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December 19, 2018

2018 Photo Review

Taking Bold Stands in Defence
of the Rights of All and to
Make Canada a Zone for Peace 


This third issue of TML Daily's 2018 Photo Review carries the struggles of the working people of Canada and Quebec and Indigenous peoples in March.

The month opened with militant stands taken by education workers at York University and Carleton University for their rights, the dignity of labour and students' right to education. It has become increasingly clear that public post-secondary institutions have been geared to meet the needs of global oligopolies which engage in nation-wrecking and embroil everyone in their striving for world domination. In this context, education workers are treated as a mere cost to be cut down. But young people persist in their fight for an education that helps them contribute to the humanization of the social and natural environments at home and abroad.

March also saw spirited actions to mark International Women's Day across the country and around the world. Women affirmed their place in the front ranks of the movements for rights, peace and justice, addressing the broad concerns of the people. While the Trudeau government continued to dress in feminist garb and push a deceptive agenda in the name of "gender equality" to give a progressive veneer to anti-people activities such as imperialist warmongering, the concrete activities of women and their collectives made clear that women's security lies in their fight for the rights of all. Women reiterated the demand for an end to the violence against Indigenous women, and demanded justice for the families and communities of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

In British Columbia, the fight over Kinder Morgan's planned expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline sharpened as Indigenous peoples and many others stepped up their mobilization under the banner "No Consent, No Pipeline!" Some 10,000 people participated in a march and rally to express their resounding No! Actions were also taken to block construction at Kinder Morgan's terminal on Burnaby Mountain, with dozens of people arrested. These events showed in stark relief that the mechanisms the government claims are in place for Indigenous peoples to give consent or to assess the impact of such projects and take part in decision-making are window dressing. The people's instinct to rely on themselves and exercise their right to say No! and not fall prey to government platitudes proved astute when the Trudeau government simply went ahead and bought the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan in May, despite the people's opposition.

The workers at the Aluminerie de Bécancour Inc. entered their third month of lockout. They did so with conviction in their just cause and based on the work to marshal the strength of the workers' movement in Quebec and beyond behind them. This struggle brought out the importance of building the organization and unity of the workers' movement to ensure no one is left to fend for themselves. This is needed more than ever as global conglomerates restructure their empires and attack the workers at will, and supranational interests dictate the direction of Canada's economy. All of this is done counter to the well-being of working people and their communities, while governments claim these are private business decisions or even collaborate in these actions against working people.

Workers at the Iron Ore Company of Canada plant in Labrador City went on strike to stop the company from employing a "temporary workforce" side-by-side with permanent workers doing the same work under drastically inferior and unsafe working conditions. In doing so, the workers sought to uphold the dignity of labour, to protect and increase their claim to the value they produce, and to keep as much value as possible in the region for the well-being of the actual producers and their communities.

On the front of international relations, the work to build practical and friendly relations between the Canadian and Cuban peoples took the form of a cross country tour by a Cuban parliamentarian, organized by the member groups of the Canadian Network on Cuba. The tour took place in a year when Cuba's economic reforms were well underway, a new president was elected and the process to draft a revised constitution began. This was a good opportunity for people to know more about Cuba and its democracy and how its people wield decision-making power. Canadians also welcomed the new Cuban Ambassador to Canada, Her Excellency Josefina Vidal, known for her role in normalizing Cuba-U.S. relations during the Obama presidency.

Canadians have always stood with the Palestinians and their just cause for the right of return of all refugees to their homeland, and an end to the criminal Israeli occupation. Activities to commemorate Land Day began in Canada at the end of March, as the historic mass mobilizations for the "Great March of Return" got underway in Palestine.

As March drew to a close, an important meeting was held in Toronto to support the cause of peace on the Korean Peninsula. Professor Kiyul Chung presented important insights ahead of the historic Inter-Korea Summit in April and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea-U.S. summit that followed. This together with the newspaper coverage of the unfolding events by TMLW Weekly contributed greatly to countering the vicious anti-communist propaganda of Canadian official circles and media. These events also provided an important opportunity for all those those who had taken part in the information pickets and petition-signings to take stock of that work.

March 5
Teaching assistants, graduate assistants and part-time faculty at York University begin strike action after overwhelmingly rejecting university's final offer that does not address the need for proper wages and working conditions.


Striking Carleton University workers say No! to attacks on defined benefit pensions.


March 8
Activities take place across Canada to mark International Women's Day, as women affirm their claims on society. A society is characterized by the extent to which women can exercise control over all the affairs of the polity and their indispensable role as leaders is recognized on matters of concern such as peace, justice and social progress.








