Tag Archives: Ontario

Attempts to get away with defamation in the name of opposing hate

The use of amorphous terms like “hate” or “anti-Semitism” to defame and silence people who speak out against Israel’s occupation of Palestine and who advocate for Palestinian rights.

By Mira Katz

A serious issue at this time in Ontario is the use of amorphous terms like “hate” or “anti-Semitism” to defame and silence people who speak out against Israel’s occupation of Palestine and who advocate for Palestinian rights. It is also extended to apply more broadly to matters of war and occupation. Educators in particular are being targeted, with the allegation that by opposing Israel’s occupation or even sharing information which clearly opposes occupation in a general sense, they are spreading “hate” and anti-Semitism. These allegations are then used to trigger police powers to either suspend educators from work or prevent them from getting work. 

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Troubling expansion of powers to subject teachers’ conscience to scrutiny

There Is No Such Thing as a Right to Defame

By Enver Villamizar

One of the programs of the different provincial governments in Canada has been to limit educators’ professional judgment in various ways while at the same time increasing the government’s ability to decide what teachers can and cannot say or do in the classroom or outside of the classroom. This comes at a time that governments are attempting to impose retrogressive changes to the content of education such as is the case in Alberta with the new K-6 curriculum or in Ontario with new Health and Physical Education and Math curriculums. A definite direction of these governments is to divert from their anti-social restructuring of the state, and in this case of education, by claiming that the biggest problem in education is educators and their unions in order to justify trying to silence them or ignore their expertise. Thus, alongside the changes to education there has been a campaign to demonize and threaten educators for speaking out in general on matters of concern such as the rights of Indigenous peoples, pipelines or matters of war and peace.

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Ontario Day of Action: Defend the Rights of Residents and Workers in Long-Term Care Homes

The Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) together with frontline health and elder care advocate organizations are holding a Day of Action on Long-Term Care in Ontario on October 8 at 11:00 am. The OHC is calling for immediate action by the Ford government to recruit and train staff; improve pay and working conditions and provide full-time work; and to implement a minimum care standard of four hours of hands on care per resident per day. The OHC is also calling for an end to for-profit long-term care. Continue reading

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The people are not the problem – they are the solution

Without the mobilization of the human factor/social consciousness of the working people and their organizations to address the crisis of the pandemic, all that is left is police powers, repression and blaming the workers and people | STEVE RUTCHINSKI Continue reading

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Ontario: Wide-scale defence of Francophone rights

Ontario government’s gratuitous attack on Francophone minority rights condemned

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Ottawa, December 1, 2018.

Condemnation of the Ford government’s decision to scrap the building of a French language university and to eliminate the Office of the French Language Commissioner in Ontario, announced as a “cost saving” measure in November, has been swift and widespread throughout the province and Canada. This cynical attack on Francophone Ontarians is an assault on the very nature of a society that Canadians want to have. Continue reading

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GM shutdown, the loss of jobs and manufacturing value must be stopped

Time for a new direction for the economy under the control of Canadians! | K.C. ADAMS

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Unifor 222 press conference, November 26, 2018, demands GM keep Oshawa plant producing.

GM executives in Detroit have announced the closure of an auto assembly plant they control in Oshawa, Ontario. The shutdown will terminate the direct employment of 2,522 auto workers, members of Unifor Local 222 and a large number of salaried workers, and result in an enormous loss of value for the Canadian economy and community. Continue reading

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On the US attack against Oshawa auto workers

In the same breath as they pass brutal anti-worker legislation to criminalize the postal workers, the cartel parties ooze sympathy for the auto workers in Oshawa. The pundits are brought to the fore by the media to cynically tell the workers “to move on” and “prepare for the new economy” featuring robotics and automated cars. The president of Unifor is right when he says this is an attack on both the workers and the nation but is not he the one who cast his lot with NAFTA and split the CLC and now fulminates how he has been “betrayed” and will “fight.” That will be a good thing! Continue reading

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No new war monument at the Ontario legislature!

No to the Glorification of War and Aggression in our Name!

Statement of Windsor Peace Coalition – Labour Day 2018

Along with being vehemently anti-worker and anti-union the Ford government is setting itself up to be a champion of U.S.-led wars of aggression. On June 27, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that his government intends to construct a second monument on the grounds of Queen’s Park to those who fought in Afghanistan. Federal Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is reported to have commended Ford on the project. There already is an Ontario Veterans’ Memorial on the Legislature grounds that commemorates those who served in all of Canada’s military missions, including Afghanistan. This begs the question: why build another monument? Continue reading

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For an informed vote: Through the pages of Ontario Political Forum

The Ontario general election is scheduled to be held on Thursday June 7. There are over 20 political parties registered, yet the horserace journalism of the monopoly media now restricts the “sole choice” to one of two parties that their polls deem electable.

