• Morbid Symptoms: Current Healthcare Struggles

    Leo Panitch and Colin Leys have just brought out the 2010 annual volume of the Socialist Register, Morbid Symptoms: Health Under Capitalism, published by Merlin Press in London, Monthly Review Press in the U.S. and Fernwood Books in Canada. The book provides a path-breaking assessment of health under capitalism, providing a systematic account of the … Keep reading »

  • What’s Wrong with Ontario’s Health Ministry and How to Fix It

    Health Minister David Caplan’s resignation is the right thing in the wake of scathing Provincial Auditor’s reports and repeated exorbitant salary revelations at the Ministry of Health (MOH). Undoubtedly in upcoming days the McGuinty government will scramble to contain the damage. This time, it is vital that the Premier and new Health Minister understand that … Keep reading »

  • Demanding the Impossible: Struggles for the Future of Post-Secondary Education

    There is growing acknowledgement emerging from student and faculty associations across Canada that there is a crisis in post-secondary education and a need for real change in the structure of university funding. This has manifested as a proliferation of student and worker unrest across the country and, indeed, the world; in 2008 and early 2009, … Keep reading »

  • After B.C. Health Services: Back to Reality

    “As a power countervailing management the trade unions are much more effective than the law has ever been or can ever be.” — Otto Kahn-Freund In the deteriorating economic climate, resource, manufacturing, construction and now private-services workers have been front and centre in employers’ crosshairs. Against the backdrop of layoffs and plant closings stemming from … Keep reading »

  • Labour Turmoil and the Fight for Public Education

    Over the last three decades, the post-secondary education sector in Canada has been consistently undermined by a crisis of under-funding. Provincial and federal governments have followed neoliberal policies which seek to reshape the logic of the public sector while at the same time increasingly transfer its costs away from public provision through taxation and onto … Keep reading »

  • The Neoliberal University: Looking at the York Strike

    Placed neatly in the middle of a global economic maelstrom, it is near impossible to understand or predict what, if any, consequences the strike by 3500 odd teaching and research assistants and contract faculty at York University in Toronto (represented by Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3903) will have for higher education in Ontario … Keep reading »

  • What Emergency? An Assessment of Toronto’s 2008 Transit Strike

    Last weekend’s two-day transit strike in Toronto raises anew and in starker terms two issues of longstanding concern to the labour movement in this city and throughout the province. First, the unprecedented rapidity with which the city sought back-to-work legislation, and the similarly expeditious and unanimous passage of this legislation by all parties of the … Keep reading »

  • The Poverty of Ontario’s Liberals: The 2008 Budget

    The 2008 Ontario budget is a particularly revealing political statement. Until now, the McGuinty Liberals have had a comparatively stable economy to contend with. Year after year since 2003, they have been able to very modestly expand public spending. How times change. The crisis within the manufacturing sector has deepened and now threatens to spill … Keep reading »

  • Budget 2008: Taxes and the Forward March of Neoliberalism

    Budgets are fundamentally political instruments. They reflect clearly who in society is winning, who is losing, and who is left standing still. They are a kind of political scoreboard. Canada’s 2008 Federal Budget, introduced by the minority Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper on February 26th, clearly states that if you work for a … Keep reading »

  • Ontario and the Funding of Religious Schools

    In what might turn to be the defining issue of the Ontario provincial election set for October 10, Conservative leader John Tory proposed that faith-based schools be fully funded. In a province that already funds Catholic schools through the high school years. The Tories are claiming the mantle of ‘fairness’ by extending funding to other … Keep reading »

  • The Harper Government: Toward A New Social Order?

    The election of Stephen Harper’s Conservative government on January 23, 2006 has significantly shifted the terms of the social policy debate ni Canada. While in some respects the Harper government represents a continuation of the market-based neoliberal trajectory that has been set over the last 20 some years, in other respects it represents a turn … Keep reading »

  • A Real Alternative: The Canadian Election and Childcare Policy

    It’s a good thing that childcare has become a key issue in this Federal election campaign. Canadians need a well-developed network of early learning and childcare programs. It begins to recognise that childcare represents a good investment in our future, establishing strong foundations for lifelong learning. More importantly, a good early learning and care system … Keep reading »