CALLS TO ACTION
Open letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne
Dear Premier Wynne:
We are Ontario parents, educators, service providers, academics and community members. We are very concerned about some of the regulatory changes your government has proposed for child care centres. We are especially troubled by the changes to age group composition that will have the effect of reducing staff: child ratios and increasing group sizes.
We believe that these will have two negative outcomes: first, they will erode the quality of care that is so important for young children. Second, the changes will have a negative impact on accessibility, making much-needed spaces, particularly for infants, even less financially and practically viable than now.
Bring Hassan Home!
The Honourable Jody Wilson-Reybould, Minister of Justice
The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs
I am writing to you with an urgent moral appeal. For over 530 days, a Canadian citizen—Dr. Hassan Diab—has been languishing in a prison thousands of kilometres away from his family. Why? Because France suspects him of committing a horrific crime in 1980 for which it has failed to provide any credible evidence.
At Dr. Diab's extradition hearing in Canada in 2011, Justice Robert Maranger described the evidence against him as “very problematic,” “convoluted,” “very confusing” and “with conclusions that are suspect.” He further noted that the case against Dr. Diab is “weak” and “the prospects of conviction in the context of a fair trial seem unlikely.” Despite these admissions, Justice Maranger ruled that Dr. Diab be extradited to France due to the nature of Canada’s extradition law.
Volunteer-Led Referendum Launched Across Ontario
Ontarians to Vote Saturday May 28
People all across Ontario will be asked to vote on whether they want local hospital cuts to continue or be stopped, the Ontario Health Coalition announced in a press conference this morning in Toronto. Local health coalitions held media launch events in tandem across Ontario. More communities are joining in every day and there will be a second round of launches next Monday.
The coalition plans an ambitious and novel protest. We plan to hold a grassroots, volunteer-led referendum on Saturday May 28. This is a mass vote. Volunteers are asking busy corner stores, drug stores, local grocery stores and other businesses to host voting stations outside their stores on Saturday May 28. Ontarians will be asked to vote, YES or NO to the following statement: "Ontario's government must stop the cuts to our community hospitals and restore services, funding and staff to meet our communities' needs for care."
May 26, 2016 - Henry Kissinger & Shimon Peres are coming to Toronto!
When: Thursday, May 26th, 4:30pm
Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front Street West, Toronto
On May 26, War Criminals Henry Kissinger, Shimon Peres & Michael Oren will be in Toronto to participate in what is called the "Spirit of Hope,” an event hosted by the “Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre” insidiously focusing on human rights, justice, freedom & democracy, all of which were denied to their victims.
Endorsements include: Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) York, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)-Canada, Stop the Jewish National Fund (JNF)-Canada | Facebook event
May 26, 2016 - Beaches-East York Community Leafleting
When: Thursday, May 26th, 5:30pm
Where: Woodbine Subway Station
70% of Hydro One is still owned by the people! Coming and help us leaflet. Tell Liberal MPP Arthur Potts to stop the sale.
May 26, 2016 - The BJP and the Crisis of Liberal Democracy in India
May 27, 2016 - Public Exposures Symposium
When: Thursday May 26th, 7pm
Where: Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St., Toronto.
Since the election of the BJP in May 2014, there has been an unprecedented onslaught on workers' rights along with a well-planned assault on democratic institutions, academic-cultural centres, intellectuals, left, progressive and secular groups, religious minorities, women and marginalized sections across India. Indeed, recent developments, such as the breaking of strikes across India, the arrest and torture of the disabled scholar Dr. G.N. Saibaba (Delhi University) on false accusations of being involved in the armed revolutionary movement, the suicide of Dalit scholar V. Rohith due to caste-based abuse and harassment, and the recent attacks on freedom of speech at JNU because of purported anti-national activities, among many others, demonstrate that we are witnessing a rising tide of fascism in India. Yet the working class movement remains in disarray and unable to resist these attacks. 540 million members of the Indian working class and 270 million agrarian semi-proletarians are left to the mercy of fascist corporatist trade unions on the one hand, and reactionary parties of the rural bourgeoisie on the other. Failure to understand the changes in modus operandi of imperialism and realize the revolutionary potential of the gigantic unorganized and informal working class has similarly resulted in the failure to evolve new forms and strategies of resistance. Given the rise of fascist challenge it is even more urgent to rethink the approach and methods in the working class movement.
