Social Justice Community Newsletter

November 26, 2020


Support CUPE workers

CUPE Local 5257, who represents more than 100 Montessori teachers and support staff at Blaisdale Montessori School, is on strike as of Monday, November 16, 2020.

These workers, who rose up for families during the pandemic, have been without a contract since August 31, 2019 and are taking job action for fair wages and a fair contract. More than 55% of workers at Blaisdale Montessori School earn minimum wage and the employer refuses to offer any wage improvements for the first two years of the agreement.


Shut Down Canada Solidarity

When: Thursday November 26th, 5pm
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square, 1 Dundas Street E.

Come join SHUT DOWN CANADA allies and Indigenous community members as we rally in solidarity with the WET’SUWET’EN people and the larger systemic issue of land rights and environmental Indigenous warriors.

Please dress warmly, wear a mask, and follow social distancing protocols. Bring signs and musical instruments to make some noise!

Safety plan will be in place. There will be marshals, de-escalation leads, police observers, and a medic.


Climate Change and Action III – Security

When: November 27th, 3pm

Join us for the third webinar of BCCIC’s Climate Change and Action webinar series and learn more about the complex challenges of climate change and its impacts on the various sectors of our society. The anthropogenic climate crisis is the defining issue of the 21st century – and one of much contention. It could be overwhelming hearing about such a depressing issue and the government’s response to it, or the lack thereof.

We know that warming is already having untold impacts on the planet, but what will the future hold for human societies in the climate-changed era? Today, we have unprecedented powers of foresight through climate science and predictive modeling that predict how environments will shift in relation to our increasingly polluted atmosphere. But how will those effects spiral to impact human communities, relationships, and governments? How can we maintain our stability and security in a world increasingly thrown into climate chaos?

UK Launch of The Socialist Register 2021: Beyond Digital Capitalism

When: Saturday November 28th, 11am (EST)

As digital technology became integral to the capitalist market dystopia of the first decades of the 21st century, it not only refashioned our ways of communicating but of working and consuming, indeed ways of living. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed not only the lack of investment, planning and preparation that underlay the scandalous slowness of the responses by states around the world, but also grotesque class and racial inequalities as it coursed its way through the population. Meanwhile, the owners of high-tech corporations were enriched by tens of billions of dollars. Rejecting both technological determinism and facile ‘cyber-utopian’ thinking, the 57th annual volume of the Socialist Register addresses how to imagine, struggle for, and plan for new democratic socialist ways of living after the pandemic.

Eating Like Our Planet Depends on It

When: November 29th, 1pm

Hunger in U.S. households almost tripled between 2019 and August 2020, with 14 times as many children going hungry, even though there should be plenty of food to feed everyone a nutritious diet. Clearly our corporate-controlled food system is unsustainable, unjust, and unhealthy.

Join us for a conversation with Vermont-based author, educator, and grassroots activist Grace Gershuny on transforming the U.S. food system into one that is regenerative, just, and accessible to all, stressing the ties between the organic food and other movements, including Black Lives Matter, LGBTQIA+ rights, water sovereignty, and, of course, climate.

Where’s the $15 minimum wage?

When: November 29th, 7pm

Last year, Justin Trudeau and the federal government promised to deliver “a federal minimum wage of at least $15 per hour, starting in 2020 and rising with inflation, with provisions to ensure that where provincial or territorial minimum wages are higher, that wage will prevail.”

With only about a few weeks left in 2020 parliament time is running out. We need action now.

Join us via Zoom for this group phone action on Sunday, Nov. 29th at 7:00 pm ET. Together, we will call Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Labour Minister Filomena Tassi, and our own Member of Parliament.

Public Banks and COVID19

When: Tuesday December 1st, 9am

Covid-19 has dealt a devastating economic blow around the world. From individuals who can no longer afford to pay for food, to SMEs unable to cover their rent, to national governments struggling with their balance of payments and skyrocketing health expenditures, the economic impacts of Covid-19 have been sweeping in scope and depth. Although little discussed in the mainstream media, public banks have been on the front lines of dealing with this economic and health crisis, playing a critical role in stemming financial collapse, supporting households and communities, and channeling resources towards essential health and public services. Public banks provide supportive credit, fiscal assistance, expert advice and macro-economic stability in ways that private financial institutions are often unable or unwilling to do.

This book offers detailed case studies of public bank actions from around the world, critically examining their policy responses to Covid-19. We identify ‘best practices’ in dealing with the current crisis as well as highlighting the changes needed to make public banks more equitable, democratic and sustainable in the future.

