Uncategorized Archive



Dear Marit,
First, as members of the NDP, we want to welcome you as a breath of fresh air after a decade of ONDP leaders who treated the membership as an afterthought and election fodder. The inroads made by Doug Ford into our base in last June’s election resulting in a disastrous loss of seats were a wakeup call. The Party needs to reinvent itself boldly as you promise to do. It needs to shed its incremental and risk-averse inclinations that fall flat with those who need us the most but who we can’t even inspire to trek to the polls. With that in mind, we ask you to advance a programmatic profile that will be as committed to workers and their allies as DougFord is to the developers and his capitalist backers.

A public telecom, already established in Saskatchewan and other provinces, should be at or near the top of our agenda. It could provide low cost access to underserved and overpriced regions of the Province where Indigenous and other communities suffer poor service. Private telecoms in Ontario now feast on some of the highest profits in the world while generating widespread anger with service disruptions (think of the recent Rogers fiasco). This issue intersects with affordability, especially for students and youth, Indigenous rights, universal access to high-quality critical digital
networks essential to social life and employment, competent service and reliability.

We need a climate justice vision in the traditions of the Leap Manifesto and Green New Deal while resisting encroachments on the Greenbelt, the poisoning of our waterways (Grassy Narrows) and other specific environmental threats. An Ontario NDP government should proudly proclaim the creation of a program of public manufacturing of electrical vehicles to service all governmental transportation needs without private profiteering feeding at the public trough. Any Green Transition Plan must guarantee that not a single worker will be terminated on the road to a green economy.

Ford’s popularity with suburban motor vehicle owners and others compelled to use private cars because of inadequate public transport can be countered by campaigning for a public auto insurance plan. Already part of our program and wildly popular in Manitoba and other provinces where it has been implemented, such a plan will lessen the unequal financial burden on workers forced to drive and will undermine Ford’s carefully nurtured suburban and rural voting base.

Your call for democratizing the ONDP resonates with us. Central to any initiative in this regard must be ensuring the democratic prioritization of convention policy resolutions from ridings.These are now routinely buried at the bottom of resolution lists by persons whose thinking is not aligned with delegates’ actual preferences nor the number of a resolution’s endorsers. The Resolutions Committee is a graveyard for resolutions the Party bureaucracy wants to suppress. Wherever possible, new Party policies between conventions should be made in consultation with the membership after meaningful debate.This was not done when a Party official last summer declared ONDP support for a definition of antisemitism which equated it with valid criticisms of the Israeli state. Such policy statements made on the fly violate membership involvement. This practice should cease and we
can start by having the much-needed discussion on the Party’s acceptance of this definition at our next convention.

Once again, we admire your willingness to assume the reins of ONDP leader and commitment to openness and boldness in moving the Party forward during turbulent times. Ultimately, the current crises of capitalism require placing the needs of workers and their natural allies above those of the one percent. While resisting the onslaught on workers’ past economic gains by planned stagflation, we need to project a society where one’s ability to fulfil one’s basic needs should not be determined by an accident of birth. Public need trumps private profit. We need to be part of the renewed energy of youth, women and equity-seeking groups that increasingly yearn for a different society embodying collective interests and equality as its defining parameters. In sum, we need to inspire the public with the vision of a socialist democracy.

We hope you will share with us your views on our proposals and allow a
discussion to take place on the points raised here before your formal election.

We await your response to begin a discourse.

An evening with social justice poet, El Jones

The Courage Coalition presents an evening of spoken word poetry with El Jones on February 15, 7:30 pm Toronto time.

El Jones will be entertaining her audience with the poetry of anti-oppression and life affirmation for the racialized and the marginalized. This event is meant to provide those who struggle for social and environmental justice an opportunity to listen, enjoy, and engage. El welcomes interaction with the audience.

El Jones was born in Cardiff, Wales, but raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She now calls Halifax, Nova Scotia her home. She first began performing spoken word poetry at a Word Iz Bond open mic, and later became artistic director of Word Iz Bond Spoken Word Artists Collective.