* Abhinav Sinha, PhD student, Delhi University
* Dr. Himani Bannerji, Sociology, York University
* Dr. Raju Das, Geography, York University
* Dr. Ritika Shrimali, Geography, York University
Sponsored by Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Socialist Project and York Centre for Asian Research.
When: May 27 - May 29,
The Public Exposures symposium (May 27, 28, 29) is bringing together participants from diverse communities and working sectors — practicing artists, community activists, union members, educators, students, and more. Inspired by Condé and Beveridge’s innovative art, and their strategic activism, the broad aims of the symposium are:
* To reflect on issues and strategies that they and many others are engaging -- specifically in the areas of artists’ rights, and art and labour -- and more broadly around needs for social, economic, and environmental justice.
* To energize grassroots collaborations -- renewing/strengthening existing links -- seeding new possibilities for artists and activists working in the public sphere.
The symposium will have local, national, and international scope, with guest-participants from across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Scheduled events will be hosted in three locations -- at the exhibition site in the 401 Richmond building; at OCAD University; and the United Steelworkers’ Hall -- all within walking distance. Each day of the symposium will engage participants differently.
May 27, 2016 - March with CUPE against Privatization and Austerity
When: Friday, May 27th, 12:15pm
Where: Intersection of Bay Street and King Street West, Toronto
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario are marching on the banks at Bay and King to challenge their agenda of privatization and austerity and OCAP will be marching with them. Ontario Hydro, health care, public housing, the delivery of social services - governments are preparing to try and sell all of these off to the banks and corporations. This means increased costs, reduced services and deeper poverty.
On May 27, we are marching right to the heart of the privatization beast to build the fight back against their agenda of greed of profit. Come on out and march with us.
The OCAP contingent will be meeting at 11:30am in Nathan Phillips Square (Toronto City Hall Square) at Bay & Queen. Come join us there for a meal before we join up with CUPE-Ontario.
May 27, 2016 - FreeKhadija - Toronto protests for Khadija Ismayilova!
When: Friday, May 27th, 12:30pm
Where: Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, across from Old City Hall
This is a gathering of her friends and supporters at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, across from Old City Hall, on Friday May 27 at 12:30PM, to call for her conviction to be quashed and for the release of the remaining political prisoners in Azerbaijan. This in one in a series of 40 parallel rallies that will be held in 23 countries around the world.
Arrested in December 2014, Khadija was serving a 7.5-year prison sentence in Azerbaijan on politically motivated charges of tax evasion, illegal entrepreneurship, and abuse of power. The court amended her sentence to three-and-a-half years of suspended sentence, subject to a travel ban and other restrictions.
| Facebook event
May 27, 2016 - Working People / Talking Pictures
When: Friday May 27th, 7:30pm
Where: Urbanspace Gallery, 401 Richmond Street West, Ground Floor
Working People / Talking Pictures is a discussion/performance event, inspired by the photo series, ILL WIND (2007), by Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge. Each image in the series expresses the frustration and anger of Ontario healthcare workers over not being able to provide the care their patients need. Healthcare workers, Joanne Webb (Hamilton) and Louis Rodrigues (Kingston) who appear in the images will talk about the issues they face, and their collaborative experience developing these powerful images with Condé and Beveridge, and theatre director, Aida Jordao.
| Facebook event
May 28, 2016 - Vote in the Volunteer-Led Referendum
When: Saturday May 28th. Different locations in Toronto:
* Carrot Common, 348 Danforth Ave., 1pm - 3pm
* Parkdale Community Health Centre, 1229 Queen St. W., 10am - 1pm
* Trinity St. Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor St. W., 10am - 12pm
The response has been overwhelming. All across Ontario, residents who are concerned about stopping the cuts to our community hospitals and restoring services are joining in the grassroots campaign. Voting stations have been set-up at farmers' markets, grocery stores, corner stores, legions, churches, and many other locations all across the province. Volunteers will be staffing those locations on Saturday, May 28 and leading into the big voting day (May 28). People are organizing "advance polls" at community events and markets. We know that if together we can build this big enough, it will be impossible for our provincial government to ignore. I truly believe that we will succeed, and that together, we can stop the hospital cuts and restore local services. Thank you for all that you are doing!
