Illustration by Katie Raso
Public services and privatization
A decade after the worst financial crash since the Great Depression, a fragile recovery is obscuring threats—some new, some as old as capitalism—to Canadian workers and the broader economy. In this first part of a two-part feature on the fallout of that crisis, the Monitor looks at the financial flows, government revenue shortfalls and austerity plans that undermine our ability to handle another sudden shock. Here's a sample of what you'll find inside this issue:
Illustration by Katie Raso Ten years from the onset of the Great Financial Crisis, and eight after the “turn to austerity,” provides a useful vantage point. From here we can clearly see how austerity quickly succeeded the panic-driven experimentation with economic stimulus of the 2008-09 period.
According to a popular apocryphal tale, the United States and Soviet Union both realized during the space race that a standard pen would not work in orbit. NASA spent millions of dollars to develop an “anti-gravity” pen that would. The Soviets used a pencil.
Here at the CCPA, we're constantly thinking about what needs to change in our lives, our economy and our ways of governing to make society more equitable, and life more fulfilling, for the greatest number of people. Broadly speaking, you could say our mandate is transition, the theme of this summer edition of the Monitor. By transition we mean a fair and just progression from today's extractives-based, exhausting and unequal economy to a more sustainable, pro-worker and frankly more human future.
Energy. It is the perennial election issue in Ontario, and for good reasons. A series of provincial decisions spanning decades has led to long-term structural problems in the electricity sector. As a result, since 2010, electricity prices have risen dramatically. Predictably, so has inequality and energy poverty.
Picketers outside George Brown College’s King Street campus in Toronto on November 15, 2017 (Photos by Manzur Malik)
Rush hour at Yonge and Bloor has been rough for some time now (Photo by Tibor Kolley/The Globe and Mail)
Is your income secure? Do you swipe your credit card at the supermarket without really looking at how much you’re spending? Can you pay all your bills every month? Can you afford your medication? Do your kids have the clothes, shoes and school supplies they need? Is your home safe and warm?