Canada

For 30 years the NDP (the Canadian Labour Party) has been swinging to the right. If this process were to continue it would put at risk the very position of the party as the expression of the Canadian working class. Now, as the effects of the world crisis are weighing heavily on Canadian society, within the NDP there is an attempt to take the party back to the values it was originally built on.

We are entering a new period where an economic recovery will actually bring more attacks on workers, and this will have a transformative effect on the working class movement and their organizations, specifically the trade unions and their labour parties. The old leaderships with their old ideas who tried to reach conciliation with the bosses will need to be replaced. Workers will need to push for a new leadership that is willing to fight and get them real tangible gains in their struggles. In Ontario, we are already seeing the beginnings of this in the labour movement.

This summer, the Marxists in Quebec launched their French paper, La Riposte. La Riposte is a paper that speaks for all sections of the working class in Quebec; the International Marxist Tendency is proud to announce the launch of this new website, www.marxiste.qc.ca, and we wish the comrades every success in their struggle for a socialist Quebec, a socialist Canada, and a socialist world. Read here a statement of La Riposte (Quebec) editorial board.

The weather wasn't the only thing that was hot this summer. A series of confrontations between workers and the bosses this summer showed that despite the fact that many workers are fearing for their jobs and their livelihoods, they would not idly sit back while the bosses, the banks, and the government attempted to attack workers' living standards.

The 2009 Federal Convention of the New Democratic Party of Canada was held in Halifax recently. Normally, the party uses federal conventions to showcase its strengths. At the 2006 Convention in Quebec City, the party took a stand against the war in Afghanistan and passed its “troops out” policy. However, the convention in Halifax was markedly different in both form and content. There was not even the remotest mention of any policy that could be considered a new plank for the party’s platform.

The effects of the economic crisis have hit Canadian workers hard over the last year. Going into this summer's federal NDP convention, the NDP needs to stand up for workers and not enter into any more coaltions with the bosses' parties.

Fightback and IMT activists have participated in numerous demonstrations and events in solidarity with the Iranian Revolution in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. In Toronto, Fightback organized a very successful panel discussion the beginning of the Iranian Revolution.

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.
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