Committing to Seniors Care: Addressing the Gaps

When: Tuesday December 1st, 3pm (EST)

You are invited to a Seniors Care webinar hosted by the BC Health Coalition and the Council of Canadians. This will be the second of two webinars focused on Committing to Seniors Care. This webinar focuses on how we can ensure that public funding for care is spent directly on care in LTC.

We want greater accountability towards residents, improved working conditions for workers to provide care, and an increase in public transparency in Long-Term Care. Most importantly, we want public funding for care to go directly to providing care and not to subsidize profits. To do this we need a provincial plan to eliminate the profit motive from Long-Term Care and Seniors Care.

Keep Transit Moving

When: Tuesday December 1st, 7:30pm (EST)

Across the country, transit agencies are on the brink of collapsing or being forced to cut service routes and jobs because of the impacts of COVID-19.

The pandemic has added additional pressure to our transit systems, compounding decades of neglect, cuts and privatization. Now that the second wave of COVID-19 is here, we need to work to protect our public transit agencies for the future.

Public transit isn’t just about how we can get from one place to another. It’s about accessibility and disability; bridging divides between urban, suburban and rural transportation; policing, racism and migrant justice; workers’ rights; austerity cuts and privatization of public services; public health in a time of pandemic; Indigenous rights; social injustice; and the climate crisis.


Rebirth of Auto? Unifor and the Detroit Three

By Sam Gindin

“HOME RUN!” was how an elated Jerry Dias, President of Unifor, summarized the mid-September outcome of the negotiations with Ford Motor Company, covering 6300 workers in Oakville and Windsor. Ford set the pattern in the closely watched and often trend-influencing negotiations at the ‘Detroit Three’ (formerly the ‘Big Three’ but the market penetration of Japan-based companies had gradually eroded that title). Home runs were soon also enthusiastically declared at Chrysler, covering 8,800 workers in Windsor, Brampton and Etobicoke and at GM, covering 1,700 workers in Oshawa, St Catharines and Woodstock.

Source: The Bullet No. 2244

The Present is the Beginning

On September 1, 2020, Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) organizer Leo Tang was found guilty of “possession of an offensive weapon” in an October 2019 protest against the government’s emergency law and mask ban. Leo was arrested when police found a telescopic stick in his bag and was bailed out at the time. He is currently serving a four-month sentence.

Source: The Bullet No. 2245

Booklaunch: The Diary of Dukesang Wong: A Voice from Gold Mountain

Launch of The Diary of Dukesang Wong: A Voice From Gold Mountain (Talon Books, 2020), with editor and author David McIlwraith, as well as Judy Fong Bates and other guests. The Diary of Dukesang Wong is the only first-person account from a Chinese worker on the famously treacherous parts of transcontinental railways that spanned the North American continent in the nineteenth century.

Source: LeftStreamed

The Ontario Budget: Hard Times Ahead

By Doug Allan

To ease future cuts, the government established a budgeting system this year which would see much of the COVID-related funding budgeted under special funds distinct from the normal ministries. So much of the increased funding for the Ministry of Health or Ministry of Long-Term Care (LTC) is not reflected in their line items but instead through special funds that are then later allocated to a ministry. So first the good news: The health and LTC special COVID funds are “budgeted” to continue for a couple of years. An additional $4-billion in 2021–22 and $2-billion in 2022–23 is currently planned to help the health sector address COVID-19.

Source: The Bullet No. 2246

Freedom Instead of Selfishness: The Climate Movement After the Pandemic

By Ulrich Brand

What applies to the pandemic also applies to the climate: the crisis is already happening. Hence, immediate and consistent action is needed. It is becoming increasingly clear that the world is facing a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. While the dramatic consequences of the first wave have barely been processed in many countries, the number of cases is rising again significantly in many places. This threatens to put a much bigger crisis on the global political agenda for good: unchecked global warming.

Source: The Bullet No. 2247

Ignoring is Denying: The Ontario 2020 Budget and the Climate Emergency

By David Robertson

On November 4th the US officially withdrew from the Paris Accord. On November 5th the Ontario government tabled a budget that ignored the climate crisis and our Paris Agreement targets. The United State’s denial of the climate crisis will likely change with a Biden administration. Ontario’s denial will continue for the rest of the Ford Government’s term. Ontario currently faces two serious and related health crisis. One is the COVID-19 pandemic and the other is the climate emergency. Both are deadly.

Source: The Bullet No. 2248

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