CSJ Newsletter

May 11, 2023



It’s time to fight for pharmacare

Canadians can win a crucial new social program this year – universal public Pharmacare. It is part of the accord between the NDP and the Liberal government, and you can help make this real by supporting the national campaign.

In the coming months, the Council of Canadians along with many allies in the Health Coalitions will be leading the effort to secure this vital program. Please come to the Pharmacare Town Hall on May 15th at 1900 Davenport Road to learn more and join in the fight.


Stop the Gas Plant Expansion

The Ontario government intends to increase the use of polluting gas plants to generate electricity for the province, at a time when we need to decrease our greenhouse gas emissions to meet our climate targets.

The easiest way to add gas generation is to expand an existing facility, and the Portlands Energy Centre in Toronto’s east end is a prime candidate.

Already, the Portlands gas plant is the largest greenhouse gas emitter in Toronto and among the top 20 emitters in all of Ontario.



MayWorks 2023

When: All of May, 2023

Throughout May, we offer 24 free events with 29 participating artists across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and online. Whether through zine, installation, film, performance or dialogue – the festival presents the realities of contemporary labour.

This year’s artists critically investigate various forms of work from arms manufacturing to flower arranging. Their artworks, informed by personal histories of social activism and research, recognize workers as agents of social transformation.

mayworks.ca | Opening Reception (May 4)

Book launch: Portuguese Women’s Fight for Labour Rights

When: May 11th, 6:30pm
Where: Casa Dos Acores, 1136 College St

This fascinating book uncovers the little-known, surprisingly radical history of the Portuguese immigrant women who worked as night-time office cleaners and daytime “cleaning ladies” in postwar Toronto.



When: May 11th, 6:30pm

We are facing a climate emergency. It’s time we learned the lessons of WWII, and COVID-19, and mobilized to bring about “radical systemic change.” All the machinery of government, the news media, educational institutions, and the public must be focused on the crucial “national task” confronting us.


Childhood Disability (without) Poverty

When: May 12-13th, 12pm-4pm

Childhood disability is known to have a huge financial impact on families and children.

Don’t miss this opportunity for families, healthcare professionals, and policy researchers to come together and share both their knowledge and lived experiences on equal footing to identify where we can partner to effect systemic change.


Rally: Nakba 75

When: May 13th, 1:30m
Where: Yonge and Dundas Square

Join the Toronto Palestinian Youth Movement in commemorating 75 years of resistance. Nakba Day commemorates the ongoing displacement and dispossession of Palestinians faced as a result of zionism and its supporters.

Generation after generation, Palestinians have been resisting ongoing Zionist military occupation and settler colonialism.


The Past and Future of Hong Kong Labour Activism

When: May 13th, 2pm
Where: Richard Charles Lee Canada-Hong Kong Library, 130 Saint George St.

Christopher Siu-Tat Mung (Hong Kong Labour Rights Monitor) speaks on the past and future of labour activism in Hong Kong.


[Hamilton] Canada, Stop Arming Saudi Arabia

When: May 13th, 6pm
Where: Workers Arts & Heritage Centre, 51 Stuart St, Hamilton

A zine is an independently published mini-magazine or booklet. The word comes from the last few letters of the word ‘magazine’ and is a do-it-yourself method of sharing ideas with everyday people. Silkscreen printing is a quick and dirty printmaking process used widely in social movements to make posters and artwork. The process uses a thin screen made of silk, a squeegee and colourful ink. “Canada, Stop Arming Saudi Arabia” was developed by Sonali Menezes through Mayworks’ Labour Arts Catalyst in collaboration with Labour Against the Arms Trade and Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War.


Justice4Workers Outreach

When: Sunday May 14th, 11am
Where: Greenwood Park, Leslieville Farmers Market

Join us at the Leslieville Farmers Market for this outreach blitz where we’ll be collecting signatures on petitions and leafletting about the campaign. We’ll be talking to workers, friends and neighbours about why we all need decent work.


TPFF Nakba Commemoration

When: May 15th, 6pm (reception at 5:30pm)
Where: Innis Town Hall Theatre, 2 Sussex Ave

The Toronto Palestine Film Festival (TPFF) will mark the 75th year of the ongoing Nakba with a free screening of the documentary film Recovery directed by Rashid Masharawi, featuring author talk with the highly acclaimed Palestinian/Lebanese scholar and author Saree Makdisi.


