Wage theft is a major problem for workers in the trucking industry, yet the organizers of the so-called Truckers for Freedom Convoy are completely silent about this. How can the organizers and supporters of the convoy claim to support truckers, when they simply used them as a spectacle to draw attention to anti-vaccine and far-right ideology?
In the end, workers are attacked on two fronts via inflation rhetoric. First, by banking CEO's who claim workers make too much money, and second, by the Conservatives who claim that they received too much government support during the pandemic.
True North, a conservative-leaning news site, has published a highly misleading article that seems to attempt to undermine vaccine effectiveness. It's actually kind of shocking how bad it is. Putting True North's own numbers into context tells an entirely different story than the story its readers have heard. According to government data, the rates of hospitalizations and ICU visits are dramatically lower for fully vaccinated individuals. On average, unvaccinated individuals are going to the hospital 5.5 times more than vaccinated individuals. They are also going to the ICU 12 times more than vaccinated individuals.
Aside from needless greenhouse gas emissions, the only accomplishment of the so-called Truckers for Freedom convoy is further consolidation and recruitment of the far-right. Whatever your stance on vaccines or vaccine mandate, the growth of these far-right conspiracy movements and the inevitable violence that goes along with it should be alarming.
BC excludes some workers, students, and newcomers to the province from receiving healthcare benefits. This forces people to pay for their own healthcare out of their own pocket. During the pandemic, temporary policies were introduced to cover these groups of people, but were eventually revoked. If Canada's public healthcare system is to be truly universal, these barriers to healthcare must be removed immediately.
Public transit is much more than getting from point A to point B. It is implicitly linked to broader societal issues like climate change and social justice. Eliminating user fares would be a great first step in the right direction.
Justin Trudeau has chosen to place all of the blame on the unvaccinated for the current spike in cases and hospitalizations. The problem is, this is only a half-truth. It is political scapegoating. The other half of the problem is Trudeau himself - and the rest of Canada's political elites who have declined to improve Canada's public health system for decades. There is so much more that our political leaders could have done to prevent, or at least mitigate, the current surge in Omicron cases and hospitalizations.
The influence of the private sector paid off for business owners, as they received more pandemic relief money collectively than individuals did. Justin Trudeau's federal government came out with a slew of programs to help those in Canada, but many of these predominantly favoured employers. According to a new CCPA report, businesses received $26 billion more in financial supports than individuals did on programs like the CERB. The result of the decision to direct more funds toward businesses was the maintaining of control in the hands of employers and managers. This meant there was less autonomy for workers to decide what to do with their own labour-power.
The internal logic of capitalism has tainted our government's response to the pandemic. Corporate profits were preserved, while the interests of the working class were disregarded. Pandemic austerity and vaccine nationalism were the primary themes of government responses, and have grave consequences for the working class and health of humanity. An alternative solution, worker-ownership, is good public health policy as it would empower workers to create their own safe pandemic working conditions.
One of the responsibilities of the police that could be eliminated is the role of social work and responding to mental health crises. As we've seen far too often in Canada and across the world, the police are untrained and ill-equipped in social work. The success of these examples in Edmonton and Hamilton point toward the need for Canada to move away from authoritarian police models toward more liberatory, restorative solutions.