Photo by Spencer Tweedy (Flickr Creative Commons) Ontario’s back-to-school season is going to be especially disruptive for families later this year. Those of us with an interest in the state of our schools, and the well-being of children and the people who help support them, need to get ready—and get to work.
Inequality and poverty
Since late last year, tens of thousands of French have hit the streets in protest of the country’s rising cost of living and shrinking opportunities. Many of these gilets jaunes protesters, named after the yellow safety jackets they wear in public, rely on their vehicles to get to work, or to do their work. President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed carbon tax, which would have added painfully to the cost of working in France, was the final straw.
Over the past seven years Canadians have been bombarded with a steady stream of nationalist commemorative projects. In 2012, the Conservative Harper government did its best to convince us that the War of 1812 was a proto-national conflict in which a Canadian identity was forged on the field of battle. Commemorations of the centenary of the First World War followed the same format—the war was all bravery and nation building without any of the futility, let alone class conflict, which defined public debate at the time. This continued even after the Liberals took office in 2015.
The centenary of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike offers a unique opportunity to revisit Canada’s largest and most significant sympathy strike.
For six weeks in May and June 1919, approximately 35,000 workers in the Prairie city of Winnipeg walked off the job to voice their frustration with a range of issues, from a lack of collective bargaining rights and union recognition to increasing inequality. Indeed, the strike was part of a broader wave of worker revolts that swept across Canada and the world in 1919, as working people in numerous Canadian cities and countries used the strike—the withdrawal of labour power—to push for change.
This May, Canada marks the 100th anniversary of the Winnipeg General Strike, when tens of thousands of people walked off their jobs in sympathy and solidarity with building and metal trades workers whose employers were refusing to bargain for fair wages and working conditions.Though the strike failed in its immediate goals, the example it set reverberated across the country and the world, inspiring political upheaval at all levels in Canada, and ultimately transforming the balance of power between workers and the bosses for many generations.
VICTORIA—A new, more generous child benefit for children under 18, funding the CleanBC climate plan and capital investments in infrastructure around the province are positive elements of BC Budget 2019, but more ambitious action is still needed for middle and low income British Columbians, says the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office.
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Last year, the BC government made a landmark investment to begin addressing the affordability crisis in child care. A new report released by CCPA this week shows just how urgently needed those measures were (and continue to be).