By Robbie Mahood
Vanessa Beeley, a British journalist known for her outspoken views on Syria, spoke to a gathering of more than 100 persons in Montreal December 10, 2019.
A meeting planned the day before at University of Montreal was cancelled after a successful campaign by anti-Assad forces to bar her from speaking.
For me, attending Beeley’s talk was a question of principle: to oppose an attempt to shut down debate on an issue that has divided the left.
Continue reading Vanessa Beeley’s Syria Meeting in Montreal: a Report
Socialist Action condemns the outright violation by Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and BC’s NDP Premier John Horgan, of the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) rules in dealing with the indigenous peoples on resource development projects on Indigenous lands in BC. Those rules establish:
1. Self determination for indigenous peoples, including the absolute right to say NO to capitalist resource projects.
2. The right to Indigenous traditional forms of governance.
3. Control over their own lands and resources.
4. Control over waterways, railways, highways and pipelines on indigenous lands.
5. Freedom from state coercion, violence or invasion.
6. Freedom from the removal by force or otherwise of indigenous children.
In spite of their declared support for UNDRIP, Trudeau and Horgan have violated, or threatened to violate every single one of those provisions. Their policies continue the historic policy of intimidation, force, economic deprivation and imprisonment, to rob the wealth of indigenous lands for wealthy white capitalists at the expense of indigenous men, women and children. It is a vicious and utterly dishonourable history and it must stop NOW.
Continue reading Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people against Coastal GasLink, the courts, cops, Trudeau and Horgan
by Gary Porter
Eight hundred delegates met in Victoria, November 23-24, to assess two years of NDP government in British Columbia and to consider policies to meet the needs of working people, the poor, the homeless and oppressed.
Affordability is a major public issue. The average family income in the province is $72,400. For Canada the number is $71,800. But the average house price in Vancouver is $1,095,000. In Toronto it is $807,000.
The affordability crisis has aggravated homelessness and drug addiction, particularly in the warmer climes of Vancouver and Victoria, where Canada’s marginalized and victimized tend to end up. Inflation in BC is 2.4% compared to 1.4% across Canada.
The minimum wage will rise above the B.C. Federation of Labour target of $15 an hour by 2021, 4 years after the NDP won government.
Continue reading BC NDP Ducks Climate Accountability
by Chris Wanamaker
New Brunswick has stolen $20 million from the purchasing power of social assistance recipients in the last five to ten years, according to the New Brunswick Common Front for Social Justice, a group that fights to eradicate poverty. Single, employable individuals in New Brunswick receive only $537 monthly in social assistance, a rate which has been frozen since 2010. Other recipients have not received any increase in their basic rate since 2014. Making up for this loss, though not a solution to inequality, is an urgent necessity to alleviate the daily suffering of impoverished working class folks.
To address this issue, the Common Front just established a new chapter in Saint John. It recently launched a campaign to engage politicians about the rates. Only one MLA has responded to requests to discuss the issue. The organization says it is sending letters to dozens of unions and organizations asking them to assist in the cause, according to Common Front organizer, Jean Claude Basque.
Meanwhile, the struggling New Brunswick NDP announced it has formally recognized the Socialist Caucus to create policies that can be presented at the next provincial policy convention. It also hopes to establish Youth, Labour, Environmental and Women’s Caucuses. Party insiders say the initiative will revitalize the party, which did not win any seats in NB in the last federal and provincial elections.