Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- George Monbiot opines that the UK has ceased to be a functioning democracy as unelected people exercise unchecked power. And Bruce Livesey wonders whether the U.S. is tearing itself apart as the racial divisions used to undermine class cohesion become untenable, while Rebecca Solnit recognizes that the violence being inflicted on a peaceful protest movement is entirely top-down at the direction of Donald Trump and police forces following his lead. 

- Vanmala Subramium calls out Rex Murphy and anybody else seeking to perpetuate denial of Canada's ongoing racial injustice, while Andre Picard takes note of the public health effects of racism. Roshini Nair discusses the need for people in positions of privilege to put in the effort to identify systemic racism.

- Alicia Elliott rightly questions why there's been so little action three years after the release of the report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, while Chris Selley points out how the Trudeau Libs have fallen far short of their promises to fight racism. And Max FineDay writes about the need for Canada's rebuilding plan from COVID-19 to be rooted in reconciliation.

- Finally, Marieke Walsh reports on the NDP's push for race-based data collection to ensure Canada can identify and address racial inequality. And Tom Parkin discusses the successes of the NDP in pushing the Libs to help people otherwise left behind, particularly compared to the do-nothing anger of the Cons:
(O)ur Prime Minister announced his economic support plan—waiving the one week “waiting period” for Employment Insurance sickness benefits for workers quarantined or required to self-isolate. That plan collapsed to immediate criticism. “The vast majority of Canadians will not have access to his plan,” Jagmeet Singh warned from the Commons that day. “Sixty per cent of workers have no access to Employment Insurance.”

One week later the Liberals announced a new program—CERB, the $2,000 per month Canadian Emergency Response Benefit. But it continued to be a complicated program that cut people out. Singh and his caucus again pointed to gaps. And on April 15, the Trudeau government took what it called “decisive action,” expanding CERB eligibility to include seasonal workers and some others not eligible for EI.

On March 11, the Trudeau government also introduced a 10 per cent wage subsidy program for hard-hit businesses. Singh brought together a coalition of union leaders and small business owners to press for wage support of 75 per cent. And on March 27, the Trudeau government did that, too.

For weeks Singh and his caucus advocated for students, excluded from CERB, who face bleak summer job prospects. Finally on April 22, the Trudeau created the Canada Emergency Student Benefit.

Singh has ramped up his call for a national paid sick leave plan. And after a week of Trudeau saying that wasn’t his jurisdictional concern, on May 25, Singh got the PM on-side.

Conservatives pundits—for reasons perhaps as much psychological as ideological—seem miffed and perplexed at Singh’s string of wins for Canadians. Wrong, but self-convinced as ever, Conservatives’ big push was to cut CERB, which hit a wall of backlash. Can anyone recall any tangible win for Canadians engineered by Conservative leader Andrew Scheer?

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