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Category: Archive

Writings prior to December 2007.

They profit, we suffer

SEPTEMBER 4, 1995 – August 22 between 300 and 600 marchers went from Regent Park, one of Toronto’s neighbourhoods, to Rosedale, home of some of Toronto’s wealthiest business tycoons. The demonstration, organized by the Toronto Direct Action Committee of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP), targeted the palatial home of Hal Jackman, Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor.[1] Jackman is the one who will actually sign the order-in-council to slash welfare payments to over 1 million people in the province. Growing numbers of welfare recipients and unemployed workers across Ontario are becoming actively involved in OCAP’s campaign to stop the attacks on the…

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A demo a week keeps the Tories at bay

AUGUST 7, 1995 – Rumour has it that Ontario has rolled over and died since the election of the Tories. According to Bob Rae, there’s nothing to be done for the next four years, just sharpen your pencil, put it on your bedside table, pull the covers up over your head and wait till the next election. But it seems a feisty layer of people haven’t yet heard that bright idea. Instead, they’ve been out there an average of once a week fighting back against this government. Judge for yourself: when has an incoming government been so rapidly met by…

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Solidarity against the cuts

JULY 24, 1995 – Mike Harris has joined Ralph Klein and Paul Martin in the war against the poor. Within days of taking office, Harris announced cuts totalling $1.9-billion. Fully $500-million of these cuts come right out of the pockets of the poorest in the province, through a 21% cut in social assistance (welfare) payments. Harris is accumulating a war chest from the pockets of the poor to give to the rich next year. He intends to cut taxes 30%, and those tax cuts will disproportionately benefit the richest in the province. There is a concerted attempt by governments across…

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Mike Harris as Brian Mulroney – return of the living dead

JUNE 12, 1995 – A horror movie has opened at Queen’s Park in Toronto. We’ll call it Return of the Living Dead. Its star is an impostor. He claims to be Mike Harris. We have actually uncovered that Mike Harris does not exist. He has been exposed as a monster we thought we had gotten rid of a few years ago. Mike Harris is – Brian Mulroney. We think. There is also a case to be made that the monster is in fact a disguised Preston Manning. The case for him being Manning is strong indeed. Just like Manning, he…

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How Bob Rae destroyed his base

MAY 15, 1995 – The NDP looks set to lose the June 8 election in Ontario. Membership in the party is down by thousands. “After the Social Contract negotiations in the summer of 1993, thousands of NDP members tore up their cards and quit the party. Membership has fallen by about one-third to about 22,000”. [1] Riding after riding has fewer workers prepared to go door to door than in the last election. Rae and the party leadership have no one to blame but themselves. There was euphoria in 1990 when the NDP won a majority at Queen’s Park. Many…

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Fear of striking

MARCH 27, 1994 – For a few days, everything seemed possible. On March 11, 1994, Sid Ryan, president of the Ontario division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, in a letter to CUPE Ontario Executive Board members, laid out a plan of action that had the potential to galvanize the Ontario labour movement. In the confidential letter, widely leaked to militants in the labour movement, Ryan spelled out exactly how serious the attacks on Ontario workers have been in the last two years. “A recent survey of 30 percent of CUPE locals has indicated a staggering job loss of…

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