Canada

On April 16, a flash flood in Burkina Faso trapped eight miners underground. Six of them were killed, with two of the bodies only being found over a month later, on May 27. Six of the eight miners were from Burkina Faso, one from Zambia, and another from Tanzania. The company responsible is Canadian-based Trevali Mining Corp., which has mines in Burkina Faso, Namibia, as well as New Brunswick. The company is currently valued at 369 million dollars, making it the largest mining company in Burkina Faso.

Gas prices have shot up to around $2 a litre in most of Canada. This marks an increase of 50 per cent since the beginning of the year, and is a huge burden on working class families. Some academics believe that these costs are discretionary, but the reality is that most workers have no choice but to pay these high prices. Canadians are shelling out more and more to simply get to and from work. Workers need a socialist solution to the high cost of gas.

On the weekend of May 21, 2022, the Canadian Marxists who are organized in Fightback/La Riposte socialiste held their largest congress ever. Over 280 people came to Toronto from dozens of cities showing the impressive expansion of the organization over the past couple of years. While the Canadian left is despondent, the mood of this congress contrasted sharply, dominated by enthusiasm and optimism. The Marxists are advancing!

This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the “Maple Spring”, which represents the largest mass movement in the history of Quebec. This student strike mobilized hundreds of thousands of students before becoming a broader movement, which brought down the hated government of Jean Charest. This picture stands in stark contrast to the sorry state of the student movement in recent years.

This weekend saw the twelfth edition of the Montreal Marxist Winter School. For the second year in a row, this must-attend event for North American Marxists had to be held online. Despite the more impersonal nature of the Zoom meetings, the tremendous enthusiasm of the participants was palpable.

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, recently invoked the Emergencies Act, giving the federal government substantial repressive powers. Whilst nominally invoked in response to the chaos caused by the so-called “Freedom Convoy”, such powers will certainly be used against the working class in the future. The workers’ movement must therefore oppose these measures. Only the working class can stop the far right!

As a sign of the growing popularity of revolutionary ideas, the Montreal Marxist Winter School has been growing steadily over the years, to become the largest Marxist event in Quebec and Canada. The 12th edition of the Marxist School will be held on Zoom this weekend, February 19, 20 and 21, 2022.

The so-called Freedom Convoy has dominated headlines for the past few weeks and has been blockading the downtown core around Parliament Hill in Ottawa for a week. While the numbers in the blockade have thinned, there are no signs that they intend to leave anytime soon and many have vowed to stay until their demands for the rescinding of all pandemic health measures are met.

In the current crisis over Ukraine, Canada has not played its usual role as the mild-mannered younger brother of U.S. imperialism. As a recent op-ed in the Toronto Starpointed out, Canada has been “playing the cowboy” and being “unusually hawkish”. Far from unusual, this is entirely consistent with Canada’s typical approach to Ukraine. Posing as a benevolent protector to cover its own imperialist maneuvers, Canada’s denunciations of “Russian aggression” ring with hypocrisy.

The first weeks of the new year have already had their fair share of bleak news. As if the Omicron surge was not enough, working Canadian families can now look forward to a surging grocery bill. Food prices are set to increase between six and eight per cent this year, according to a new report from Dalhousie University.

There is a growing demand for revolutionary ideas as more and more Canadians realize that capitalism has failed. A recent study showed that 35 per cent of the population support moving away from this system, and in the current context it is not hard to see why. It is with this in mind that Fightback magazine recently went fortnightly, meaning we doubled our rate of publication to provide a Marxist analysis on current events every two weeks!

Québec solidaire recently held its national congress. The leadership are on clear a rightward trajectory, seeking to water down the party’s anti-capitalist and socialist traditions in order to “prepare to govern". By this, they mean making the party acceptable to the establishment, and ready to govern within the limits of capitalism.

An unprecedented heat wave has struck western North America. Thousands have died and infrastructure has buckled under the record temperatures set in all regions. The extreme heat has also led to an ecological disaster with upwards of 1 billion maritime animals perishing. But this did not have to happen. The blind profiteering of the capitalist system has created the climate crisis and has completely disarmed us in the face of its effects. 

mass grave containing the remains of 215 children, some as young as three years of age, was discovered at the end of May on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia, Canada. The grisly discovery, the result of a search organized by the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation using ground-penetrating radar, confirms what the survivors and families of victims of the residential school system have known for years—that many of the children forced into

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Image: La Riposte sindicale

After a five–day strike that began on April 26, the Trudeau government deprived the dockers of CUPE 375 of their right to strike through passing back–to–work legislation. The union executive chose not to defy the law and agreed to return to work on Sunday, May 2. Even if the dispute is not settled, this government of the bosses has taken away these workers’ best weapon. At some point, someone, somewhere, will have to dare to challenge the use of unjust and undemocratic back–to–work legislation.

The mobilization of the dockers at the Port of Montreal is reaching a critical point. With the strike only beginning, the Trudeau Liberals, with the full support of the CAQ at the provincial level, are moving to take away the democratic right to strike. We cannot let another strike be crushed through the use of back-to-work legislation.

Normally, the monarchy is the least of the concerns of working-class Canadians and Quebecers. But occasionally, a new scandal reminds us that this archaic, useless, and anti-democratic institution continues to be at the heart of the Canadian political system. It goes without saying that Marxists are the strongest advocates of the abolition of the monarchy and the Senate. But how can this be done?

The province of Ontario in Canada is experiencing a massive spike in COVID-19 infections as a direct result of the right-wing, pro-business policies of the regional Doug Ford administration. Working-class people are overwhelmingly bearing the brunt of the suffering. The comrades of Fightback – the Canadian section of the International Marxist Tendency – and other supporters of the Ontario Coalition Against Ford, have co–authored an appeal to the mass labor organizations in the province to organize a mass work refusal. The campaign is developing a head of steam in the labour movement, including the support of senior labour movement activists, and will be holding its Action Launch

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