Should Justin Trudeau Resign?

By Barry Weisleder

Should Justin Trudeau resign because he dressed up in blackface and brownface at age 29, when he was a teacher, and earlier, for mocking people of colour and not apologizing for it — until Time magazine exposed him last week?

Well, consider this.

Should Justin have resigned when he amended the law to offer corrupt corporations a Deferred Prosecution Agreement, and leaned on his former Attorney General to let SNC Lavalin off the hook, and then booted her when she refused?

Should Justin have resigned when he spent billions of dollars to buy a leaky pipeline, and pledged to double-track it, against the wishes of Indigenous people whose unceded lands the line traverses?

Should he resign because his policies, including the carbon tax, don’t touch the monopoly power of huge energy corporations, and make a tragic mockery of the modest goals of the Paris Climate Accord?

Should he resign because he blatantly broke his promise that the 2015 federal election would be last ‘first-past-the-post’ vote, to be replaced by a more democratic system of proportional representation?

Should he resign because social inequality has grown, and precarious employment has surged, with no action by his government to make certain that big corporations, giant banks and the super-rich pay significantly more taxes?

Should he resign because he broke the postal workers’ strike in 2018, still hasn’t paid federal public service workers what they are owed, has done nothing to raise the federal minimum hourly wage, or to implement a long-promised national childcare system, or to stop the gouging of consumers by Big Pharma and Big Telecom?

Should he resign because he increased the budget for the Canadian military by 70 per cent, and condones the sale of highly destructive weapons to the authoritarian, misogynist regime in Saudi Arabian, which uses said weapons to perpetrate genocide in Yemen and repression at home?

Should Justin resign because he is waging a one-sided economic war against the democratically elected government of Venezuela, and because Ottawa is a founding member of the Lima Group (which includes repressive, anti-democratic states like Colombia, Guatemala and Honduras) that seek to starve Venezuelans and overthrow their constitutional government? Or because Justin is a prime ally of the Zionist apartheid state and the Hindu chauvinist regime of Narendra Modi in India?

I’d say it was time for Justin Trudeau to resign a long time ago.

But we should be very clear that it is the rotten capitalist system that must go, and not just the pretentious Trudeau.

WAM Conference, September 14

The Workers’ Action Movement conference held on September 14 at the OPSEU Toronto Region Membership Centre was a success. It was very upbeat and forward looking. WAM united allies in the fight for a more democratic and militant labour movement, starting with efforts to field a WAM team for top Ontario Federation of Labour positions to be elected at the OFL Convention in November.

The 25+ people who participated in one or more sessions at the Conference represented and voiced workers’ priorities in OPSEU, CUPE, UNIFOR, Sheet Metal Workers’ Union, CUPW, OSSTF and AMAPCEO, as well as social justice groups like ACORN and OCAP.

SA at Free Kashmir rally, Toronto September 15

Over 100 people braved a steady shower at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square on September 15 to demand an end to the 40-day clampdown on Kashmir, Indian troops Out Now, and Self-Determination for Kashmir.

Socialist Action denounced the complicity of the Trudeau-Freeland government in Ottawa with the repressive, authoritarian, Hindu chauvinist regime of Narandra Modi.

Stop the Education Cuts!

peelcutsSpeech by Daniel Tarade, Member of Socialist Action, PhD Student in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Students are a canary in the coal mine. We are among those vulnerable groups that suffer stresses without buffer. We are already in the midst of a mental health crisis on Ontario college and university campuses. A 2016 National College Health Assessment survey found that 65% of students reported feeling overwhelming levels of anxiety. They found that 46 of students reported difficulty functioning due to depression. Most troubling, one in forty-five students reported a suicide attempt in the previous year. If students are canaries in a coal mine, it is not an exaggeration to say that these canaries are dying. In response to a spate of tragic deaths on the University of Toronto Campus in the 2018-2019 school year, the administration responded by blaming students. That we needed to foster greater resilience. Try yoga. Meditate more. Spend less time on smart phones In their communications with the student body, the University of Toronto never addressed the systemic issues that have brought about an epidemic of  mental health issues. A student-lead, survivor-lead University of Toronto group, Silence is Violence, released a report in early 2019 outlining that at least 10% of students reported being sexually assaulted during their time at the University of Toronto. This rate was higher in marginalized communities, such as the LGBTQ+ community, the indigenous community, and people with disabilities. But that’s not all. Our financial prospects are bleak. Almost 40% of people aged 15 to 24 are unemployed or underemployed and signs are now pointing towards another major recession. History has taught us again and again that recessions hurt youth the most. We are also the first generation to grow up our entire lives under the shadow of catastrophic climate change and knowledge that human extinction is not only possible but probable unless we drastically re-structure our society. This is the context for the Ford government education cuts. Rather than help the struggling student population, we were instead attacked in our vulnerable state.

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IT IS TIME TO NATIONALIZE SCIENTIFIC PUBLISHING IN CANADA

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Scientists for Socialized Publishing

The State of Scientific Publishing in Canada

· Scientists are publically-funded yet most scientific publishers are for-profit. None are democratic.

· Scientists are exploited into providing peer-review without any financial remuneration.

· Copy-editing and formatting is outsourced to the Global South, where workers are paid less than $1 an hour.

· Scientists pay scientific publishers and often are forced to give up their copyright.

· Most scientific journals are closed-access, and scientific articles are hidden behind paywalls.

· Canadian research libraries are forced to spend $80 million CAD a year in subscription costs to scientific publishers.

· The biggest scientific publisher, Elsevier, publishes 16% of scientific literature, and boasts annual profits of over $10 billion CAD with profits margins of 36%.

· Canadian scientists spend $500 million CAD a year in publication fees.

Continue reading IT IS TIME TO NATIONALIZE SCIENTIFIC PUBLISHING IN CANADA

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