This weekend cleaning staff kick off a campaign to stand up for their rights

rabble news - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 5:37pm
Invisible No More is the latest campaign from SEIU fighting for rights for cleaning staff. They are asking for $15 an hour and some basic labour standard guarantees. Justice for Janitors campaigns to make cleaning staff invisible no more
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House rises and the campaign is on. Beware new voting rules!

rabble news - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 4:37pm

Nobody in politics is even trying to pretend otherwise.

Parliament is going on a long break and the election campaign is on, full blast.

Some who don’t watch politics daily are surprised to learn that the House of Commons will not sit again before the election on October 19th, four months away.

Depending on the election result, in fact, Parliament may not meet again until 2016.

If the Conservatives get the largest number of seats, but not a majority, they may be tempted to rag the puck for a while, in the hope of discouraging any move by the other parties to unite and form an alternative government.

Fair Elections Act's new ID rules -- tough for those who lack driver's licenses

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Vote for the cure. Vote for housing.

rabble news - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 4:25pm

The following is the text from Cathy Crowe's graduand address to the University of Windsor nursing and kinetics class of 2015. Cathy received an honourary degree to recognize her extraordinary career.

You might be surprised to learn that my nursing activism began during the Cold War years, 30 years ago when I was a nursing student at Ryerson. A very open-minded pathophysiology teacher allowed me to do my patho paper on the medical effects of nuclear war. It's why I use the term "hotspots" to describe what I see as a street nurse. Not radioactive hotspots but social welfare hotspots.

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Justice for Janitors campaigns to make cleaning staff invisible no more

rabble news - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 2:33pm
Friday, June 19, 2015 Invisible No More is the latest campaign from SEIU fighting for rights for cleaning staff. They are asking for $15 an hour and some basic labour standard guarantees.

When you’re working a low-wage job, life is about choices. 

Lyne Giard works as a cleaner in a water purification plant in Ottawa. She is a shop steward for her union, SEIU Local 2, and because she makes $13.50 an hour, she says she is one of the lucky ones.

"Cleaning has always been a lower paid job, and people work very hard, physically," said Giard. "You work hard all day and in order to make things happen financially, most people have to work two jobs or even three jobs. Emotionally, physically it’s overwhelming."

"If you work two or three jobs you aren’t home for your kids, and you end up giving less to your family."

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This week in labour: Lessons in broad-based organizing

rabble news - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 1:51pm
Friday, June 19, 2015 Unionized and non-unionized workers find a common front in struggles against precarious labour.

Monday, June 15th marked the 25th anniversary of the Justice for Janitors Day campaign.

Initiated by SEIU in Los Angeles, Justice for Janitors is both a union drive and movement that has spread across the US and Canada.

By incorporating unions and community groups to link workers’ rights to other social justice issues like immigration reform, the “J4J” campaign piloted a model of organizing that is being replicated by fast food workers and other broad-based campaigns, like Ontario’s fight for 15 and fairness.  

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Fierce Voices: Young women speak out

rabble news - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 1:15pm
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Women have been historically underrepresented and misrepresented in mainstream media. The arrival of the Internet, and blogging in particular, gave women and girls an unprecedented way of telling their own stories using their own voices directly to their audience.

However, online spaces have had a tendency to reproduce the same systems of oppression that exist in the real world. Women who speak out, especially on feminism, are vulnerable to bullying, trolling and silencing.

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Justin Trudeau is no emperor, but his clothes are disappearing anyway

rabble news - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 1:11pm

The emperor has no clothes. Only the most Liberal-intoxicated refuse to acknowledge it. Son chien est mort. Like the famous parrot, he's no more. He has ceased to be.

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'Alberta is not Greece yet' … Why do we have to pay for Jack Mintz's mythmaking?

rabble news - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 11:46am

VICTORIA, B.C.

"Alberta is not yet Greece, but it's heading along that path," wrote Jack Mintz in the National Post yesterday. The italics are his.

Mintz's argument that such NDP policies as implementing a modest increase in the taxes of the most profitable corporations, a higher minimum wage and a review of what are thought to be the lowest resource royalties on the planet will usher in economic Armageddon is, pretty obviously, hyperbolic and misleading.

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Smita Singh on social change and human trafficking

rabble news - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 10:02am
Smita Singh on Social Change and Human Trafficking

Smita grew up in a Christian home where she was inspired to help others. She knew at a young age that she would pursue a degree in clinical psychology. Once she graduated, she worked as a counsellor for a drug and rehabilitation clinic. Then continuing to follow her heart, she made the transition into an international justice organization that rescued young girls who were sold into the sex trade in Kolkata.

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On looking gift horses in the teeth, and other thoughts about charitable giving

rabble news - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 9:26am

So you want to support your local food bank?

Great! We need your help. But first, a story.

My grandfather was a preacher, usually at small rural churches in southwestern Ontario. His "salary" was unpredictable, paid out of every fourth week's offering -- more like a stand-up comic's than the wise and venerable shepherd of his flock. My grandparents were poor, and in obvious ways dependent on their congregation.