​Jones has performed all over Canada and teaches in the African Canadian Transition program at NSCC and the Women’s Studies program at Acadia University. She has written many articles for Huffington Post Canada, and in 2014, published her first book of poetry, Live from the Afrikan Resistance! (Roseway Publishing).

Jones advocates for the use of spoken word as a tool for liberation and activism. She is dedicated to using poetry to engage youth and as a resource for prison outreach, finding her inspiration in the Black community of Nova Scotia.

For a list of her poetry, links to some appearances, and a sample of her poetry and writing, go to http://www.stu-acpa.com/el-jones.html.

Join on Zoom. Passcode: 2021

Solidarity with NDP MPs who attack the RCMP and BC Premier Horgan

Courage Coalition supports the NDP MPs Gazan, Green and Ashton’s criticisms of the RCMP/Horgan’s aggression and call on Jagmeet Singh to demand that the RCMP be withdrawn and the Coastal GasLink pipeline work be suspended pending negotiations with the hereditary chiefs.

Finally, we herald NDP MP Peter Julian for his emphatic and unreserved call for an immediate halt to the construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline in light of the current devastation of British Columbia.

Solidarity with British Columbia Land Defenders

Courage expresses its solidarity with the YinkaDini, Unist’ot’en and the Wet’suwet’en Nations in British Columbia against their brutal repression by the RCMP for defending their territory. 

We must recognize and uphold their right of self-determination which means control of their land without encroachments based on informed consent.

Learn more.

6 Courageous Resolutions (Courage West Coast Initiative)

The Courage Coalition’s West Coast Sprout is excited to announce its #6CourageousResolutions initiative, highlighting six ambitious resolutions submitted by Electoral District Associations and trade union affiliates to the November 2021 BC NDP Convention.

The list of resolutions can be found here.

To get involved in this grassroots campaign, join the 6 Courageous Resolutions Discord server! (Link also in bio.)


Courage Coalition Statement in Support of Fairy Creek Defenders

As we bear witness to more and more footage of colonial violence happening at Fairy Creek, which is now the largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history,  we express our commitment to DEFUNDING THE RCMP. Carrie Saxifrage, in her shockingly descriptive account of the goings-on at the protest camp, details several unacceptable activities carried out by the RCMP on forest defenders. We are in solidarity with old-growth forest defenders.

Courage joins the Wilderness Committee in their condemnation of the RCMP’s illegal injunctions and in their call to the BCNDP to commit itself to the fourteen recommendations made by the independent panel on old-growth forests in BC.

Historically, police have been tools for capital to oppress the working class, as well as colonial tools of oppression. America’s police system originated in its slave patrols — Canada’s RCMP are no different. Throughout its history, the RCMP has harassed and murdered Indigenous people just as much as their municipal counterparts in city police divisions have. Indigenous people make up 40% of the prison population while only making up 4% of Canada’s population. 

Canadian colonial and capitalist violence is not a thing of the past, and it is causing great harm to people at this very second. 

Courage pushed for Defunding the RCMP at the NDP federal convention and we are recommitting ourselves to pushing for this position until the RCMP is completely dissolved. 

The police are one part of the system that perpetuates harm toward our BIPOC communities across the land. While the abolition of the RCMP, provincial police, and municipal police forces will not be the end of decolonization and reconciliation, it is a crucial step and must remain at the forefront of the conversation.

Courage calls upon other organizations and individuals to join our efforts in police and prison abolition at the federal level.

We invite you to learn more through the non-exhaustive list of resources below. 

Accounts to follow:

Additional Resources:


The narrative that has emerged in the current election from all political corners has given eco-socialists an opening that is unprecedented. Government activism has never played such a starring role in a federal election. Austerity, lower taxes, cutbacks—the usual themes on the electoral political stage—have been written out of the campaign scripts and the loosening of public purse strings now implies placing the public interest above private greed. In the midst of this political paradigm shift, proponents of the labour movement and advocates of systemic change have the opportunity of writing the next chapter.

