Canada

On 8 July, federal finance minister Bill Morneau announced that the deficit had ballooned to an astronomical $343 billion. The total government debt load is predicted to surpass $1 trillion for the first time in Canadian history, reaching $1.2 trillion sometime next year. This unprecedented level of government spending begs the question: When will the shit hit the fan?

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all parts of society and has thrown hundreds of millions out of work globally. However, a closer look reveals that women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Women workers play a key role in health care, child care, elder care, and teaching while experiencing low wages, insecure employment, and domestic and sexual violence—all of which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Since the spread of COVID-19 began in Canada, there has been a huge surge in opioid-related overdoses across the country. This spike in overdoses is directly connected to the scaling back of resources for those struggling with opioid addiction. This is just another example of how COVID-19 has taken all the problems of capitalist society and exacerbated them, affecting the most downtrodden layers the hardest.

The recent deaths of three migrant workers in Canada from COVID-19 have once again shed light on the horrific abuse and exploitation of workers under Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Packed like sardines into overcrowded bunkhouses and workplaces with little regard for their health and no rights or protections, migrant workers have contracted COVID-19 at a far higher rate than the rest of the population. Far from being a new phenomenon, the situation is part of the long saga of Canadian capitalism killing migrant workers for the sake

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“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Finding ourselves at the beginning of a new depression, interest in the last one has increased considerably. In this in-depth study of the Great Depression, Alex Grant (editor of marxist.ca) details the crash, the response of the ruling class, and how the workers fought back.

The protest movement sparked by the brutal police murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minneapolis has spread around the world. In over 20 countries, workers and youth marched and demonstrated against racism, both in the USA and locally. Comrades of the IMT have been participating in these protests, raising slogans for the revolutionary overthrow of the inherently racist capitalist system.

According to federal officials, the Trudeau government has finished with the emergency response phase to COVID-19 and now is moving onto the “recovery” phase. But the prospects for a healthy recovery are not looking good. The fact is that the coronavirus pandemic has only served as the knockout punch to a weak and feeble system. 

Normally during May supporters of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) in Canada and Quebec organize an annual congress. Last year over 160 attended. The COVID lockdown forced us to cancel this face-to-face meeting, but the struggle continues. In its place, we organized an online Marxist school which was a resounding success. This bilingual event united Marxists from across the country and was the largest meeting the IMT has ever organized in Canada! More than 300 participated over three days, with approximately 250 attending

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As the COVID-19 pandemic extends into April, the conditions for working class people in Canada continue to deteriorate. Federal and provincial governments continue to prioritize business interests over workers’ lives despite the exponential growth of confirmed cases in Canada, now more than 11,000 infections and over 130 deaths.

In order to understand what is to come it is necessary to understand what came before. In January and February 2020 the Fightback editorial board drafted the following perspectives document. This piece outlined the general processes in Canadian politics and economy in order to orient the activity of revolutionaries. Most notably it detailed the coming economic crash that would impact Canada especially hard. We said that all this crash needed was a spark to set it off, but we didn’t know what that spark would be or exactly when it would strike. Now we know that the spark was the COVID-19 pandemic.

After years of debate, state discrimination against religious minorities has been enshrined in law in Quebec with the adoption of Bill 21. Unfortunately, opposition to this bill has been confused to say the least. While the left and the workers movement have generally opposed this law, no one seems to know what to do. Up until March last year, Quebec solidaire was arguing for a compromise position and

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Members of the indigenous Wet’suwet’en Nation and their supporters are locked in struggle over a planned pipeline to be built through their territory. As explained here, the full force of the Canadian state has been brought to bear against the protesters. The following article explores Wet’suwet’en struggle, the mood of anger it has tapped into, the protest movement it has provoked, and the way forward. 

The full weight of the Canadian state is coming down on the Indigenous people of the Wet’suwet’en Nation in northern British Columbia, along with their supporters. On Jan. 13, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) began their attack by setting up a roadblock on Wet’suwet’en territory, blocking the entrance for the population of the territory, the media, and food supplies. The Canadian government sent them to defend an injunction prohibiting interference with the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory. The situation escalated on Feb. 6 when the RCMP raided one of the land defenders’ camps, arresting six Indigenous activists. At the time of

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The annual Montreal Marxist Winter School was a resounding success, once again breaking the participation record. More than 250 people registered for the school, which took place on the weekend of February 15-16 and marked the 10th anniversary of this yearly event. People came from all over Canada and the United States to participate in what has become the largest Marxist gathering in Canada.

Join our Canadian comrades for the 10th annual Montreal Marxist Winter School on 15-6 February 2020! The theme for the 2020 school will be “The fight against imperialism.” We have a great line up of presentations based on this theme with a series of international speakers we will be bringing into Montreal to lead these discussions.

A line has been drawn in the sand. Finally, a union is defying unjust laws. The 760 workers of Unifor Local 594 and Unifor national president Jerry Dias are holding their ground in the dispute with Co-op Refinery in Regina and are saying that they will not obey a court injunction against hard pickets. This is a decisive turning point in the class struggle in Canada. It is beholden on the entire labour movement to rally to the support of Unifor in this struggle, and spread the movement to defeat this brazen attack.

After a miserable Canadian election campaign, everyone can be seen as losers. The Liberals now have a tarnished image and hold the record of forming a minority government with the weakest mandate ever. Despite Liberal weakness, Conservative austerity policies were unpopular and did not allow them to make the gains they expected. The New Democratic Party lost almost half its seats and the Greens failed to make a breakthrough. The only party that can be happy is the nationalist Bloc Quebecois. But above all it is the working class that has lost in this election. There is no enthusiasm for any of the political options currently facing Canadians.

On Wednesday, 25 September, Ryerson students organised a historic mass meeting. This general assembly, the first organised in English Canada in decades, marks an enormous step forward in the struggle against Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s cuts to higher education. In this mass meeting of more than 200 students, the proposal for a one-day student strike on 6 November was put forward and passed with an overwhelming majority.