Category Archives: Events

Socialist Action remarks to September 18 rally against Bill C-27

Good afternoon.  My name is Elizabeth Byce and I am speaking to you on behalf of Socialist Action.  I am a retired member of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and a past Secretary of the Toronto Labour Council.

Socialist Action is here to support this protest, initiated by the National Organization of Retired Postal Workers and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, against government Bill C-27.  C-27 would allow Canada Post and other federal employers that established defined-benefit (DB) pension plans, to get rid of their legal obligations to pay promised and already-earned pensions benefits to federal employees, past and present.  If the Defined Benefits Plan is replaced with a Target Benefit Pension Plan, the amount paid to retirees would be geared to the stock market.  If the market goes down, money invested in it would go down too, leaving pensioners with a very insecure retirement.  So, let’s be clear.  Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are out to rob pensioners in order to support the dying capitalist system.  They promised to improve and stabilize pensions.  They lied!  They promised meaningful consultation with everyone affected.  They lied!  And this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Trudeau promised electoral reform.  He lied!

Trudeau promised no pipelines without the consent of indigenous peoples.  He lied!

He promised action on missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.  He lied!

He promised thousands of good, new jobs through massive investment in public works.  He lied!

Trudeau promised to reverse Stephen Harper’s pro-war policies.  Then he sent more soldiers to Eastern Europe, Iraq and Africa, and he increased the military budget by 70%.  So, he lied about all that too!

Should we be surprised?  Heck no!  Bill Morneau doesn’t have to worry about a pension.  He’s a very rich man.

Bill Morneau’s father, Frank Morneau, founded the benefit consulting firm W.F. Morneau & Associates in 1966.  By 1985, the firm had an annual revenue of $5 million. Bill Morneau joined the company in 1987. He was appointed president in 1992, chief executive officer in 1998, and then chair and chief executive officer in 2008.

Morneau Shepell, the largest Canadian human resources services organization, with offices across North America, went from about 200 employees in 1992 to almost 4000 in 2015. The firm bought Sobeco from Ernst & Young in 1997, going public on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2005, and acquired Shepell-FGI in 2008.

So where do you think Bill Morneau’s loyalties lie?  With Main Street, or with Bay Street?

Morneau and the Liberal Party are tools of the capitalist class, which sets out to rob the working class every minute of every day.  Their job is to maximize private profit and minimize social benefits.

But it is labour and nature that create all the wealth.  Socialists say that workers make the country run, so workers should run the country.

When the bosses say they can’t afford to pay Defined Pension Benefits, they are lying.  Socialists say Tax the Rich, tax the giant corporations, seize those hidden offshore bank accounts, nationalize the banks and big oil, cut the war budget, and Hands off our pensions!

The answer to capitalist austerity is socialist revolution.  If you want to see real change in Canada, don’t rearrange the chairs on the deck of the Titanic.  Fight for socialism.  Join Socialist Action!

Hey, hey, ho, ho.  C-27 has got to go!

Hey, hey, ho, ho.  Bill Morneau has got to go!

Rebel Films: Fall 2017

Toronto Socialist Action Presents

REBEL FILMS

OISE, 252 Bloor Street West [at the St. George Station]

Everyone is welcome. $4 Donation Requested

 

Friday, September 22, 7 p.m. @ OISE 5-280

I Am Not Your Negro

1h 33 min | 2017

Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House. Norman Otis Richmond, producer of Diasporic Music on Black Rock, will open the discussion.

Friday, September 29, 7 p.m. @ OISE 5-150

Ukraine on Fire

1h 35 min | 2016 | Documentary

New perspectives on 2014’s Maidan Massacre and the overthrow of Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych. Konstantin Goulich, Russian community activist and long-time observer of events in Ukraine, will lead off the discussion.

Friday, October 6, 7 p.m. @ OISE 5-150

13th

1h 40 min | 2016 | Crime Film/Documentary

Explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that its prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.

Friday, October 13, 7 p.m. @ OISE 5-150

Angry Inuk

1h 25 min | 2016 | Documentary

A Canadian feature-length documentary film that defends the Inuit seal hunt, arguing the hunt is a vital means for Inuit peoples to sustain themselves.