We can thank the clear and present danger of the global pandemic for setting this new ideological stage. Covid-19 has revealed and exacerbated all the festering dangers and injustices of neoliberal politics and economics: the deterioration of the public health system, the ever-rising cost of housing, the vulnerability of BIPOC communities, the disabled, and the homeless, the lack of health and safety protection for workers, the widespread existence of income precarity, and so much more.

The pandemic has lifted the curtain on the opaque and complex network of corporate profiteers who use tax havens, trusts, shell companies, lax government supervision, market manipulation, public subsidies, and shortages and disruptions to drive income inequality to dizzying heights. As usual, the old and young, the racialized, and the income-precarious are forefront victims.


At the same time that government interventionism has been given a new lease on

life, the rapidly escalating climate crisis has afflicted vast regions of Canada with floods, droughts and forest fires, and dramatically underscored the failure of global and Canadian governments to seriously limit carbon emissions and to chart a way out of fossil fuel dependence. The climate has now made its way to the top of concerns among Canadians. Added to this is collective shock and grief now being expressed at the discovery of the bodies of thousands of Indigenous children destroyed by the colonial legacy of genocidal residential schools.

These traumas have delegitimized the neoliberal clichés traditionally advanced in favour of lean and mean governments and the sanctioning of massive investment in the public realm. This change has created fertile ground for ideas that point the way to a large-scale transition of the social order from one controlled by profit to one based on sustainability, ecological restoration, shared resources, justice, equality, Indigenous sovereignty, and workers’ rights.

Such a vision contrasts sharply with the Liberal government’s promotion of cosmetic incremental change and an inadequate social safety net designed to alleviate the worst consequences of capitalism, masked by the contrived rhetoric of progressivism. This has resulted in narrow commitments to climate mitigation targets and in much handwringing about the wrongs done to Indigenous peoples, while incursions on First Nation lands continue apace. The polished empathetic language of the Liberals amounts to old-style politics at its worst, where words are cheap, promises are empty, key details hidden, and concrete action is replaced by the spouting of values and platitudes.


The NDP, the traditional voice of the labour movement and the working class, has developed a spate of critically important proposals, and a trenchant critique of corporate profit-hoarding. The Party’s Ready for Better program includes unqualified support for UNDRIP’s “free and prior consent’’ requirements, an end to profit-driven long term care facilities, a one-million-jobs campaign with a green filter, a wealth and excess profits tax, a public pharmaceutical enterprise, free dental care, electrification of federal vehicles, public inter-city bus lines, mass transit, $10-a-day public childcare, commitments toward fare-free transit, a youth Civilian Climate Corp, expansion of the Indigenous Guardians Program to protect sustainability, an end to fossil fuel subsidies, and a Climate Bank to fund alternative energy projects. Such proposals represent a widespread and deepening turn to the public sphere, and a major shift to climate justice in the spirit of the Leap Manifesto.

Yet there is a basis for concern as to whether this program is distinct and visionary enough to distinguish the NDP, given the broad sweep of reformist promises inundating the airwaves and social media.

In its Green New Deal  of the North, Courage outlines the parameters of an authentic transition to a just, green economy from “wasteful consumerism to the communal luxury of free time; from private ownership to public and cooperative ownership models; from authoritarian corporate structures to workplace democracy; from enclosing the commons to expanding the commons.’’

It continues: “We need a clear plan to transition away from our current destructive energy and economic systems, which are based in exploitation and extraction, and into systems that are sustainable and just. We can’t afford to furnish huge profits to corporations every time we meet basic human needs. We need to start bringing essential aspects of the economy under community and worker control.”

It’s against these inspirational concepts that we measure the NDP’s Ready for Better platform.


The NDP plan calls for a million new jobs in energy retrofitting, childcare, housing construction, transit, renewable energy—all important items and happily faithful to the environmental movement’s call for a low-carbon economy, but the document doesn’t discuss the criteria governing this new employment, or its function in changing economic structures. On the other hand, the Green New Deal of the North urges that “all new green jobs [be] unionized and public, or administered under community-owned or cooperative models, so that profits benefit everyone.”

