All posts by YK

Singh drifts left, Horwath treads water

by Barry W.

The convention was on Andrea Horwath’s home turf, but Jagmeet Singh stole the show.  The federal New Democratic Party leader grabbed national headlines when he spoke to Ontario NDP delegates about his New Deal for People.  It seeks to expand public health care to include universal pharma care by 2020, followed by free dental, vision, hearing, mental health services, long term home care and addictions treatment.  He proposes to pay for it by upping the federal corporate income tax from 15 to 18 per cent, and by creating a new, 1 per cent tax on people whose net worth is more than $20 million.  In a break from Tom Mulcair’s no-deficit, soft-austerity 2015 campaign, Singh vowed to fund green programs and infrastructure through a new $3 billion “climate bank”, to push to retrofit all buildings by 2050 (in the process creating 300,00 new jobs), and to build 500,000 new affordable housing units within a decade.

Continue reading Singh drifts left, Horwath treads water

Socialism in the Park

Summer 2019

Three talks sponsored by Socialist Action in Christie Pits Park, at Christie and Bloor Streets, Toronto. Each presentation will be followed by questions, answers and discussion.

Where? Under the gazebo, at the foot of the hill, in Christie Pits Park, just steps from Bloor Street and the Christie subway station exit. Look for the Socialist Action canopy.

Everyone is welcome. No charge for admission. Literature will be on sale. Event will proceed rain or shine. Bring your own refreshments to share.

For more information, e-mail: socialistactioncanada@gmail.com

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Socialism 2019: Fight Imperialism!

Socialism 2019: Fight Imperialism! – an International Educational Conference –

When: May 31 – June 1, 2019 Where: Woodsworth Res., U of Toronto, 321 Bloor St. W. at St. George (in room 20, lower level)

co-sponsored by:

  • Socialist Action / Ligue pour l’Action socialiste – Canadian state,
  • Socialist Action – USA,
  • Left Voice-USA,
  • OKDE-Greece, and
  • New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA) – France.

 

Friday, May 31 7 p.m. Why Zionists are in a Panic

  • Dalia Al-Khadra, member of CAIA and Oakville Palestine Rights Association.
  • Dimitri Lascaris, lawyer, 2015 Green Party candidate in London West, just overcame an anti-SLAPP motion in his defamation lawsuit against B’nai B’rith.
  • Karen Rodman, director, Just Peace Advocates.
  • Barry Weisleder, federal secretary, Socialist Action – Canada.

Saturday, June 1 12 noon The Winnipeg General Strike, 100 Years On.

  • Bryan Palmer, Labour Historian, author of the forthcoming James P. Cannon and the Emergence of Trotskyism in the United States, 1928-1938.
  • Gary Porter, a leading member of Socialist Action, resides near Victoria, B.C.

4 p.m. From Yellow Vests to Workers’ Revolt

  • Aurelien Gavois, a rep. of the New Anti-capitalist Party (NPA), France.
  • Jeff Mackler, Socialist Action, USA, candidate for U.S. President in 2020.
  • Nour Alideeb, former chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students.
  • Sid Ryan, past president, Ontario Federation of Labour, author of “A Grander Vision – My Life in the Labour Movement.”

7 p.m. Fight Imperialism! Hands Off Venezuela, Cuba, Central America

  • Maria Paez Victor of the Louis Riel Bolivarian Circle in Toronto.
  • Jeff Mackler, national secretary of Socialist Action, USA.
  • Bob Lyons, Socialist Action/LAS, based in Costa Rica.
  • Yves Engler, Montreal-based activist and the author of ten books on Canada’s foreign policy, including “Left, Right”.

Saturday, 10 p.m. Social at a nearby pub,

The Duke of York, 39 Prince Arthur Ave., one block north and east of Woodsworth Residence.

Tickets: $15 in advance for weekend; $20 at door for the weekend; $5 per session or PWYC. Contact: http://www.socialistaction.ca 647 – 986-1917

Defeat Legault’s Racist Bill 21

The Quebec government of Francois Legault is bringing forward a bill that would outlaw the wearing of “religious symbols” by public employees. Legault’s Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) holds a majority of seats in Quebec’s National Assembly. Bill 21 would target judges, police and prison guards, as well as teachers.

Premier Legault argues the law is needed to defend “laicité”, the separation of church and state, claiming even-handedness, since the crucifix which was installed 85 years ago in the chamber of deputies during the Duplessis era will be removed from the National Assembly.

In reality, the law is primarily aimed at Quebec’s Muslim community and will overtly discriminate against women with a hijab (head covering) or the smaller number of women wearing the burka (veil). When asked to justify excluding hijab clad women who want to become teachers, Legault replied arrogantly “they will just have to find other jobs.” Removing a face covering would be required to receive public services, even something as simple as riding public transit.

If the law is ultimately declared unconstitutional, Legault will likely invoke the notwithstanding clause. This was famously used to protect Bill 101, Quebec’s language law, a measure that enjoys much greater public support than the victimization of minority women enshrined in Bill 21. Banning head coverings and veils has more support in rural and small-town Quebec. Antipathy to these repressive measures is strongest in Montreal, where most cultural and religious minorities are concentrated.  

Quebec society has been roiled by Islamophobia for over ten years. First cultivated by the right wing populist predecessors of the CAQ, it was then taken up by the Parti Quebecois which tried to foist a “Charte des Valeurs” on the province in 2013. In 2017, a young man immersed in the white racist milieu opened fire at a Quebec City mosque, killing 6 and wounding 19 defenseless worshipers. 

As prospects for Quebec independence have dimmed, there has been a rise of identarian white nationalism giving an opening to right wing populist parties like the CAQ and in turn feeding more extreme manifestations of xenophobia.

Quebec Solidaire has not been untouched by Islamophobia, but in a welcome move it came out against Bill 21 at its recent National Council meeting.

An anti-racist campaign in defense of the rights of Muslim women is gathering steam. Defeating this racist and anti-woman bill will strengthen struggles against cuts in public services, attacks on wages and working conditions, and the ongoing environmental degradation and corporate plunder of Quebec’s natural wealth which is the hidden agenda of Legault’s pro-business administration.

Robbie Mahood, reporting from Montréal