May 31, 2016 - Keep Hydro Public
When: Tuesday, May 31st, 9am
Where: MaRS Discovery District, 101 College St
While Hydro One’s Annual Shareholder Meeting takes place inside the MaRS building, we will be outside to say that we own hydro, and it’s not too late for the Liberals to halt this sale and Keep Hydro Public.
May 31, 2016 - Fair Fares for the TTC
When: Tuesday May 31st, 12noon
Where: Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto City Hall
We demand free fares for people on social assistance who are receiving Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support (ODSP), and $50 fares for people on low incomes.
A formula for low income fares will be debated at the TTC Commission meeting on May 31st. The Fare Fair Coalition and TTCriders, along with many allies and activists, have been fighting to lower TTC transit fares for low income people who rely on public transit to carry out all of the activities of daily life. Many are forced to choose between feeding the family and taking the bus.
| Facebook event
Jun 1, 2016 - [Calgary] CAWLS 3rd Annual Conference
CAWLS 3rd Annual Conference will be held 1-2 June 2016, at the University of Calgary.
The Congress theme, “Energizing Communities” seeks to engage our collective interest in how communities are organized, how they respond to social change and how we build alliances with like-minded groups. In both the developed and developing worlds, “energizing communities” includes examining workers in the commodity sectors, the role of the environment within the class struggle, and how labour builds alliances with other groups, including Indigenous communities.
We invite you to look at those panels’ calls for papers:
* Strategies for Temporary Foreign Worker organizing
* Building Solidarity in Care Work
* Moving Beyond the Low Wage Economy: Strategies, Policies and Politics for Decent Work and Wages
* Fractures and Alliances Construction Work and Workers
Jun 1, 2016 - Stop the Cuts to Workers' Comp!
When: Wednesday, June 1st, 11:30am
Where: Queen's Park, Toronto
11:30am: Free pizza lunch
12:00pm: Rally starts
2:00pm: Film screening & panel discussion on precarious work (Steelworkers’ Hall, 25 Cecil Street)
Our workers’ compensation system is in a state of crisis. Just like we're seeing with social programs and public services across the map, a regime of austerity reigns at the WSIB, and this has meant a full-fledged assault on people who have been injured or made ill at work.
At the same time as injured workers are being forced into poverty and abandoned by the system that is supposed to support them, the WSIB is showering employers with billions of dollars in savings; as of 2018, the WSIB will be lowering employer premium rates, to the point that they will be saving over $2 billion per year.
We say enough is enough. We refuse to accept any more cost-cutting on the backs of injured workers, and we’re taking to the streets to make our voices heard.
Organized by the Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups
| Facebook event
Jun 1, 2016 - A Day's Work - Canadian Premiere
When: Wednesday June 1st
7:00 pm, George Ignatieff Theatre,15 Devonshire Place
Exclusive Pre-Screening for Injured Workers Day
2:00 pm: USW Hall, 25 Cecil Street (film to follow the 11:30 am rally)
On June 1, 2016 Injured Workers Day, join us for a free screening of the award-winning documentary A Day's Work which exposes the harsh conditions faced by temp agency workers. Temp agency workers are particularly vulnerable to health and safety risks because temp agencies and client companies are not jointly responsible for workplace injuries.
- Dave DeSario, A Day’s Work Executive Producer, Founding Member of the Alliance for the American Temporary Workforce
- Injured workers and temp agency workers will be speaking about their experiences and the changes we need in our labour laws which are currently under Ontario Government's review.
Jun 2, 2016 - Healthy river, healthy people
When: Thursday June 2nd, Noon
Where: Queens Park
In Spring of 2016 Grassy Narrows people will travel 1,700 km to Toronto to call on Premier Wynne to finally clean up the 9,000 kg of mercury that were dumped in our river in the 1960’s. Join us as we demand justice for our people and protection for the waters and forests that give life.