In fact, the NDP’s Ready for Better platform seems uninterested in a wholesale conversion of the current predatory economy, as witnessed by its support for the purchase of fighter jets, with its estimated $19 billion initial price-tag, and its failure to call for Canada to withdraw from NATO and end Canada’s alignment with U.S. military interests. While the Party’s election program aims to ensure “Canadian arms are not fuelling conflict”, and talks up peace-keeping and humanitarian missions, no concept of converting the country’s weapons-and-component industry into socially useful production is on offer.

Courage’s GND of the North, alternatively, demands we “massively reduce spending on military hardware and retool Canada’s growing arms industry toward green-tech production because war and instability caused by corporate profiteering is a massive source of climate emissions on its own.’’ Canada, it points out, has to “radically change its approach to foreign policy, emphasizing solidarity over our current model of extractive colonialism.”


Other shortfalls of the NDP program include the fact that it does not commit to a freeze on all new oil and gas projects nor sets a timetable for the end of fossil fuel production, a glaring omission pointed out by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. And while the platform promises to forgive up to $20,000 in student debt, remove interest from student loans and move towards grants, it does not advocate the much more transformational move towards free tuition.

As members of Courage we have to think critically about what proposals would best express the holistic integration of all the social, political, and economic changes needed for structural transition. We find this shift best expressed in the concept of our own Green New Deal of the North, the basis of an eco-socialist climate transition that is a stark contrast to the band-aid promises of the Big Business parties.

Still, Courage calls for active and critical support and engagement with the NDP in this campaign. As the voice of organized labour, the NDP is a class alternative to the two Big Business parties enmeshed in implementing the corporate agenda. The limited concessions they made and are making to working Canadians and their allies only further the interests of the corporate giants whom they faithfully serve. It took the pandemic to remind us  how powerful are the forces that maintained their operations—mines, manufacturing, construction, warehousing—without government constraint, as workers contracted Covid in the workplace, struggled to breathe, and sometimes died.

 Ultimately, the NDP is the political arm of working people—it will need to take the reins of government to preserve our planet and the health, safety and security of this and future generations.

The Courage Coalition

September 4, 2021

Courage Joins the Call to Cancel Canada Day

Courage Coalition supports and joins the call to cancel Canada Day, in solidarity with Idle No More and Indigenous activists. As the colonial state of Canada prepares to set off fireworks, Canada Day is for many a painful reminder of the past and ongoing colonization and genocide of Indigenous peoples. This year is particularly marked by resistance and pain, following the horrific discovery of 215 children in a mass grave at a Kamloops Residential “School” and 751 at Marieval Indian Residential “School” . 

Canada Day is a celebration of settler colonialism and dispossession for economic gain. It is a celebration of stolen Indigenous land. It is a celebration of genocide. 

We must recognize Canada’s role as a perpetrator and participant in the ongoing genocide of Indigenous peoples. Canada has a long history anti-Indigenous racism and has used its police as a tool of colonial oppression to violently subjugate protestors struggling for their right to live safely on their land. We support Indigenous voices demanding we cancel Canada Day and fighting for self-determination, sovereignty, and environmental justice. 

Statutory holidays are too few and essential for workers to rest–but we cannot condone expensive celebrations of colonial violence. Instead of investing millions of dollars into flashy celebrations, Canada needs to act on all 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

We encourage you to visit Idle No More’s website and @CancelCanadaDay on Instagram for a list of #CancelCanadaDay events near you. 

Learn about the Truth and Reconciliation’s 94 calls to action. 

Courage demands more to aid Palestine

We encourage all NDP members to present the following letter to their riding associations. Click here to view and download the letter.

Please send the signed letter to: Anne.McGrath@ndp.cadhananjai.kohli@ndp.ca, Jagmeet.Singh@parl.gc.ca, and info@couragecoalition.ca

Courage Calls on the Government of Canada to Sanction Israel.