Friday, October 20, 7 p.m. @ OISE 5-280

Migrant Dreams

1h 28 min | 2016 | Documentary

The untold story of migrant agricultural workers who are struggling under Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The film examines the lives of a group of resisting migrant women.

Friday, October 27, 7 p.m. @ OISE 5-150

Every Cook Can Govern: The Life, Impact & Work of CLR James

2h 1 min | 2016 | Documentary

This historical tour-de-force interweaves never-before-seen footage of C.L.R. James and astute analysis from leading scholars of his work.

Friday, November 3, 7 p.m. @ OISE 5-150

From Czar to Lenin

1h 8 min | 1937 | Documentary

A cinematic account of the Russian Revolution. A classic. Barry Weisleder, co-editor of Socialist Action newspaper, will will make a presentation to mark the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.

¡Heather Heyer, presente!

On Sunday August 13, Socialist Action members gathered in solemn solidarity with about 200 like-minded people outside of the United States Consulate to participate in a "Vigil for Charlottesville Anti-Fascists". The event was hosted by the Toronto International Workers of the World General Defence Committee. The group listened to a few short speeches and sang "The Red Flag" and "Solidarity Forever" before marching off to City Hall while angrily chanting "Whose Streets – Our Streets", "Refugees In, Fascist Out", and "Nazi Scum Off Our Streets".

The event was a memorial for Heather Heyer, the young woman who was murdered by an ultra-right terrorist, who drove his car into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters during an August 12 counter-demonstration against the “Unite the Right” rally. In addition to Heather being fatally run-down, more than 30 anti-racist protesters also sustained serious injuries during the course of the day. This attack was preceded by an August 11 torchlight march on the campus of the University of Virginia. The white supremacists and fascists chanted: “White Lives Matter,” “You Will Not Replace Us,” “Jews Will Not Replace Us,” and “Blood and Soil.” The fascists also attacked a smaller group of counter-protesters,using the torches, sticks, pipes, and brass knuckles, while police stood by and just watched.

This terrorist violence and murder is the latest in a series of violent acts from the far-right. In cities across North America, Nazis, white supremacists, and fascists have been going on a violent offensive to attack Muslims, Jews, African-Americans, queer and trans people, as well as left-wing militants. These attacks have been emboldened by the hateful rhetoric spewed by President Donald Trump. All the while our own Prime Minister Trudeau just watches quietly on the sidelines. Enough is enough!

We say:

  • Fascism is not to be debated – it is to be smashed!
  • Build a United Front to stop and defeat the fascists!
  • Solidarity with the brave fighters in Charlottesville and all the victims of fascism!
  • An injury to one is an injury to all.

Heather Hayer, rest in power!

Supplementary items:

Reading recommendation: Socialist Action USA article by Steve Xavier.


On August 14, Socialist Action members attended an anti-fascist rally of about 60 people on University Avenue, across from the U.S. Consulate in Toronto. Many carried signs or wore T-shirts with slogans; and they chanted:

  • Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go.
  • Nazi scum off our streets.
  • Smash racism.
  • No Platform for Fascists.

 

Socialism in the Park comes to a Close

For the second summer in a row, Socialist Action in Toronto hosted Socialism in the Park at the famous Christie Pits.

The series of three presentations and discussions took place on Wednesday evenings, July 26, August 2 and August 9. Presentations were given by Mitchell S. spoke on “Origins of Class and the State”,  “Permanent Revolution, Stalinism and the Transitional Programme” by Julius A. and “Socialism in Canada – an introduction to socialistideas” by Yasin K.

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Attendance and interest surpassed expectations. Despite rain on the first two occasions, the turnout averaged close to forty people.

Lively discussion followed the main talk each time.  Socialist Action members answered many questions, supplemented by great contributions from folks in the audience.  Not only SA members, but activists from other socialist organizations and backgrounds participated as well.

Indeed, discussions were so enjoyable that they continued informally late into the night at a nearby pub.

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This is a time of growth for the radical left.  The appetite for an alternative to Trump and Trudeau, to inequality and injustice, is palpable.  Each week people, especially young workers, are signing up to join SA.  We look forward to working closely with our new members, and planning greater outreach with Rebel Films, with our activities in unions, the NDP, international solidarity, anti-fascist/anti-racist rallies, and yes, with Socialism in the Park next year!