For over 30 years, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund has been imposing their austerity agenda on countries around the world as a condition for economic assistance. Greece has been in the news most recently, but it’s been going on for several decades now. Here in Canada, that same austerity agenda has also wreaked havoc on our country and its citizens.

Under the austerity agenda, social programs are cut, unions are attacked and working conditions get more and more precarious because eroding wages and working conditions is good for corporations. It’s all about sacrificing the public good for corporate profits.

Unite Against Austerity is a campaign which brings people together to talk about the effects of austerity and support organizing efforts to increase public dialogue which will lead to change.

As part of the campaign, a panel discussion was held in Toronto on April 25, 2015 at the Steelworkers Hall. The panel addresses the questions: What are the austerity policies that you are dealing with in your community? And, what is their legacy. The panel featured speakers from labour, first nations, migrant worker and anti-poverty organizations.  

Speakers:

Crystal Sinclair, a Cree woman from Manitoba and Activist and Organizer with Idle No More Toronto. She has a degree in social work and has been a social worker in Toronto for the past 15 years.

Jennie Miller, a member of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union who sits on the executive of both the Greater Toronto Area Council and the Provincial Francophone Committee.

Chris Ramsaroop, an organizer with Justicia for Migrant Workers and a member of the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change.

John Clark of the Ontario Coaltion Against Poverty.

Avi Lewis, one of Canada’s most eloquent and controversial media personalities who has been creating space for more radical voices in mainstream media for 25 years. 

Unite Against Austerity, a panel discussion held in Toronto as part of a campaign of the same name with the following goals:

To make the austerity agenda the primary lens through which Canadians understand the country’s political landscape and make political decisions

To support the expansion of alliances and strategic action in anti-austerity work in Canada 

For more info, go to http://www.uniteagainstausterity.ca/

Thanks to Shaghayegh Tajvidi for recording this for Needs No Introduction.

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