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Harper and Clark approve LNG Canada project in B.C.

rabble news - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 9:24am

The Harper and Clark governments have approved the Royal Dutch Shell PLC LNG Canada project.

The Vancouver Sun reports, "The federal government has decided the environmental impacts of the LNG Canada project are justified in the circumstances, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq said in a release."

That article also notes, "Ottawa's approval comes with 50 legally binding conditions dealing with fish habitat, migratory birds, human health and a host of other matters. ...The provincial approval comes with 24 conditions dealing with greenhouse gases, wildlife impacts and aboriginal consultation, among other things."

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A welcoming home for refugees: Removing stigma, increasing support

rabble news - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 9:09am

Refugees across Canada are facing a structural housing crisis. Stagnant shelter allowances for the Government Assisted Refugees eligible to receive them, a federal retreat from social housing provision, and skyrocketing housing costs in numerous Canadian cities since the early 1990s, have all contributed to this.

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Chalk one up for democracy: U.S. wins victory over TPP trade deal

rabble news - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 8:46am
Friday, June 19, 2015

A teenager who knows me too well says I'm obsessed with endlessly refighting the battle against free trade. That rings pathetically true. And now who wins a small victory over the ancient foe? Them. The U.S.! History is cruel.

It happened last week. President Barack Obama backed the latest in free trade, the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- or TPP. The august Senate backed him. But the House of Representatives, the elected body nearest the people, voted No. It took a savvy, impassioned, grassroots campaign to make that happen and even so, it's not over. Pro-free traders are already attempting a TPP resuscitation. Victories over free trade should be celebrated swiftly. But what explains even that hiccup?

Free trade once got by on theory and jargon: It's free, it's trade -- what could go wrong? But now, decades on, there's some reality to test it against.

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Dear Ryan: Stand up for law and order!

rabble news - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 9:32pm

Ryan Leef, Member of Parliament for Yukon

Dear Ryan,

When the Canadian Access to Information Act came into force under Prime Minister Trudeau in 1983, it was considered the most progressive model for freedom of information legislation in the world. The Protection of Privacy Act, companion legislation, ensures that individuals' rights to privacy are not compromised by public access to information. The two Acts are, together, referred to as ATIP.

Under ATIP, the public is guaranteed timely access to information relating to all government business.

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New report shows Canada’s wireless rates are (STILL) among the worst in the world

rabble news - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 8:43pm

Is the federal government trying to hide from results of this year's report on telecom prices in Canada? Their silence today over the release of the annual Wall Report sure makes it look that way and, having seen the results, it's not hard to imagine why. Yet again, the annual report analyzing Canada’s telecoms prices reveals that Canadians are paying among the highest rates in the world.

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Why did Steven Blaney cry 'terrorism' when questioned about report?

rabble news - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 7:19pm
Answering a question about Voices-Voix's Dismantling Democracy report Public Safety Minister Blaney hurled the accusation of "terrorism." Where did that come from? Harper government answers scorching report by crying 'terrorist'
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Do you think the Harper government is committing voter suppression?

rabble news - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 6:49pm

It's shaping up to be a tight federal election this year, and it looks like Stephen Harper is trying to get all the help he can by making it harder for certain Canadians to vote.

Recent changes to the Fair Elections Act, proposed after the robocall scandal, still disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Canadians from voting in the next election.

Do you think the Harper government is committing voter suppression?

Choices Absolutely. Banning the use of voter identification cards is directly targeting marginalized populations. No, but it's close. He's clearly trying to make it very difficult for certain populations. No, but he's trying to clamp down on imaginary problems instead of addressing the real ones presented by the robocall scandal. I'm not sure. I thought they were making more amendments to the Fair Elections Act? None of the above.
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New labour legislation needed to deal with precarious work: Let the consultations begin!

rabble news - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 4:49pm
Friday, June 19, 2015 As precarious work becomes the new normal, Ontario's Labour Ministry is running consultations before reforming legislation.

This week the Ontario Ministry of Labour initiated a series of public consultations on the changing nature of the modern workplace. 

The consultations are part of the Changing Workplace Review, which will consider how Ontario's current labour legislations could be reformed to support people in 'non-standard jobs,' meaning part-time, temporary or independent contract work. 

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The myth of abundance

rabble news - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 11:26am
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Canadian governments act as if fresh water will never run out. Maude Barlow calls this belief the myth of abundance. She details the threats facing our water supply in her new report Blue Betrayal. Emma Lui is water campaigner with the Council of Canadians. Emma Lui speaks about the report with Redeye host Esther Hsieh.

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Free trade agreements enshrine corporate rights

rabble news - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 10:24am
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When governments try to protect the environment or promote the local economy, free trade agreements allow companies to sue for billions of dollars for lost profits. Murray Dobbin is an author and journalist. He writes a regular column for rabble.ca and the online magazine The Tyee. Murray Dobbin speaks with Redeye host Sean Mullen about the impact free trade agreements have on local autonomy.

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