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

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

Hundreds of Temporary Foreign Workers Sue Mac’s Stores

Hundreds of temporary foreign workers have launched a class action lawsuit against Mac’s Convenience Stores, claiming they paid more than $8,000 to get jobs in Canada that did not exist. The notice of claim, filed with the B.C. Supreme Court, alleges that from December 2009 onwards the workers were recruited in Dubai to work at Mac’s stores in B.C., Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. But, the claim says, when the workers arrived in Canada, they found the more than 425 jobs they had been contracted… Read More

Real Existing Capitalism and the Challenge for an Alternative

From People’s Voice There are times and certain processes in the production of human needs that have become the catalyst for change in society, a change in which the old order of doing things – whether it is ruling, governing, trading, building, creating, destroying, or a myriad of different complexities that steer human development – are incapable of satisfying, or can no longer satisfy, the new social and productive forces in society. Over time, what once was the exception to the rule becomes the rule, and those that once dominated and steered… Read More

Canada loses 19,700 jobs in April, unemployment still at 6.8 per cent

From Canadian Labour Reporter OTTAWA (Reuters) — Canada’s economy shed 19,700 jobs in April as losses in part-time work offset gains in full-time positions, while the unemployment rate remained at 6.8 per cent, Statistics Canada said on Friday. Analysts had expected a net job loss of 5,000 positions. The data highlighted that Canada is still struggling to boost employment some six years after the end of the Great Recession. Part-time employment dropped by 66,500 jobs, the biggest fall since the loss of 77,500 posts in March 2011. Full-time employment rose by 46,900 jobs. The 12-month gain came… Read More

Federal Budget Rewards the Rich but Fails everyday Canadians

From the Canadian Union of Public Employees The Conservatives’ 2015 federal budget may balance the books, but it is highly unbalanced in its impact on Canadians.  It puts millions of seniors at risk of poverty, abandons families in need of affordable child care and quality public health care, and doesn’t help Canadians workers who need better jobs, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees. “The Conservatives have chosen irresponsible economic policies that slash revenues to benefit a few corporations and the wealthy,” says Paul Moist, national president of CUPE, Canada’s largest union. “This budget… Read More

Ritz Locks Farmers Out, Hands CWB keys to Bunge and Saudi King’s Fund

From the National Farmer’s Union “Today Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced that G3, a joint venture owned by two foreign corporations, Bunge and the Saudi investment company SALIC, is the beneficiary of CWB privatization. With this, the Conservative government has accomplished the biggest transfer of wealth away from farmers in the history of Canada,” said Jan Slomp, National Farmers Union (NFU) President. “The CWB’s physical assets, its commercial relationships, and its good name have all been given away. The “buyers” of the CWB actually get to keep the $250 million pittance they… Read More

Haitian Workers not Sharing in Economic Growth

From Solidarity Centre Up to 70 percent of the Haitian workforce lacks formal jobs—but the notion that “any job is better than no job” is not a goal that should be embraced, says Lauren Stewart, Solidarity Center program officer for Haiti and the Dominican Republic. “I visited a factory park in Port-au-Prince, and one of the workers showed me his pay stub, which had deductions for lunch that he had to buy on credit from his employer since he couldn’t afford to eat,” Stewart says. “By the time he received his paycheck,… Read More

Bangladesh Cement Factory Collapse Traps about 100 Workers

From CBC News At least five people were killed and another about 100 feared trapped after a cement factory collapsed in Bangladesh on Thursday, police said. Soldiers and sailors in the port town of Mongla helped emergency services search through the rubble and pull out more than 40 survivors, officials told Reuters “Most of the people inside the building were the construction workers including the people who recovered alive … The recovery efforts are going on very carefully to avoid further risk,” Khulna district police chief Nizamul Haque Mollah said. Fire official… Read More

Bangladeshi Tribals Evicted For Tea Plantation Expansion

From CorpWatch Syed Tea and Land, a Bangladeshi company, has been accused of using armed men to evict ethnic minority communities in order to expand a tea plantation in Sreemangal in northeastern Bangladesh. The expansion will impact Kandas, Khasis and Tantis who have lived in the area for a century. “For four generations, we have lived on this land but never before faced such a threat to survival,” Atit Kanda, a local tribal farmer, told Union of Catholic Asian (UCA) News earlier this month. “The armed mobs have destroyed about 4,000 to… Read More