Socialist Caucus Holds Toronto Event to "Build on the Orange Surge"
On June 7th, more than thirty-five people attended a Socialist Caucus meeting in Toronto to hear SC activist Barry Weisleder, Toronto - Centre NDP candidate Cathy Crowe and YSA activist Tyler Mackinnon discuss the recent federal election, the NDP Convention in Vancouver and future steps for the party.
Speakers and participants warned against any "coalition" with the pro-corporate Liberal Party and discussed the importance of working alongside labour activists and other left forces to counter the failures of neo-liberalism and propose socialist alternatives.
NDP Socialist Caucus Steering Committee member Julius Arscott (seen above at right) gives a first hand account of his experiences at the G20 protests in June 2010 and the autocratic police tactics used by the authorities. Although many NDP members participated in the demonstration with their unions, the Socialist Caucus was the only organized NDP representation at the event.
The NDP Socialist Caucus was proud to organize a public hearing which posed the question "Should Ontario End Public Funding of Catholic Schools?" Featured were NDP Hamilton Centre activist Robert Barlow, researcher Abby Deshman, school board trustee Jan Johnstone, Socialist Caucus Steering Committee member John Orrett, and renowned professor Peter Russell.
Over seventy people attended the event. Most agreed that the use of taxpayer dollars going towards separated Catholic school boards was not only discriminatory, but served to waste precious resources and divided children on religious and even ethnic lines.
NDP Socialist Caucus Challenges Public Funding of Religious Schools
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NDP Socialist Caucus Federal Conference Report
Dated June 2010
NDP activists from Hamilton, Oakville, Mississauga, Thornhill, several Toronto constituencies, and from as far away as Winnipeg, Manitoba gathered at OISE U of Toronto for the Annual NDP Socialist Caucus Federal Conference.
The Socialist Caucus is wasting no time in addressing the big issues that face the working class today. At the top of the SC agenda is ending the war of occupation in Afghanistan and opposing any coalition, let alone merger, of the NDP with the Liberal Party, or any capitalist party.
NDP MPs have been too soft-spoken during the current campaign by the business media and the Liberal Party to extend the imperialist war mission beyond the 2011 Canadian troop removal deadline. One New Democrat MP, Jack Harris, who was part of the infamous Bob Rae-led junket to Kandahar, has mused about the need for Canadian forces to remain in a training capacity and to build "institutions" in Afghanistan, which implies a fighting presence there.
That brings us to rumours of a merger with the Liberal Party, the political pillar of Bay Street rule and the whole private profit system of environmental, labour and indigenous injustice. While Jack Layton says 'no one is authorized to engage in talks', so-called party 'saints' Ed Broadbent and Roy Romanow are talking potential 'deals' with Jean Chretien and others. Sadly, the outrageous prospect of such a merger seems credible only because the NDP has moved so far from its CCF and working class roots.
After illuminating presentations and discussions on domestic social policy (John Clarke, OCAP; Alex Johnstone, women's and children's rights; Robert Ling, End Prohibition of Cannabis) and foreign policy issues (Michael Skinner, Exiting the Afghanistan Quagmire; and this writer speaking on the campaign for democracy, anti-militarism and international solidarity in the NDP), conference participants got down to work on resolutions.
The gathering reaffirmed most of the policies advanced by the SC in the lead up to the 2009 NDP Federal Convention in Halifax, and then added three new ones: Legalize Cannabis, Make CPP Benefits a Decent, Living Income for Retirees, and Support the Cochabamba (Bolivia) Protocols on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth.
The conference mandated the incoming SC federal steering committee to write a new resolution on ending the Alberta Tar Sands Project.
NDP activists from over a dozen riding associations and youth clubs, from Windsor-West to Willowdale, from Thornhill to Oakville, gathered at the Bahen Centre, U of Toronto on October 29 for the official launch of the Campaign to Restore Democracy in the Ontario NDP.
Attend the CREDO Public Forum at Ontario NDP Council on November 19 in Toronto. Read more.
Ontario NDP Socialist Caucus Challenges Failed Policies of Austerity
The NDP Socialist Caucus held a successful lunch-time forum at the Metropolitan Hotel in Toronto, site of the Ontario NDP Provincial Council meeting on November 3, 2012. Some thirty council delegates from throughout Ontario engaged in a lively discussion on the topic "How to Fight Austerity in Ontario.”
Panelists Nancy Pridham (OPSEU Vice-President), Ali Mallah (CUPE member, Toronto municipal worker, former Ontario and Federal NDP Executive member), and Barry Weisleder (Socialist Caucus chairperson, OSSTF member and Toronto Substitute Teachers' organizer) led off the discussion. The meeting was chaired by John Orrett, Thornhill NDP president.