On Saturday, September 18, 2021, a small crowd rallied in Toronto at the Yonge and Dundas intersection calling for an end to discriminatory funding to ODSP and OW programs. POOF Protecting ODSP OW Funding is a community group striving to end Homelessness and Poverty for people on ODSP, Ontario Disability Support Program and OW, Ontario Works benefits. The event organizer, Isabella Gamk, said that people on ODSP and OW benefits are abandoned by all 3 levels of Canadian Government and left to fend for themselves with less than a livable income support. Sadly, the City of Toronto has no tangible plans to help marginalized people living on a poverty income.
Over the past week more than 22,000 Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) members in New Brunswick have been casting ballots in a strike vote. Some of these folks have been working without a contract for as long as five years. Deadlocks have been piling up under consecutive provincial governments, both Liberal and Tory.
On August 27, over 100 members of CUPE's bargaining teams met in Fredericton for a day-long bargaining summit. Guest speakers included the CUPE NB president, the CUPE national president, and the presidents of the Canadian Labour Congress and the NB Federation of Labour.
On August 28, hundreds of CUPE members and their families, friends and supporters marched in 14 communities across New Brunswick. More than 1,000 attended the march in Saint John. The Saint John rally was the largest in memory since a 1992 general strike. At that rally, Socialist Action was there. SA members Chris Thompson, Mackenzie Thomason, Chris Wanamaker, Lynaya Astephen, Josh Floyd and I were there, as well as Saint John NDP candidate Don Paulin. We walked with the SA banner and we helped deliver giant-size invoices to the office of a local MLA, billing the Higgs government for services. In Moncton about 300 people marched; in Fredericton about 250. Invoices were delivered there as well.
It's impossible to maintain the capitalist system of exploitation without force. Police violence has escalated across the country, as cop funding is increased. Public pressure has pushed the state to slow down evictions, but they have continued throughout the pandemic by order of the city and province through the Landlord and Tenant Board, and enforced by Toronto Police Services. Tenants’ groups like Acorn, People’s Defense and Parkdale Organize demonstrate that collective action protects vulnerable people from repression. They continue to support and organize communities via food banks, child care and events, while the City of Toronto works to shut them down and enforce the for-profit system.
Thursday, September 23, 7 p.m. Eastern Time, Election 2021: Results and Prospects, with Leah Gazan, NDP MP for Winnipeg Centre, Barry Weisleder, Socialist Action federal secretary, and Christopher Thompson of the New Brunswick NDP Socialist Caucus. Link: https://youtu.be/lvpyJUqcg2c
On Sept. 16, 2021, for the umpteenth time, protestors gathered outside Mayor John Tory's luxury condominium at 1 Bedford Road. This episode of the "The Mayor Tory Gong Show" was brought to you by the Toronto Police Service. On July 21, cops stormed an encampment at Lamport Stadium. With considerable violence, Toronto police and private security staff evicted the people living there. Police dished out the same violence to those who defended their house-less neighbours from eviction. Twenty-six encampment defenders were charged, including Socialist Action member Corey David. The charges are standard cop nonsense: "resist arrest", "obstruct a peace officer", "assault officer", "trespassing", etc..