Ahead of the coming election, Canada’s main political parties are arguing that “foreign investors“ are causing a housing crisis. But the problem isn’t foreigners — it’s the commodification of housing.
Dan Darrah is a writer of nonfiction and poetry from Toronto. He has written about work, culture, money, and debt for Jacobin, Canadian Dimension, Briarpatch Magazine, and more.
House prices and rents in Canada are skyrocketing. There’s only one solution to the social crisis this has caused: a massive expansion of public housing, releasing people from dependence on a rigged market.
Canada’s Liberal government recently tabled its first budget since the pandemic began, and it contains some modest shifts away from austerity economics. But these policies fall far short of what’s needed, and the core of Trudeau’s budget is about maintaining the status quo.
The use of customer reviews to evaluate workers is rising across the service sector. Once you get past the shiny rhetoric of consumer empowerment, it’s a new variation on an old story: enlisting customers on the side of management to help discipline and exploit workers.
Canadian NDP MP Niki Ashton has faced absurd attacks for agreeing to join an event with British Labour politician Jeremy Corbyn. Canada’s Left should see the absurd charges of antisemitism against Ashton and Corbyn for what they are: an attempt to delegitimize socialist ideas.
Canada’s Government Has No Problem With Canadians Milking Pandemic Subsidies — As Long as They’re Rich
In response to the pandemic, politicians in Ottawa set up an emergency wage subsidy scheme that was meant to help workers. But some of Canada’s biggest firms have milked the subsidy scheme for billions while paying out dividends and laying off staff.
The late poet laureate Philip Levine gave us a unique and loving set of portraits of the American working class. Six years after his death on Valentine’s Day, let’s mourn his absence and celebrate his work.
As part of its anti-union agenda, Alberta’s right-wing government has wrested control of workers’ retirement funds from a joint board that gave them a guaranteed say. Workers in the province are preparing to mount a legal challenge to the power grab.
Team owners in Canadian football made record profits while many of their players had to work second jobs to make ends meet. Now they’re using the pandemic as an excuse to claw back wages even further — a player fightback is the only way to change the game.
The anti-vaxx movement is a menace, but it feeds off public distrust nurtured by the appalling record of Big Pharma. We need an alternative model that strips out the profit motive and works for the public good — Canada’s Connaught Laboratories show how that model could work.
In 1990s Ontario, austerity measures provoked a long series of strikes and demonstrations known as the Days of Action. The high points of that mobilization can serve as a model for struggles to come as we face post-pandemic cutbacks.
After unionizing gig economy workers, Ontario’s courier union Foodsters United found themselves without an employer when Foodora filed for bankruptcy. Now they’re exploring how worker cooperatives could use the efficiency of platform structures to bypass corporate exploitation.
The Conservative Party of Canada has announced a new leader: Erin O’Toole. A seemingly spiritless, staid candidate, his leadership may nevertheless prove a strategic win for Conservatives.
Canada’s investor class has enjoyed decades of high profits from real estate, but the national housing crisis reveals the toll this has taken on working-class people. It’s all a textbook example of the private housing market’s inability to meet society’s housing needs.