Last week the Conservative Ontario government did what was previously unthinkable in Canada: take away charter rights from people who work. This unprecedented act was met with widespread opposition from unions coast to coast as the Conservatives made it clear that collective bargaining (like NHL and MLB players have) will no longer be respected. People said no and launched massive protests defending worker’s rights and now the weak Conservatives admitted they were wrong and will repeal their legislation.
Protesting works and don’t let anybody try to convince you otherwise.
“(Workers) took on the Ford government and the government blinked,” said CUPE national president Mark Hancock.
Opposition to the law had been gathering steam over the past several days and the unions used the press conference to give Ford a glimpse of what he faced had he not promised Monday morning to repeal the law.
Presently in Ontario the Conservative governemnt has used “the nuclear option” to take away rights from workers. Not going to lie: it’s really bad, like Canadian Charter of Rights are no longer relveant bad.
The union the government is picking on is primarily made up of women and many of them aren’t even earning a living wage. The Conservatives want to pay them less and are fining them more than a month’s wage everyday they’re on strike.
Where’s the good news?
Histrorically labour actions make the working world better for everyone. Given how much damage the Conservatives have done to the averaging working person in the province we have nowhere to go but up. Just like back in 1981. One union’s strike brought the entire country of Canada maternity leave.
With negotiations going nowhere, CUPW went out on strike. Their demands were multifaceted, but maternity leave was singled out by capital, media, government, and the public.In turn, maternity leave was deemed egregious, unnecessary, and even greedy. Risking it all, postal workers and their allies fought for forty-two days and won. Their victory reverberated across Canadian society. Other unions quickly followed suit and, before long, the government institutionalized and expanded maternity leave to equalize the playing field. What started out as a gain for postal workers quickly turned into a gain for all Canadian women.
Our global carbon footprint has risen dramatically since 1990, but only a few people are to blame for the worst of it. The wealthy have been increasing their carbon output without regard for anybody on the planet (or future generations). Reducing their carbon output is simple and easy, many ideas have been put on this very site. As always, we need politicians brave enough to stand up for the majority of people.
He finds that per-capita emissions of the top 1% of emitters in the world grew by 26% over 1990-2019. The top 0.01% saw an even larger rise of 80%. Meanwhile, the bottom half of emitters saw a more modest 16% increase in per-capita emissions. And the “lower- and middle-income groups of the rich countries” saw a drop in per capita emissions of 5-15%.
In fact, if you live in Ontario then you should get out and vote in your local municipal election. The municipal level is where people feel the impact of government the most since it literally impacts our day to day existence. Want more transportation choices than just a car? Vote for a candidate who supports bike lanes or public transit. Want cleaner air? Vote for a candidate that supports bans on leaf blowers (or any of a million things that are good).
If you can vote in the Toronto, then please do! Polls are open now until 8pm this evening. If you don’t know who to vote then go vote for Gil Penalosa! He’s the best option for a city that no longer wants to struggle in mediocrity!
Gil Penalosa is passionate about cities for all people.He advises decision makers and communities worldwide on how to create vibrant cities and healthy communities for all, regardless of age, gender, ability and social, economic, or ethnic background. His focus is on the design and use of parks and streets as great public places, as well as the promotion of sustainable mobility: walking, riding bicycles, using public transit, and new use of cars.
Gil is the Founder and Chair of the successful Canadian non-profit organization 8 80 Cities, as well as first Ambassador of World Urban Parks, the international representative body for the city parks, open space and recreation sector.In addition, Gil leads a private international consulting firm – Gil Penalosa & Associates, providing services as an inspirational keynote speaker, instructor of Master Classes, and advisor to decision makers.
Throughout his career, Gil has been a strong advocate for improving city parks, making his first mark in Bogotá, Colombia, where he led the design and construction of over 200 parks– including Simon Bolivar, a 113-hectare park in the heart of the city. His team also radically transformed the Ciclovía / Open Streets – from a program of few kilometers to one that sees over a million people walk, run, skate and bike along 121 kilometers of Bogotá’s city roads every Sunday of the year, and today is internationally recognized and emulated.
Hopefully next week Toronto will have a new mayor (vote Gil Penalosa!) and oust the mediocre John Tory. Mayor Tory is infamous for not leading not making any real decisions except for helping car drivers drive through the city, which will cost the people of Toronto half a billion dollars. He’s not a good mayor yet he has a chance of winning. To bring attention to Tory’s ineptitude artists have created the #austerityTO project.
“Looking around the city, this is his work of art. This is the thing that he has created in his time of office,” said James McLeod, a communications manager and former journalist who helped create the project. “The long-term austerity has led to these increasingly absurd situations in our city that are really striking when you have the eyes to see them.”
“We were trying to take what is obviously a lack of vision for the city – and reinterpret it as though it were a clear, deliberate vision,” he said.