February 3, 2012

Governments should seize Caterpillar assets

Caterpillar: crushing communities near you

American industrial giant Caterpillar is closing its locomotive plant, putting 460 workers out of their jobs just over a month after they were locked out for rejecting pay cuts of up to 50 per cent.

OTTAWA – “The decision announced today that US Caterpillar Corporation will close its Electro-Motive plant in London instead of negotiating with the Canadian Autoworkers Union requires an immediate response from the Canadian and Ontario governments.” That statement from Dave Coles, President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP).

“This decision is a slap in the face to Canada which gave Electro-Motive tax breaks to protect jobs,” continues Coles. “It’s an act of corporate aggression against Canada and we should retaliate with an immediate tariff against Caterpillar products imported to Canada.  The Ontario and federal governments should take the same action in this situation as former Premier Danny Williams did at AbitiBowater in Newfoundland – they should seize the Caterpillar assets in London and ensure that all community and worker obligations are fully met.

Ford suffers first big set back

Protests against right-wing Mayor
Rob Ford are making gains

By Liz Rowley

     The hard‑right administration of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was dealt a big setback on January 17. After months of protests by community groups and labour, the city's 2012 austerity budget was amended to add $19 million to rescue three homeless shelters, three child care centres, school nutrition programs, HIV/AIDS programs, city-owned homes for the aged, swimming and wading pools, recreation centres, libraries, and other essential services slated for closure, contracting out, or deep reductions and big new user fees.

     Dubbed by some as a war on children's services, Ford's budget attacked everything from housing to transit to health and social services, from the arts and libraries to public assets like theatres and zoos, affecting almost everyone in this city of 2.7 million. The public rose up in horror, from the trade unions to wealthy arts patrons and supporters of the library system.

     Committees were formed, including the "Stop the Cuts Coalition", with its 27 neighbourhood affiliates, the "One Toronto" coalition of arts and cultural communities, and the individuals and organizations which came together to save libraries, swimming pools, school breakfast and nutrition programs, the children's zoo, social housing, and child care centres (Toronto has a waiting list of over 20,000 for subsidized child care spaces). There was wide opposition to cuts to snow clearing, especially in the suburbs and in higher income areas.

January 31, 2012

Quebec students gear-up for strikes

PV Montreal Bureau

A demonstration by the ASSÉ
Québec students are campaigning against the Charest Liberal government's 75% tuition fee hikes. Successful actions have been building across the province, and a major student strike on the national‑level is expected this March, shutting down campuses in all big cities and regions of Québec.

Strike votes will be take place in early February. Full‑time student tuition in Québec is increasing by over $1600, in addition to extra fees charged on campus.

Since September students have been holding a series of escalating actions, building pressure against the government. Some campuses saw students staging "paper storms" after paying tuition, as thousands of bills were thrown from campus balconies like confetti. Students also built a brick wall overnight in front of the minister of education's office door, highlighting blocked access to education.

Fault Lines: Chilean student struggles

Mobilize for CFS Day of Action, Feb. 1st

Student's will be mobilizing
at over 50 campuses across
the country on Wednesday.

Students today are facing a corporate steamroller in the form of massive tuition increases and high youth unemployment like our generation has never seen before. The only way forward for the students is to develop a united fightback. The cross-Canada Day of Action, organized by the Canadian Federation of Students, is an excellent step in that direction and has the full support of the Communist Party of Canada and the Young Communist League.


Canada is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Despite the economic crisis, Canadian corporate profits are increasing.

The Harper Conservative government is spending billions on the military and war. Yet there is no money for education.

It would take approximately $6 billion to pay for all undergraduates’ tuition, while Harper is now spending over $20 billion (and rising) on the military each year.

January 29, 2012

Student's protests planned on fifty campuses across Canada

Special to People's Voice newspaper

Striking graphic from www.educationisaright.ca
     Confronting skyrocketing tuition fees and rising student debt, the Canadian Federation of Students will hold a cross‑Canada day of action for accessible education on February 1st. Actions are expected on over fifty campuses from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland, including mass rallies in Ottawa, Toronto and other cities.

     "The Education is a Right campaign is the expression of students' collective vision for a well‑funded, high‑quality, public post‑secondary education system that builds a fair, and equitable society" says Roxanne Duboise, CFS Chairperson.

Student protests shake Chile

Chilean students march in the streets of Santiago

From People's Voice newspaper

The past year and a half has seen significant student resistance in the streets in Britain and Ireland, across Europe and the US, as well as North Africa and the Middle East. But one of the most significant struggles over education is in Chile, against the right‑wing government of billionaire president Sebastian Pinera.

     Most basic and secondary schools, and most universities in Chile have been privatised. Even public universities charge large fees. The state dedicates less than 5% of Chile's GDP to education, leaving students and families to pay 75% of education costs.

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