Public Pharmacare Now!

When: Monday, May 15th, 7pm
Where: Davenport-Perth Community Health Centre, 1900 Davenport Rd

We have never needed pharmacare more urgently than we do right now. To raise the political temperature on pharmacare, the Council of Canadians and allies are organizing town halls across Canada, hosted by Avi Lewis and others. On May 15, join the Council for this important event. Together, we can win a historic expansion of our cherished public healthcare system.


Book launch: The Tenant Class

When: May 16th, 7pm
Where: Centre for Social Innovation – Annex, 720 Bathurst St

When it comes to the rental housing debate, Ricardo Tranjan is not afraid to confront the elephant in the room: profit. Come celebrate the launch of his trailblazing new book, The Tenant Class, at the Centre for Social Innovation. Meet special guests and housing movement friends for conversation and drinks! Comfortable furniture + cash bar = a great evening. Sponsored by the Ontario office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.


Book launch: White Riot: The 1907 Anti-Asian Riots of Vancouver

When: May 18th, 5:30pm sharp
Where: 20 Willcocks St (at Spadina)

Join Henry Tsang and the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance at the Toronto book launch of White Riot: The 1907 Anti-Asian Riots in Vancouver.

FREE roti dinner (vegan and gluten free options available) will be served at 5:30. Program starts at 6:00pm.



The Better Schools and Student Outcome Act

By William Paul

Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce must really want to be a magician – making elephants or something outlandish disappear, then reappear behind you. Maybe that explains his tactic of making cuts to education, then announcing the addition of nearly 2,000 more educators all while introducing new legislation that will further centralize education and enable his Tories to make school properties available to their developer friends.

Source: The Bullet No. 2819

Sudan’s Army and Paramilitary RSF Turn on Each Other

By Pavan Kulkarni and Prasanth Radhakrishnan

More than 500 people have been killed and 4,000 injured since fighting broke out between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on April 15. Groups such as the Sudan Doctors Union are worried the fighting could escalate after the evacuation of foreign nationals. Thousands have already fled the country. Over 69 percent of the hospitals in and around the conflict zones are inoperable. There is a severe shortage of medicine, food, water, and electricity.

Source: The Bullet No. 2820

Chile: Labour Movement Calls for Nationalizing Lithium Company

By Trade Unions for Energy Democracy

On April 20, Chilean President Gabriel Boric announced the launch of a National Lithium Strategy and the creation of a National Lithium Company. Under the new Strategy, the Chilean State’s role would undergo significant transformation – from a State which grants lavish, profitable contracts to oligopolistic private mining companies to a State which controls the entire production cycle, including exploration, exploitation, and value addition. The National Lithium Company will be a 100% state-owned company. It will develop lithium with private companies under public-private partnerships (PPPs), with the State securing majority shareholder status across projects.

Source: The Bullet No. 2821

No Politics But Class Politics: Class, Identity, Inequality

By Adam Theron-Lee Rensch

In his recent book, Poverty, by America, Matthew Desmond writes, “Poverty might consume your life, but it’s rarely embraced as an identity. It’s more socially acceptable today to disclose a mental illness than to tell someone you’re broke.” The striking thing about this statement is the degree to which it is both completely true and totally wrong. For one thing, it makes sense that poverty is rarely embraced as an identity – namely, because it isn’t one. It’s a material condition produced by inequality. And while there are undoubtedly widely shared experiences that emerge from poverty, it’s unclear why anyone would want to celebrate these as an identity.

Source: The Bullet No. 2822


OFL is hiring

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers and is Canada’s largest provincial labour federation. The OFL is seeking to fill the position of Director of Communications (Leave). The Director of Communications (Leave) will lead the organization’s membership and public communications efforts. The successful candidate will begin in June 2023 or as soon as possible, and report to the President of the OFL, through the OFL’s Executive Director.

Full-time, 14-month contract position, working out of the Federation of Labour office in North York, Toronto. The successful candidate is covered under the COPE 343 Collective Agreement, with a weekly salary of $2,470.25 or $128,453.00 annually, including COLA plus benefits.

The deadline to apply is Monday, May 15 at 4:00 p.m. EST.


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