Category Archives: Poverty

ACORN versus Payday Loan Sharks


by Rob McBean

In times of crisis, they say the world loves an authoritarian. Those who were around for September 11, 2001 will remember that idiotic Republican U.S. President George W. Bush’s approval rating went from 50% to 90% in under 2 weeks.

Today’s doomsday scenario, the COVID-19 pandemic, has given Ontario its own strongman to admire. Premier Doug (the Thug) Ford has enjoyed a similar surge in public opinion. At the end of 2019 several polls showed Premier Ford’s popularity cratering in the 20s. Today it is at 83 percent.

Continue reading ACORN versus Payday Loan Sharks

34th Annual SA Celebration of International Workers’ Day

Webcast 34th Annual SA Celebration of International Workers’ Day, Saturday, May 2, 7 p.m.  with a number of speakers and entertainers, chaired by Elizabeth Byce.



with guest speakers:

John Clarke, co-founder, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.
Naila Saeed, Indocanadians4humanity.
Dirka Prout, co-chair of NDP Women’s Council, member of Socialist Caucus steering ctte.
Yvonne Hanson, climate justice activist and SA leading member in Vancouver, B.C.
Luis Acuna Cedeno, Charge D’Affaires, Venezuela Embassy.
Jeff Mackler, SA USA national secretary and its candidate for President.
Hammam Farah, Executive member, Palestine House.
Nigel Barriffe, Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario.
A message from the Cuban Consul General in Toronto
Barry Weisleder, Federal Secretary, Socialist Action.
M.C.: Elizabeth Byce, federal Treasurer, NDP Socialist Caucus, and retired member of the Toronto Local, Canadian Union of Postal Workers

Celebrate with entertainers: HOTCHA! with Beverly Kreller and Howard Druckman; James Gordon, singer/songwriter, playwright, community activist, Guelph City Councillor, and theatre director; poets Giovanna Riccio and George Elliot Clarke; the SPECIAL INTEREST group; Glen Hornblast, folk singer on the social justice scene; Bill Heffernan; Emily Steers, music student and soprano, and YC Lee, operatic singer.

You can watch and listen to the show live-stream by clicking on it at the SA website or enjoy it later via the SA YouTube channel.

For more information, including links to past webcasts and other videos, go regularly to:
For answers to your specific questions, and/or to join Socialist Action, write to:


#socialism #socialist #SocialistAction #revolution #capitalism #MayDay #music #workersday #cdnpoli #generalstrike #peopleoverprofit

New push to raise welfare rates and socialist ideas in NB


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. 

Tough choices for low-wage families

A report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative found the richest half of Ontario families raising children took home 81 per cent of earnings in 2013-2015, leaving the bottom half to share 19 per cent.

The gap has widened from a 78-22 ratio, in 2000 to 2002.

For families in the bottom half, the rise in precarious and low wage work has meant touch choices.

“If your kids have a field trip, you’re in trouble, if your kids have a growth spurt, you’re in trouble,” said Isabella Daley, whose daughters are now 19 and 24 and living at home.

Even trips to the grocery store can mean choosing between shampoo and household cleaning supplies, said Daley, who advocates for living wages through the Hamilton Round-table for Poverty Reduction.

Bill 148, the so-called Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, proposes raising the minimum wage from $11.40 to $15 by 2019, along with changes supposedly to make it easier to join a union.  Socialists advocate $18 an hour minimum wage now, and automatic union certification in every work place where over 50 per cent of the employees sign up to join a union.