Ontario gets $0.75 for every $1 million in Diamonds mined by De Beers

We found out yesterday that De Beers paid only $226 in royalties to the Ontario government for the company’s diamond mining operation in the province, thanks to an investigation by CBC’s Rita Celli. The reason that Celli had to do an investigation to find that number is because the royalties collected from Ontario’s only diamond mine has been a closely guarded secret, by the government and the company. But just how much did De Beers make from the Victor Mine? The mining company annually extracts 714,000 carats of diamonds at $419 per… 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

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

Liberals in Action: Privatization of Hydro One

The Ontario Liberals under Kathleen Wynne’s leadership are finishing what the Tory government of Mike Harris started: the privatization of Hydro One. While the newly elected federal Liberal government remains in a honeymoon period under a facade of progressive politics, the Liberals in Ontario are revealing their real character as the sweethearts of Bay Street through this fire sale of the crown corporation. The first phase of the Liberals’ privatization plan began in the first week of November 2015, with the sale of 15 per cent of Hydro One to the tune… Read More

Ontario Liberals Scheme to Privatize Hydro One

From People’s Voice The battle against privatization in Ontario is gathering steam as the Liberal government moves to sell Hydro One – the largest supplier of publicly owned and controlled electricity in North America. The privatization was hidden in the budget presented in April with little fanfare. The government knew the move would be unpopular, as the Harris Tories had tried to do the same thing in 2002, only to be forced to back off by an irate public. So Premier Wynne proposed to sell off 60%, and “keep” 40%, claiming this… Read More

Brampton Rejects Austerity in Health Sector

From People’s Voice At a Feb. 15 People’s Voice public forum on the topic “Health Under Attack”, Brampton, Ontario residents spoke out strongly against austerity policies in the health care sector. Among the speakers at the forum was Doug Allan, a researcher and board member of the Ontario Health Coalition. Allan said that globalization of finance capital since the late ‘80s has created havoc worldwide, including accelerated privatization of the public sector. Private capital has systematically targeted the health sector to created a deliberate crisis, so that hospitals and related health facilities… Read More

Ontario Communists Launch Recruitment Drive

From People’s Voice Across Ontario, clubs and activists are organizing to build the Communist Party in their cities, on campuses, in workplaces. In fact, Communists are fighting to change the world, and to build a strong revolutionary party, and a powerful labour and people’s movement. According to the CPC’s Ontario Committee, change is in the air. There is an urgent demand for jobs, rising wages and living standards, affordable housing, strong universal and comprehensive social programs including Medicare, childcare, accessible post-secondary education, and a Canada Pension Plan that kicks in at age… Read More

Ontario Judges Declare that Housing is Not a Human Right

From People’s Voice The first week of 2015 was bitterly cold in Toronto. The first week also saw the homeless population of the city decline ‑ not due to the housing policies of newly elected mayor, John Tory, or better affordability of rental housing. It dropped because two of Toronto’s homeless froze to death. Mayor Tory and his Public Health department argued about when an “extreme cold weather alert” should be announced, and by whom. Tory also announced that two additional warming centres would be opened. Activists in the Ontario Coalition against… Read More

3, 000 Protest Hospital Closures, Privatization, and Extra Fees

From People’s Voice More than 3,000 people turned out Oct. 21 for a Queen’s Park rally and march past some of the biggest hospitals in Toronto, to protest the Wynne government’s drive to close hospitals across the province, privatize the clinics that operate inside them, and allow widespread and illegal extra‑billing for services covered by OHIP. About 20 buses brought protestors from Windsor, Sudbury, Ottawa, Niagara Falls, and other communities in the middle of a cold work day, to express their anger at the Legislature. Torontonians also came to make their views… Read More