Something else is happening in the real world. In this election, working people are leading an effort to hold forums, panel discussions, town hall meetings, round tables, open mics and other activities where they themselves speak about their concerns and how they think solutions can be implemented for problems they face. Steelworkers, injured workers, teachers and education workers are amongst those taking the lead to bring forward issues they consider to matter by discussing their rich experience in fighting for their rights. Continue reading

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Injured Workers Day: On the 4th Annual Justice Bike Ride in Northern Ontario

Yesterday I read a really interesting and inspiring article in the Ontario Political Forum on the theme of standing up for injured workers in Northern Ontario. Four days of action, centring around the fourth annual Justice Bike Ride, a quite wonderful initiative. Continue reading

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Extreme weather, extremist governments

The social effects of extreme weather for the homeless, the poor, the elderly and the colonized, in the cities and on the roads; the abnegation of social responsibility and the public interest by the media and governments shows the need for empowerment. “When tragedies do occur, the monopoly media focuses on the technical mechanics of the disaster, excluding who should be held accountable, how the concerns and campaigns of the community were dealt with or ignored, and the response of the public bodies” | TONY SEED

(December 30, updated January 5) – According to the CBC, the main “news” and social consequences of the record extreme cold weather seems to be the status of outdoor civic New Year’s parties, the condition of the ice on a short-term, multi-million dollar outdoor rink erected on Parliament Hill, polar bear dips, and an outdoor World Junior hockey game between Canada and the U.S. in Buffalo on Friday December 28th.

A fiery crash of a tractor trailer truck on the QEW (pictured above) that shut down the Niagara bound lanes near Bartlett Ave. in Grimsby was reported merely as a freak obstacle or an inconvenient “long delay” to the many Canadians heading to the game. While no one was hurt this time, the damage to the highway was extensive and will take time to repair.

One CBC anchor, Hanna Thibodeau, joked with meteorologist David Phillips as to whether Russia was to blame for the Arctic front.

In seeming contrast, CBC published on December 29 a long photo feature titled “Toronto has officially frozen over. See it here in all its icy glory” highlighting the beauty of a nature that is benign. The kicker called on readers to “Take in the stunning sights of the city during the deep freeze.” (The photos were submitted.)

As 2017 ends, the working people face a media onslaught about what is going on in Canada and around the world, of which the weather occupies one sphere. We think that a sober approach going into 2018 is of importance.

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Snow squalls, snow fences and the privatization of highways: ‘It is time to draw a line in the snow’

A lake effect snow squall (snowsquall) drops heavy snow over Sudbury on Feb. 27. Lake effect squalls are noted for their persistence and linear banding, producing blinding visibility on Highway 400 yesteday.

An awesome lake effect snow squall (snowsquall) drops heavy snow over Sudbury on February 27, 2014. Lake effect squalls from Georgian Bay are noted for their persistence and linear banding, producing blinding visibility on Highway 400.

The following reflection was written on February 28, 2014 but for some reasons was not published at the time. I am posting it now in the midst of the extreme cold weather front that is gripping Canada and the United States.

The view from Blantyre

By TONY SEED

WHEN extreme weather event strikes, the reporting of the media proceeds from the premise of the insurance companies: it is a supernatural “act of God,” a natural disaster divorced from the social conditions made by man. It has become a genre and given a name – disaster journalism. It was all so “unexpected.” Hurricane Katrina? Just blew in suddenly from the Gulf. That ice storm in Atlanta? The weather suddenly shifted upstate in the morning. That tsunami in the Indian Ocean? No-one at the U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii had the phone number of the Sri Lanka president and hence the island received no warning. Thousands of people, mainly poor fishers, along the eastern and southern coastline were engulfed by the deep blue sea, as if an act of Buddha. Due to the large number of victims, that far-off disaster did make the evening news. These were not “accidents”; natural disasters became crimes. Continue reading

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Militarization of police forces

Police line at G-20 summit in Toronto, June 26, 2010.

The Toronto Police Service is about to equip frontline police officers with military-grade semiautomatic armour-piercing assault rifles, the same type used by Canadian Armed Forces and special tactical units. Reports say that at least three patrol cars in each of Toronto’s 17 police divisions will be equipped with the C8 assault rifles starting in May. Continue reading

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Diplomatic appointments linked to anti-social offensive and privatization of public assets

Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion made a number of diplomatic appointments on January 16, two of which are noteworthy because the appointees do not come out of the foreign service but are linked directly with the Liberal Party and to the program of privatizing public assets as well as upholding monopoly right. Continue reading

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Mass rally in Toronto opposes McGinty’s attacks against teachers, education workers and the rights of all

SOME 20,000 teachers and education workers and their supporters from all over Ontario rallied at the Ontario Legislature on August 28 in a powerful demonstration of their opposition to the introduction of Bill 115, the Putting Students First Act, by the McGuinty Liberal government. Ontario Political Forum* reports that the teachers and education workers were supported by delegates from teachers’ organizations all over the country and by contingents of workers and their organizations from the public and private sectors. Bill 115 is draconian anti-worker legislation that strips teachers and education workers of their right to collective bargaining and right to strike and cuts teachers and support workers pay through a two-year freeze on wages, unpaid days and changes to wage grids. A rally for northern teachers and education workers was also organized in Thunder Bay. Full report...

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