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Harper’s clawbacks gave us an opportunity to organize. We defeated Harper by building movements to stand up for issues that matter to our communities, movements that tried to stop policies and clawbacks we found to be harmful.

Now we have to keep on organizing because “la lucha continua, no terminára fácilmente.” 

The Liberal policy of launching consultation after consultation could drive some people into backrooms, but if you are organizing, we are here to help.

rabble.ca and the Lynn William’s Activist Toolkit help cover and amplify the work many of you are doing across the country.  As you continue to organize, reach out to us. 

Post events on the rabble.ca events calendar. If you work with an organization that is building campaigns and movements, send me and email about what you are doing at [email protected]. I know that the blog post below is about policy changes, but so much change is not about policy, it is about getting involved and building in our communities. 

Whether it is about a food kitchen, a shelter, a community garden, a yogathon, or a policy fight, let us know about what you are working on in your community.

Here is a current status report on 11 important fights that we covered in the past year and that still continue to be relevant. If you know about others and would like us to amplify the work you are doing, send them to me. This blog post is accompanied by a Constructing Change podcast about the toolkit, click here to listen.

Bill C-51 and surveillance:  (Status: Consultation)

  • Bill C-51 was a wrong-headed move towards a police state. Trudeau promised to repeal the problematic elements of the bill if elected.  Now the Liberal government is holding a consultation about what to repeal. Tell your MP that you want the consultation to be a genuinely open process and let them know how you feel about the bill.
  • Bill C-51 was egregious but there were many more creepy encroachments on our rights to privacy and civil liberties during the Harper era. Click here and here for some great analysis by Michael Geist regarding the possibility that the Liberals will roll back these changes. According to Geist and others, we need to fight to convince the government that our right to privacy is important.

Climate change:  (Status: Consultation on Pan-Canadian Climate change policy)

  • Despite the Trudeau government’s charm offensive at the recent climate change summit in Paris, the current commitments, by the various levels of government,regarding emissions standards fall below what is needed to curb climate change. rabble.ca and climate change activists have been planning to make 2016 a year of action on climate change. Click here to listen to rabble.ca’s recent google hangout with climate change action and stay tuned for more ways to get involved.  

War on science and information:  (Status: reform in progress)

  • The Trudeau government has officially lifted policies that kept scientists from publicly discussing their research, now has two science ministers, and has decided to restore the long form census.  As this article argues, we need some more work on updating the data we collect in the long form — however there is clear movement on this issue.

Electoral Reform: (Status: Consultation)

  • The Harper government disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of Canadians thanks to his “fair elections act.” Trudeau needs to overturn these changes, however he has also committed to a bigger change — to making 2015 the last unfair, first past the post, election. Currently the government is holding consultations about electoral reform and we need to make sure that the government hears that we want a fair vote. Sign the petition of vote reform here.

Status of women and women’s rights: (Status: Consultation)

  • It has been a difficult set of years for Status of Women and for women’s rights and protections.  The Harper government repeatedly cut funding for women’s programs. Read a great interview with Angela Marie MacDougall, Battered Women’s Support Services about the priority issues for her in 2016. We must fight to restore funding to organizations that work with women and to ensure that the recently launched public inquiry of into missing and murdered women helps come up with a way to address the issue.  Read more about what activists recommend for women’s rights here 

Pipelines and treaties: (Status: complex)

  • Right now, the Trudeau Liberals are in the midst of changing the process by which pipeline projects are evaluated making the process more rigorous (though more rigorous than the secretive Harper government process is not saying much). The government will judge pipeline projects one by one. Right now we need to stop projects like the Energy East pipeline and support the First Nations’ legal action to stop the pipelines. 

First Nations: (Status: reform in progress)

  • A recent Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling that Canada discriminates against children on reserves was eye opening. As Trudeau makes addressing the year of injustice faced by the Indigenous communities in Canada, keep tracking the work of Idle No More and others in the communities to make sure that the government is living up to its commitment.

War in Iraq and ISIS: (Status: reform in progress)

  • The Trudeau Government will be pulling the Canadian fighter planes from Iraq and the war against Daesh by the end of February and moving the mission to a training and humanitarian mission while continuing to support the coalition against Daesh. Unfortunately we have heard commitments like this before. 

Trans-Pacific Partnership:  (Status: Agreement signed, Public consultations and Parliamentary process continue)

  • On February 4, 2016, TPP Ministers signed the TPP Agreement in Auckland, New Zealand. The Trans-Pacific Partnership could make significant changes to Canadian policy, read more about the ramifications of this agreement on Michael Geist’s blog. You can send your comments about the TPP at any time via email: [email protected].

Good Jobs: (Status: campaigns in progress)

  • The Liberals have been talking about jobs for a long time. However these jobs should ensure access to residency for workers and a decent wage and benefits. There are fights being waged across Canada to demand good jobs, stay tuned to rabble.ca’s labour beat for more.

Prison Reform: (status: not on Liberal radar)

  • One of the most neglected issues this election was prison reform. The Harper Government vastly expanded the prison industrial complex in Canada, and during the election Trudeau and the Liberals were largely silent on the issue of rolling back Harper’s draconian laws. Prison reform will require a lot more than rolling back the laws, we need to work with current campaigners and activists to build a better system.

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Maya Bhullar

Maya Bhullar has over 15 years of professional experience in such diverse areas as migration, labour, urban planning and community mobilization. She has a particular interest in grassroots engagement,...