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An appeal against sectarianism: Whisper campaign weakens York University left

CUPE3903The campaign against Doug Ford’s anti-protest law has been a huge success. There have been well-attended and enthusiastic forums at McMaster U., University of Waterloo, and UofTThe protest at Ryerson University attracted more than 100 people and received wide press coverage. The campaign even provoked an attack from the National Post. Subsequently, the pressure of mobilization has forced Ryerson Senate into retreat and confusion, while the UofT Student union has adopted a bold resolution that refuses to participate in its implementation, as have the Toronto and York Region Labour Council and various union locals.

Ford guts minimum wage: How to fight him (and how not to)

Doug Ford unveils $106,000 Open for Business sign (Source: news.ontario.ca)After months of threats, Premier Doug Ford’s Tory government has at last tabled its central, planned attack on the working class with Bill 47, the Making Ontario Open for Business Act. If passed, it will reverse nearly every legal reform won by the labour movement in the past decade, and it must be fought tooth and nail. 

A Tale of Two Cities: The Toronto and Vancouver municipal elections

Kennedy Stewart winner of the Vancouver Election. (Photo Credit: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… In Vancouver, the right wing NPA was defeated in the mayoralty by a former NDP MP, combined with a strong showing for the left wing Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE). But in Toronto, former Progressive Conservative leader John Tory won a landslide 63%, while white nationalist Faith Goldy came in third with over 3% of the votes. What can the Toronto left learn from Vancouver so this miserable result is not repeated?

Doug Ford rips up labour rights and the minimum wage

Doug FordOntario Premier Doug Ford’s assault on workers’ rights continued on Tuesday, Oct. 2 as he announced his intention to scrap new labour protections implemented by the previous government. Bill 148, “The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act”, provided workers with new protections against precarious scheduling, and contained provisions which included an increase in the minimum wage to $15/hour, equal pay for part-time and casual workers, guaranteed vacation days, protections for workers who required days off due to sexual assault and domestic violence, protection for temp agency workers, and provisions which removed some barriers to forming a union.

Students denounce anti-protest law at Ryerson Senate meeting

stop ford anti protest billOn Oct. 2, the Ryerson University Senate held a preliminary discussion on the implementation of a "free speech" statement as mandated by the Ford government. This statement included language that would limit student protest, which as we have explained elsewhere, is the true aim of Ford's directive. In response, activists with Socialist Fightback Students (SFS) organized an emergency protest outside the meeting room, addressing the Senate shortly thereafter.

Ontario high school walkout: Youth speak out on sex ed

Students at Bloor Collegiate Institute rallying in Toronto on Friday to protest the sex ed curriculum. (Photo Credit: Nathan Denette/ The Canadian Press)On Friday, Sept. 21, more than 38,000 high school students from at least 75 schools across Ontario walked out of classes in the largest such demonstration that Canada has ever seen. The walkout was staged over the Doug Ford government’s repeal of the 2015 sex-ed curriculum, as well as his rejection of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations regarding Indigenous education. In the wake of the curriculum repeal, schools will be forced to use the entirely inadequate 1998 curriculum, which omits topics such as consent, bullying, gender identity and sexual orientation, and the proper medical names of genitalia.

The $15 billion deficit: Ford uses ‘shock and awe’ to ram through austerity

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli with Premier Doug Ford  (Photo Credit: RICHARD LAUTENS / TORONTO STAR)On Sept. 21, Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli announced that the $6.7-billion deficit his government inherited from Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals for 2018-2019 was in fact $15 billion—more than double the anticipated amount. Sadly, this remarkable discovery also came with grave consequences. “The truth may not be much fun, but at least you know it’s the truth,” Fedeli said. “The task ahead is not an easy one. The hole is deep and it will require everyone to make sacrifices without exception.” The message was clear: deep cuts are coming, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Doug Ford flouts Charter, throws Toronto elections into chaos

Doug Ford declaring he will use the notwithstanding clause to pass Bill 5 (PHOTO CREDIT: Vice News)Premier Doug Ford has announced that he will go ahead with his plan to slash the Toronto City Council from 47 members to 25, defying the recent court ruling which declared his move unconstitutional by invoking the “notwithstanding” clause in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Ford’s move marks the first time in Ontario’s history that this clause has been used. While it should come as a surprise to no one that Doug Ford has little respect for democratic rights or procedural niceties, the degree to which he is willing to tear up the Charter for petty, personal vendettas against his former colleagues at city council is almost stunning. This gives us a clear glimpse into what we can expect from Ford’s attacks on the working class in the coming years: ruthless slash and burn, while running roughshod over democratic rights.

Defend the right to strike!

York University contract faculty go on strike. (Photo Credit: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)The right to strike is under attack in Ontario. On July 25, legislation was passed by a vote of 69-40 ending the strike of almost 2000 teaching assistants at York University. The Ford government, in power for only two months, has sent a message to Ontario workers that he is ready to violate their democratic right to strike in order to carry out his rotten agenda. By making an example of the teaching assistants, Ford hopes that other workers will be intimidated from going on strike themselves. If not, it won’t be long before they too face back-to-work legislation. It’s these sorts of thug tactics that workers can expect from the “People’s Premier” over the next four years.

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