As Canadians, we have watched in horror as Israel has committed new atrocities and human rights violations against Palestinians with our government’s moral and financial support. As NDPers, we have been dismayed that our party has not called for sanctions in response to this escalating violence – despite members voting overwhelmingly for just such a response at our federal convention last month. 

The recent Israeli home invasions at Sheikh Jarrah, the violent assault on worshippers at Al-Aqsa mosque, and the ongoing state violence across all of Israel-Palestine are part of a continued campaign of ethnic cleansing and apartheid by the occupying power, the State of Israel, against the Palestinians. The Israeli government is deliberately targeting worshippers during Ramadan. They are rallying racist nationalists around “Jerusalem Day”, and targeting Palestinian civilians, neighbourhoods, and places of worship including in the Gaza strip with rubber-coated steel bullets, flash and stun grenades, and airstrikes. These attacks have so far killed at least 83 Palestinians including 17 children, seven women, and injured and maimed hundreds of Palestinians, destroyed many civilian sites including a 12-story residential building in occupied Gaza, and vandalized Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. 

There is no foreseeable end to this violence. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened to increase the “frequency” and “strength” of the air raids. Benny Gantz, the Israeli defence minister, said: “Israel is not preparing for a ceasefire. There is currently no end date for the operation. Only when we achieve complete quiet can we talk about calm.”

This current wave of state violence is part of the 73-year brutal colonization of Palestine that Canada and its allies have supported by failing to apply any consequences for the perpetrators of war crimes. Canada must sanction the State of Israel for its actions and work to liberate the Palestinians from their oppressor. We are glad to hear Singh and other MPs call for an end to the arms trade and urge them to go further. The NDP must honour the will of its members and demand that the government immediately implement sanctions against Israel. 

The NDP Policy Book Clause 4.1.f states:

New Democrats believe in:

f. Working with partners for peace in Israel and Palestine, respecting UN resolutions and international law, supporting peaceful co-existence in viable, independent states with agreed-upon borders, an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and an end to violence targeting civilians. To that end:

  1.  Ending all trade and economic cooperation with illegal settlements in Israel-Palestine
  2.  Suspending the bilateral trade of all arms and related materials with the State of Israel until Palestinian rights are upheld.

Following this policy, we, the undersigned, call on Jagmeet Singh and the NDP to clearly demand an end to all trade and economic cooperation with illegal settlements in Israel-Palestine and a suspension of all bilateral trade of arms and related materials with the State of Israel until Palestinians rights are upheld. In addition, we call on Jagmeet Singh and the NDP to demand the State of Israel return the homes in Sheikh Jarrah to the Palestinians that were forcefully evicted as the forcible transfer of the occupied civilian population is prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

We would also like to remind the leadership of NDP that as a party committed to opposing racism, it must never accept policies of settler-colonialism, ethnonationalism, ethnic cleansing or apartheid. Just as labour unions, students, and artists united to pressure South Africa in ending apartheid over forty years ago, so too has civil society been speaking out now to end injustice and longstanding systems of oppression against Palestinians in Israel-Palestine.

We all call on our fellow riding associations, labour partners, and allied organizations to support us in our demands in pursuit of justice and peace in Israel-Palestine. 



Open Letter to Sue Montgomery from the Progressive Montréal Community

Dear Sue Montgomery,

It has come to our attention that you have launched a new municipal party in Montréal, “Courage – Équipe Sue Montgomery.” As activists and politicians engaged in struggles for economic, racial, and environmental justice, we find this news confusing and disappointing.

We know Courage Montréal as the Montréal branch of Courage Coalition, a national organization established in 2017. Courage is a coalition of the independent left. They are non-partisan, but believe in engaging with the electoral process as one way of pushing for bold, progressive social change.

Courage Montréal has been working in the city since 2019 to advocate for transformational policies and insurgent campaigns. Taking the name “Courage” for your political party will no doubt lead to confusion on the part of the public. 

