza more than three years ago provoked global revulsion.

The right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu has serially defied and insulted foreign leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama; given the settlers virtual free rein; blocked peace talks with the Palestinians; intimidated and marginalised human rights groups, UN agencies and even the Israeli courts; and fuelled a popular wave of Jewish ethnic and religious chauvinism against the country's Palestinian minority, foreign workers and asylum seekers.

No wonder, then, that in poll after poll Israel ranks as one of the countries with the most negative influence on international affairs.


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