CSJ Newsletter

December 23, 2021

Your generous support of the Centre for Social Justice in the past is deeply appreciated. Your contribution is of vital importance to the struggle for social and ecological justice in Ontario and Canada. Although Donald Trump’s presidency in the US has come to an end, the hard-right political forces he enabled have hardly faded into the background. Indeed, the growth of the popular vote of the People’s Party of Canada in the last federal election and the public policies of the Doug Ford and Jason Kenney governments in Ontario and Alberta illustrate the presence of some of these same forces in Canada. The Parliamentary Budget Office reports that the top 1% of the wealth distribution shockingly accounts for over 25% of Canada’s wealth while the bottom 40% only hold just over 1%. This tracks the trends in income distribution shares in Canada since the 1980s reflecting the continual rise in income for the 1% and the continual fall for the bottom 40%. It is alarming to see this lethal growth of gross social inequalities alongside the increased acceptance of anti-immigrant and homophobic political views in some parts of the political scene. There has never been a more important time for strong social justice education and organizing.

The almost two years of the COVID-19 pandemic has further unsettled the economy and political landscape of Canada as well as the global world order. While Canada has fared decidedly better than the disaster that has been the US response to the virus, the cumulative impact of decades of austerity and policies that deem more markets to be the solution to all our problems are everywhere to be seen. The deterioration of the public health system has meant an erratic response to the pandemic and capacities detecting and isolating the infected are still hopelessly flawed.

Over the last year, the Centre for Social Justice has been very busy. We continue to collaborate in education and organization workshops with the Toronto Airport Workers Council, an alliance of unions at Pearson addressing working conditions, precarious work and contract flipping. This is a new form of community unionism that we are supporting and hope to extend to major airports around the world, as these issues are universal. As well, we continue to support the work of Green Jobs Oshawa in converting the unused capacity of closed industrial plants to ecologically responsible production as well as supporting some of their educational work. This is a campaign we need to take into communities and labour councils across Ontario and Canada.

We could not keep the Centre’s programming going without your financial support. The neoliberal austerity agenda is in danger of taking another hard right turn with the post-pandemic fiscal setting. We need to meet this challenge, and join the growing protest movements against climate change and inequality and for democracy, new ways of meeting human needs and an alternate political agenda.

We want to thank all of you who have helped us fund our programming at the Centre for Social Justice. Without your support we could not continue to be such a key part of building a new politics in Ontario and Canada. Donations can be made online at socialjustice.org/donate, and please consider joining our monthly plan, and subscribe to our weekly social justice newsletter.

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P.S. Don’t forget the tax receipt deadline is December 31st! Make your year-end contributions today to receive a 2021 tax receipt.

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