Prince George


Former Peterborough General Electric workers and their families rally at Queen's Park to demand their claims for compensation for workplace illnesses be recognized.

Workers at Iron Ore Company of Canada in Sept-Iles, Quebec give their union a strong strike mandate, to oppose the company's use of a temporary workforce which works side by side with permanent workers under much inferior conditions.

March 10
March and rally in Burnaby, BC against the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.


March 12
Unionized security guards, members of USW Local 8922, rally with the locked-out ABI workers and pledge their ongoing financial assistance.

March 15
Workers from Rio Tinto's aluminum smelter in Arvida, members of Unifor Local 1937, send a delegation to Bécancour to pledge financial support to the locked-out ABI workers.

Public sector workers in New Brunswick, organized in the Canadian Union of Public Employees, hold their "Breaking the Mandate" conference to organize a united fight in the public sector for wage increases.

March 16
As the off-season for seasonal workers in Quebec continues, workers demand that members of the government come to their region to see how real life does not accord with government accounting, that deprives them of dignity and a livelihood.



March 17
Protests continue at Kinder Morgan site on Burnaby Mountain, BC, including actions to block the gates to the terminal. A watchhouse has been established by Indigenous peoples at the site.

Solidarity picket in Ottawa with the 800 administrative, technical, and library staff at Carleton University on strike to defend defined benefit pension plans.


March 20
Ongoing protests in Burnaby, BC say No! to Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.

At a memorial in Quebec City, members of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society of Quebec commemorate those killed by the Canadian state 100 years ago during protests against conscription at the time of World War I. This historic rejection of conscription remains integral to the anti-war stands taken en masse by Quebeckers today.

March 21-29
A cross-Canada speaking tour on the topic of Cuban democracy is launched in Toronto. It features Juan Carlos Rodriguez Díaz, Professor of History in Pinar del Rio and elected member of Cuba's National Assembly of People's Power, who is accompanied by Yamil Martínez Marrero of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP). The tour, organized by the Canadian Network on Cuba, also visits Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.



March 22
Weekly picket and petition signings in Vancouver continue to inform the public and build support for the historic peace initiatives on the Korean Peninsula.

March 22-25
Contingents from many union locals across Quebec visit the locked-out metallurgical workers in Bécancour, bringing their solidarity and financial support.


March 24
Youth in Canada mobilize in solidarity with the mass actions against gun violence organized by youth in the U.S. under the banner "March for Our Lives." The stand of the U.S. youth is for control over their lives and an end to gun violence and mass shootings in schools, workplaces and elsewhere, which wins broad support. They refuse to scapegoat the youth for behaviour problems, nor do they accept that violence can and should be solved by increasing surveillance and armed policing of students. 

Fredericton, New Brunswick

Montreal, Quebec

Toronto, Ontario

Thompson, Manitoba

Edmonton, Alberta

Calgary, Alberta

Victoria, BC

http://cpcml.ca/Tmlw2018/W48012.HTM#1 (Photos: J. Lang, C. Yardley, K. Whetter, K. Darbyson, K. Doyle, K. Pringle)

Demonstration by doctors, medical students, unions and community organizations calling for raises awarded by the Quebec government to specialists and general practitioners to instead be spread throughout the public health care system to mitigate the crisis caused by the anti-social offensive of government cuts and restructuring.

March 27
Josefina Vidal is accredited as Cuba's new ambassador to Canada in a ceremony at the Governor General's residence. Ambassador Vidal is well-known for her role in leading the Cuban side during the process to normalize Cuba-U.S. relations in 2015-2016.


Iron Ore Company of Canada workers on strike in Labrador. 


March 29
Nursing home workers, members of CUPE Local 1876, picket office of Eddie Orrell,
MLA Northside-Westmount in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, to demand improved health
and safety for themselves and residents.

http://cpcml.ca/WF2018/WO0512.HTM#4 (Photos: CUPE Nova Scotia)

March 30
A delegation of workers from Iron Ore Company of Canada plant in Sept-Îles visits their striking counterparts in Labrador City to offer support and financial assistance. 

(Photos: Metallos, USW Local 5795)

United Steelworkers Local 5778 contingent from Fermont, Quebec brings financial support to striking Iron Ore Company workers in Labrador City.

http://cpcml.ca/WF2018/WO0512.HTM#1 (USW Local 5795)

Picket in Montreal on Land Day supports the just struggle of the Palestinian people for their land and rights.

March 31
Lively meeting in Toronto with Prof. Kiyul Chung gives insight to the upcoming Inter-Korean and U.S.-DPRK summits and prospects for peace on the Korean Peninsula.



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