Canada

Canada has stood almost alone on the international stage, going so far as to say that Zelaya should not return back to Honduras. This should not come as a huge shock for Canadians as the Canadian state has been pursuing an increasingly interventionist role in Latin American affairs for a while now.

On 5th June 2009 the Quebec Marxists launched a new publication, La Riposte (the Fightback). The launch of La Riposte is of extreme significance for the work of the Marxists in Québec. By having a French paper, the Marxists are able to diffuse their ideas to the broadest layers of the overwhelmingly francophone working class and youth.

On Thursday, the 4th of June, the Société Bolivarienne du Québec/Hands off Venezuela held a public conference on the subject “From Caracas to Montreal: Another World Is Possible.”

Here, Joel Bergman of the La Riposte editorial board presents the view of the Quebec Marxists on the National question. He outlines that there is a huge difference between the “sovereignty” of the workers and the sovereignty of the bosses and the Parti Québécois leadership.

Today, the corporate media and the creators of public opinion try to present Canada as a peaceful land where class struggle has played no role. The fact is that workers in the past have fought, and even died, to gain their rights and will do so again in the future. The 1919 Winnipeg general strike was one example.

Marxists in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver were active in intervening at May Day rallies this past weekend. We publish here reports and pictures from the three cities.

The Fightback Editorial Board is presenting this draft document for discussion amongst Canadian workers, youth and revolutionaries. Here they explain how Canada is not immune to the crisis of capitalism. The task of this document is to gauge the impact of the economic crisis on consciousness and politics so that revolutionaries may orientate their forces for maximum effect.

On Tuesday, March 17th, a group of 80 workers in the industrial town of Windsor, Ontario, occupied the Aradco auto parts plant. This occupation marks the re-awakening of the occupied factories movement in Canada and is an important turning point in the ongoing crisis of the North American auto industry.

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has just declared his intention to support the Conservative budget. In response, an angry Jack Layton said that the NDP-Liberal coalition has been replaced by a Liberal-Conservative coalition. However, we don't know why he is so angry. When the NDP leadership bailed out the Liberals through the unprincipled coalition they gave the Liberals the opportunity to save the Conservatives. Canada has been through two months of intense political turmoil and it is important to take a balance sheet of events.

Despite the new majority Liberal government in Quebec, the defeat of the chauvinist ADQ and the victory of Amir Khadir of Quebec Solidaire are important wins for the working class. Solidaire must now use this platform to wage a fightback againt the inevitable atacks from the Liberals and capitalists in Quebec.

Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has just shut down Parliament until the end of January. However, it appears that this blatantly undemocratic act is popular across the country. Why? Because the maneuvers of all the parties have completely disgusted Canadians. The sell-out deal between Liberal leader Dion and NDP leader Layton was completely incapable of raising any enthusiasm amongst the working class.

With the financial crisis as a backdrop, Stephen Harper’s minority Conservative government may not survive another week. Less than two months after the last election the government is facing a confidence vote on its budget update and all three opposition parties say they will vote against. Rumours are rife of a Liberal-NDP coalition to replace the Conservatives. The Conservatives must be defeated, but there can be no coalition with the bosses’ parties.

Teaching assistants, graduate assistants and research assistants at York University in Toronto have been on strike since November 6th. York University workers have traditionally been amongst the most militant in Canada. Recently, thousands of students demonstrated for lower fees in numbers not seen in a decade and many other campus workers are heading into possible strikes. Therefore this strike has the potential of becoming the spark that ignites a generalized movement.

Canada has another minority government. Both the Conservatives and the union-supported New Democratic Party increased their support at the expense of the Liberals. However, none of the parties were able to give any answer to the current financial crisis. Faced with a lack of real solutions, workers stayed home in historic numbers with only 59% coming out to vote. The polarization in the electorate is an indicator of increased class struggle as the world heads into economic turmoil.

The International Marxist Tendency in Quebec has released the following statement on the federal election. "It’s time to break with the parties of the bosses, in French and in English. Whether at the provincial or federal levels, we have to rise above national differences, refuse to be divided, and insist on a single, united socialist movement across Québec and Canada. Only a united, internationalist movement can overthrow capitalism and lay the basis for a truly free, socialist Québec."

October 14th will be Canada’s 3rd election in just four years. After an entire year of speculation that the government could fall at any minute, it was Stephen Harper who broke his own fixed election date promise and pulled the plug. We are facing harder and harder times but do any of the parties have a solution to the problems workers face?

For a week now, Montreal has been boiling with rage. The unprovoked murder of 18-year-old Freddy Villanueva, by agents of the Montreal Police Service, catalyzed an explosion that has been building for years. Police attacks on peaceful demonstrators sparked a riot.

Workers in British Columbia have seen their pulp, paper, and lumber mills closing at an alarming rate, leaving thousands jobless and facing an uncertain future. Whole communities have been devastated as large forestry companies such as Interfor and Canfor pull out operations and ship jobs overseas where labour is cheaper.

Two weeks after a new contract in which GM bosses promised no more layoffs and no more plant closures until 2011, in exchange for a wage freeze and other concessions, they have now announced closure! The profit motive is stronger than any rotten deal the union tops can broker with the bosses and they are prepared to break the law to do so. Workers will be drawing some bitter lessons from this experience.
Join us