Author: Carlo Fanelli

Carlo Fanelli is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Work and Labour Studies at York University. He is the co-editor (with Bryan Evans) The Public Sector in an Age of Austerity: Perspectives from Canada's Provinces and Territories. He is the editor of Alternate Routes: A Journal of Critical Social Research and maintains a blog at

  • Crisis and Virus: COVID-19 in Context

    “Toward the end of the twentieth century a sickness struck the world. Not everyone died, but all suffered from it” — Samir Amin (2003, 7). It has been over forty years since Thatcher and monetarism, thirty years since the Canada-US Free trade agreement came into effect, and twenty years since the launch of the Euro. … Keep reading »

  • Austerity Without End

    In 2019, the now 187-member International Labour Organization celebrated its 100th anniversary. As one of the oldest agencies of the United Nations, the ILO used the occasion to renew calls for improved opportunities and working conditions, social protections and collective bargaining rights. The ILO’s Global Commission on the Future of Work (2019, 2) proposed a … Keep reading »

  • Another Round of Punishing Austerity in Ontario

    The eminent conservative scholar of public budgeting Aaron Wildavsky characterized annual budgets as a record of “victories, defeats, bargains, and compromises.” The province of Ontario’s 2019 Budget, the first of the new Conservative government of Doug Ford, does indeed tell us something of this – additional fiscal supports for business, erosion of social expenditures in … Keep reading »

  • It’s Time We Dispel The Myth Of ‘Progressive’ Liberalism In Ontario

    Far from progressive public policy, it has been tax cuts and austerity that has prevailed in Ontario over the last decade. Keep reading »

  • Local Roads to Austerity: Neoliberal Urbanism in Canada

    The ‘urban question’, as it came to be called in the 1970s, is now a central focus of academic study, state planning and political struggle alike. Keep reading »

  • Anti-austerity activists in Toronto.

    Neoliberalism, Public Services and Labour in Toronto

    City Manager Peter Wallace recently released a report on The City of Toronto’s Long-term Financial Direction. The analysis is the latest to reinforce what many earlier studies have long been arguing: that the city of Toronto does not have a spending crisis, but a revenue crisis. It found that “cost containment” measures have produced some … Keep reading »

  • Austerity Against Democracy: An Authoritarian Phase of Neoliberalism?

    From its very beginnings, the new doctrine of neoliberalism was quite consciously set in opposition to socialism as an alternate economic and democratic order to capitalism and as an unyielding defender of private property. In its specific programmatic mandate, neoliberalism was an offspring of the Great Depression and set against Keynesian state intervention. But however … Keep reading »

  • Climate Change: ‘The Greatest Challenge of Our Time’

    “Climate change is life or death. It is the new global battlefield. It is being presented as if it is the problem of the developed world. But it’s the developed world that has precipitated global warming.” — Noble Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai. The 2014 issue of Alternate Routes came together as the Intergovernmental Panel … Keep reading »

  • An Incomplete Victory or the Beginning of the End for Ford Nation?

    Toronto Budget 2012 Does the 2012 City of Toronto budget represent an incomplete victory for the Rob Ford Administration or is it indicative of its impending demise? It really depends on how you look at it. The tax and service cuts of the first year of Mayor Ford’s term remain in place. While I won’t rehash … Keep reading »

  • Mayor Ford versus CUPE Locals 79 and 416: Some Thoughts on Strategy

    As the Canadian government and its provincial equivalents take part in the global push for austerity, its after effects have significantly strained the fiscal and political dimensions of municipal governance. More than a year after right-wing populism swept through the City of Toronto, the agenda of the Rob Ford Administration has shown itself to be … Keep reading »

  • Selling the City: Rob Ford’s Toronto

    “We don’t have a revenue problem [at city hall], we have a spending problem, the City’s addicted to wasteful spending.” “I will assure you that services will not be cut…guaranteed.” — Rob Ford As the immediacy of the financial crisis fades from public scrutiny in Canada, its aftershocks continue to strain public finances. The public … Keep reading »

  • Opening Ontario and Constraining Collective Bargaining

    The Case of Carleton’s Capitalist University As austerity measures intensify around the world, the axe has come down particularly hard on post-secondary education.[1] So-called education ‘reform’ has shown itself to be a lightning rod for confrontation. Throughout the U.K., in cities like London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Cambridge, Belfast and Glasgow, student protests and university occupations have … Keep reading »