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Social Justice on Trial in Canada

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Social Justice on Trial in Canada

Student protests reflect more than tuition hikes.

by Stephen Lendman

Destructive neoliberal mandates harm US and European societies. Canada's conservative government force-feeds similar policies.

They include wage and benefit cuts, less social spending, privatization of state resources, mass layoffs, deregulation, tax cuts for corporations and super-rich elites, and harsh crackdowns against resisters.

It's also about sharply hiking college tuition fees, student anger, and criminalizing public responses. More on that below.

In the 1980s, it was called Reaganomics, trickle down, and Thatcherism. In the 1990s, it was "shock therapy." Today, it's austerity. The result is unprecedented wealth transfers to corporate favorites and privileged elites.

Capital's divine rights are prioritized. Social justice is on the chopping block for elimination. Living standards are sacrificed. Ordinary people lose out. Vital services are cut. Human needs go begging. Unemployment and poverty soar. So does rage for change.

Years ago Canada lost its moorings. In December 1984, conservative prime minister, Brian Mulroney, addressed policies that began in the 1970s. Speaking before the New York Economic Club, he announced:

"Canada is open for business."

He meant US companies were welcome. Both countries cooperated for greater economic integration. Corporate interests were prioritized. Ordinary people lost out. 

Oh Canada took on new meaning. Sacrificing pluralist Canadian democracy and social justice traditions became policy. Major parties formed consensus the way Democrats and Republicans do in America.

Neoliberal harshness was institutionalized. The conservative Harper government stiffened earlier policies. It serves Canada's ruling class. Finance capital is dominant. What big money wants it gets. Corporate power overall makes policy.

Canada shifted hard right under Mulroney. Harper institutionalized it further. Last January, he addressed Davos World Economic Forum participants. He pledged "transformative" pro-business policies.

They include more tax cuts, privatizations, deregulation, and austerity hitting ordinary people hardest. "We will do more, much more," he promised. 

Socio-economic policies established represent some of much more to come. Social Canada was hardest hit. Rights for ordinary Canadians no longer matter.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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The carbon tax begins in Australia on July 1st. Bu... by Mike Preston on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 10:09:15 AM
And increase price for profit? Before treason, ai... by BFalcon on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 10:47:04 PM
Drown us with senselessness. People are saying som... by Mike Preston on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 11:14:14 PM
and I had so hoped  the north would be there ... by lila york on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 12:29:26 PM
 I doubt there are places left; if they are, ... by Ad Du on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 2:19:10 PM
 Mr. Lendman,  There are parts of (democ... by Ad Du on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 1:38:31 PM
... and those are just articles I happened to catc... by PCM on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 6:29:56 PM
"Split the vote" and not unite in 2012 against neo... by BFalcon on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 10:50:43 PM
Who with a possibility of winning is running on a ... by Laura Stein on Wednesday, Jun 6, 2012 at 6:28:58 PM
But it is not right. In every election now there ... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Jun 6, 2012 at 8:30:04 PM
civil liberties and prioritizing wars for resource... by Laura Stein on Thursday, Jun 7, 2012 at 4:51:18 PM
You don't seem to analyze facts critically. To mak... by BFalcon on Thursday, Jun 7, 2012 at 9:37:56 PM
Some countries there, at least. People there don't... by Ad Du on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 11:12:07 PM
around the world, as I have stated before power co... by Anuel Jackson on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 6:05:17 PM
We can't even get along in the U.S. and we are arg... by J. Dexter Smith on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 6:56:20 PM