Hillary the Hawk

Despite being an icon for many liberals and an anathema to the Republican right, former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s positions on the Middle East have more closely resembled those of the latter than the former. Her hawkish views go well beyond her strident support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and subsequent occupation and counter-insurgency war. From Afghanistan to Western Sahara, she has advocated for military solutions to complex political problems, backed authoritarian allies and occupying armies, dismissed war crimes, and opposed political involvement by the… Read More

Ontario Budget: Liberals Hide Austerity behind “Free Education”

On February 25, the Ontario Liberals unveiled their budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year. The centrepiece of the 346-page document was a pledge to make post-secondary education free for families earning under $50,000 a year. The working poor have cause to celebrate: Premier Kathleen Wynne’s “activist” government seems to be finally living up to its name – but is it really? Or is this budget just another example of “talking left and governing right”? Free Education? Under the new Ontario Student Grant (OSG), students from families earning under $50,000 a year will… Read More

Why Does the West Hate North Korea?

Photo of Pyongyang before and after U.S. bombing New sanctions, and once again, new US-ROK military exercises right next door; new intimidations and new insults. For no other reason than because the country that never attacked anyone, is still determined to defend itself against appalling military, economic and propaganda provocations. How much more can one country endure? More than 60 years ago, millions of people above the 38th parallel died, were literally slaughtered by the US-led coalition. After that, after its victory, the North Korea was never left in peace. The West has… Read More

Democratic Party Nomination is Far from Democratic

In case the result of the popular vote displeases the Democratic Party elite, a unique trick kicks in to keep the establishment in control. It is called super delegates, and they are already weighing heavy and early in the primaries. Like the general election itself, the winner is not ultimately decided by the popular vote. The nominee is selected by delegates to the Democratic National Convention in July. Most voting attendees at the national convention are “pledged” delegates who were chosen through a primary vote or caucus, but there are also super… Read More

Canada among the most Sued Countries by Corporations

Canada is the most-sued country under the North American Free Trade Agreement and a majority of the disputes involve investors challenging environmental laws, according to a new study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Over 70 per cent of claims since 2005 have been brought against Canada, and the number of challenges under NAFTA’s settlement clause is rising sharply. A Huffington Post story by Sunny Freeman on the CCPA report says that the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism contained in NAFTA’s chapter 11 grants investors the right to sue foreign governments without… Read More

Trudeau ‘Unsure’ About Raising the Minimum Wage

What does Prime Minister Justin Trudeau think about raising the minimum wage? During a series of interviews with ordinary Canadians aired on CBC Sunday night, Trudeau shared his reservations about provincial initiatives to raise the minimum wage, telling a struggling, low-wage worker he questions if that means “everything just gets more expensive or we have jobs leaving.” Neil Piercey was one ‘ordinary Canadian’ who got an opportunity to grill Trudeau. Piercey is a 58-year-old worker from London, Ontario who was laid off from a long-time, good paying manufacturing job, but now finds… Read More

More Black Men in Prison Today Than Enslaved in 1850

“More Black men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” Michelle Alexander told a standing room only house at the Pasadena Main Library, the first of many jarring points she made in a riveting presentation. Alexander, currently a law professor at Ohio State, had been brought in to discuss her bestseller, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Interest ran so high beforehand that the organizers had to move the event to a location that could accommodate the eager… Read More

Trudeau Official Compared Student Protesters with Nazis

Canada’s new top civil servant will bring a unique understanding of Godwin’s Law to the Privy Council. Michael Wernick, appointed Clerk of the Privy Council by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week and tasked with leading the renewal of Canada’s public service, compared Carleton University students peacefully protesting a proposed tuition fee increase to “Brownshirts and Maoists” last year. Wernick is a member of Carleton University’s Board of Governors. According to a mass e-mail CC’d to 18 different people last April and subsequently published by Carleton’s Graduate Students Association, the Prime Minister’s #1 non-partisan advisor declared the protest had “no… Read More

The Austerity Agenda in Sheep’s Clothing

Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

As we go into the New Year with Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Government in place, it’s worth noting that the struggle against poverty in Toronto now unfolds with a complete set of federal, provincial and municipal regimes all seeking to position themselves politically as moderate if not progressive. This has particular implications and poses particular challenges in terms of effectively resisting austerity, poverty and social abandonment. There is, of course, an implication in the last sentence I just used. At none of the levels of government we face can we seriously imagine that… Read More

TPP Will Cost Canada 58,000 Jobs, Won’t Grow Economy

TPP

Even the loudest advocates of the Trans-Pacific Partnership concede that the macroeconomic benefits for Canada will be small, as we have written before. Canada’s former trade minister promised a $3.5 billion boost to the Canadian economy—a fraction of a percent—if the massive trade treaty goes ahead. The most optimistic forecasts, including a recent report from the World Bank, point to an increase of around 1% to the Canadian economy by the year 2030. Nevertheless, business groups, right wing think tanks and other TPP cheerleaders have been singing the deal’s praises, downplaying its clear harms and calling for its timely ratification. These… Read More