It is also a clear example of appropriation. The work that Courage Montréal has done to support local community efforts, such as in a series of press conferences held in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en and climate justice, in rejection of post-pandemic austerity for the poor and working people, and calling for a jobs guarantee, is now at risk of being associated with your new party. In addition, the federal candidates that Courage has endorsed and whose campaigns it has supported, will be confused with your project and the policies that you choose to pursue. The credibility that Courage Montréal has built with the community of Montréal is not something that should be used for your own political purposes.

As local activists, we find this highly disrespectful of the significant volunteer labour that has been put forward by Courage Montréal members in their work to support community organizations, strong leftist politicians, and social movements. 

What makes your decision even more disappointing are the vast political differences between yourself and Courage. For instance, whereas Courage supports Freedom for Palestine and has been highly critical of the IHRA definition of anti-semitism, you support the IHRA definition. Courage is also a proud supporter of the movement to Defund the Police, Land Back, and a Green New Deal for the North. Courage calls for abolishing billionaires, strongly rejects oil pipelines and the expansion of fossil fuels, and is highly critical of Canadian imperialist foreign policy in Venezuela and Iran

We strongly urge you to adopt the principles and policy positions for which Courage has advocated and to actively support the organizations fighting for these policies, to which many of the undersigned belong. 

Until that time, as members of the progressive community in Montréal and Canada, we respectfully request that you immediately remove the name and logo “COURAGE” from your newly founded political party and all associated materials.

For Media Requests:

Kalden Dhatsenpa (English): kalden95@hotmail.com

Victor Tardif (français): Victortardif8@gmail.com

Signees / Signé(e)

Organizations / Organisations

Friends of Public Services

Democratic Socialists of Canada – Montréal 

Montréal for Bernie 

Our Time – Montréal

Climate Justice Montréal

Harbinger Media Network

CERAS (Centre d’Étude et Ressources d’Asie Sud/Centre for Study and Research in South Asia) – Montréal

India Civil Watch – Montréal

The Leap / Le Saut – Montréal

SEIZE – Montréal

Justice Internationale

Courage Ottawa

Politicians – Montréal

Meryam Haddad, Former Green Party of Canada leadership candidate / Ancienne Candidate à  la chefferie du Parti vert du Canada

Christine Paré, Ancienne candidate NPD pour Papineau

Konstantine Malakos, NDP/ NPD candidate/candidat Glengarry-Prescott-Russell

Kalden Dhatsenpa, Ancien candidat NPD pour Longueuil–Charles-Lemoyne


Pierre-Alexandre Rochette – Courage Montréal

Stefan Christoff – Courage Montréal, Immigrant Workers Centre board, CKUT radio host

Joseph Sannicandro – Courage Montréal

Frederic Langlois – Courage Coalition, Horizon Ottawa, Suppress the Virus Now! Coalition, 

Christian Favreau – Montréal, QC

Penny Oyama – Courage Coalition, Burnaby, B. C.

Darin Barney – Courage Montréal

Nicolas Chevalier – Montréal, QC

Meagan Wiper – Justice Internationale, Courage Ottawa

Paula Krasiun-Winsel – Regina, MB

Peter Chen – Montréal, QC

Sam Hersh – Ottawa

Zach Ripka – Montréal

Gerald Rowe, PhD – Montréal Elders for Environmental Justice, Montréal

Raidin Brailsford – Courage Toronto

Adleen Crapo – Toronto, ON

Gabriel Bourget – Courage Ottawa

Paul Merriam – Gatineau, QC

Derek Nason – Saint John, NB

James Arruda – Montréal, QC

Jennifer Williamson – Toronto, ON

Adrian Murray – Ottawa, ON

Andre Goulet – Montréal, QC

Melanie Mathias – Ottawa, ON

Laura Shantz – Ottawa, ON

Julia Maksymetz – Montréal, QC

Matthew Daniels – Toronto, ON

Charles McFadden – Fredericton, NB

Murray Cooke – Toronto, ON

Nigel Morton – Toronto, ON

Tamara Sandor – Montréal, QC

Cayley Sorochan – Montréal, QC

Laura Dunn – Montréal, QC

Marcus Peters – Montréal, QC