Uncategorized Archive

Courage Montreal calls for Sue Montgomery to change the name and logo of her new party

11 March 2021, Tio’tia:ke/Montreal: Courage Montreal calls upon Sue Montgomery to immediately remove the name and logo “COURAGE” from her newly founded political party and all associated materials.

Ms. Montgomery has not received permission from Courage Montreal, or Courage Coalition to use its name or logo. Courage Montreal and Courage Coalition do not endorse or support Ms. Montgomery or her organization. Ms. Montgomery is not a member of Courage Coalition.

Courage Montreal was established in 2019 as a Montreal branch of Courage Coalition, a national, non-partisan organization established in 2017. The organization is committed to democratic control of the economy, decolonization and self-determination, an inclusive society, environmental and climate justice, international solidarity and inclusive and asymmetrical federalism.

Courage Montreal has sixty-five local members, and Courage Coalition has over five-hundred members across Canada.

Recent and ongoing Courage campaigns include calls for the return of Indigenous lands, jurisdiction and resources, a federal jobs guarantee as the cornerstone of a zero-carbon, post-pandemic economic recovery, a national public transportation strategy, and solidarity with the Déclaration de Montréal-Nord, Black Lives Matter, and movements for justice in Palestine, Iran, India and Venezuela. 

The political platform of Ms. Montgomery and her organization are not aligned with those of Courage Montreal and Courage Coalition.

“Ms. Montgomery is trying to associate herself and her party with social justice movements that Courage Montreal and Courage Coalition have been working with for years,” said Laura Dunn, a founding member of Courage Montreal. “Appropriating another organization’s name and logo without permission is not the best way to build credibility and relationships with these movements. That is basically the opposite of courage.”


Kalden Dhatsenpa (English): kalden95@hotmail.com

Christian Favreau (français): christianpfavreau@gmail.com


REPORT: The NDP is Failing to Abide By the Results of their 2018 Convention

With the federal NDP convention quickly approaching, our membership has been hard at work preparing resolutions to send to the convention floor. We intend to use convention as an opportunity to continue our work of engendering a greater degree of democracy within the party, and pushing a bolder, more transformative political agenda.

Unfortunately, some of the information that’s come to light as part of this convention prep work has shaken our confidence in the existing democratic structures of the federal NDP.

A big part of our research into how we could most meaningfully participate in the convention process involved taking a look through the party Policy Book, which theoretically includes all the policy items that previous conventions have voted to adopt as official party policy, as well as the list of resolutions that were passed at the last federal convention in 2018. What we discovered when we compared these two sources is that there are several resolutions the membership passed in 2018 that simply never made it into the Policy Book after convention.

In total, the membership voted in support of 29 different policy-related resolutions in 2018 (not including non-policy resolutions regarding internal party business, campaign strategy, etc.) Of these 29 policy resolutions, only 13 have been added to the version of the Policy Book that appears on the 2021 convention website. The rest appear to have been simply disregarded by the party.

Among these ignored resolutions are some fairly major platform pieces, such as full drug decriminalization, and a ban on the racist practice of police “carding.” Perhaps most egregiously absent from the Policy Book is a commitment to fighting for socialized, universal dental care. This resolution passed nearly unanimously at the 2018 convention, is nowhere to be found in the Policy Book, and was substituted for a much weaker means-tested dental care proposal in the NDP’s 2019 election platform.

This is an unacceptable contravention of the NDP’s Constitution, which plainly states that convention is the highest decision-making authority within the party (article V, section 5). Whether through a deliberate attempt to subvert internal democracy, or simply through incompetent stewardship of the Policy Book, the federal executives tasked with interpreting the will of the party’s membership have failed to live up to this responsibility.

We have prepared a full account of all the policy resolutions passed at the 2018 convention, indicating whether or not these resolutions were included in the “updated” Policy Book that’s currently published on the 2021 convention website. We encourage other interested parties to check our work and verify these findings; every policy session from the 2018 convention is archived on the CPAC website, so the exact outcome of every vote on every resolution is in the public record. We have also archived the Policy Book as it appears on the 2021 convention website as of this writing in January 2021, and uploaded a copy of the full text of all 2018 convention resolutions. (Note: this document contains all resolutions that were submitted to convention, of which there are several hundred. Our spreadsheet linked above shows which ones made it to the convention floor and were passed.)

We call on the party to take immediate steps to remedy this issue, and we will continue to follow up as needed to ensure the will of the membership is carried out appropriately by party officials.

While this discovery has somewhat eroded our confidence in the ability of grassroots movements to have a meaningful voice within the NDP, we nonetheless intend to continue pushing for more transparency, more accountability when breakdowns like this occur, and a more robust democracy within the NDP. We hope you’ll join us in this fight, at the 2021 convention and beyond.


After polling our national membership, Courage has created a list of resolutions that we hope you will support. We heard from many riding associations that it would not be possible for them to debate the full list of fifteen resolutions. In order to accommodate this, we created a short list of seven ambitious resolutions and are now inviting NDP riding associations across the country to consider submitting them for the upcoming Federal NDP Convention planned for April 9th to 11th. 

The short list contains one resolution per policy category, as well as one constitutional amendment. The full list of resolutions that Courage has passed and will support at convention is further below.

We strongly believe that these resolutions would connect the party to social movements across the country and their demands, improve internal democracy, and allow the NDP to offer a bold and compelling vision for the future. This vision seeks to meet the extraordinary demands of our present moment: of pandemic unrest, of social upheaval, and of economic crisis; and lays the foundation for a better, more equitable and sustainable society for all. 

We invite electoral district associations and NDP commissions to endorse the following resolutions at their upcoming general members’ meetings so that they can be debated and adopted by the convention. We have listed them in the order ranked by our membership, but invite you to submit them in whichever order you see fit. 

Short list of priority resolutions: 

Constitutional amendment: 

  1. EDA Autonomy

Policy resolutions: 

  1. Land Back
  2. Defund the RCMP
  3. Justice and Peace in Israel-Palestine
  4. Free Transit for All
  5. Abolish Billionaires
  6. Creation of a Publicly-owned Telecom

Long list of Policy Resolutions: 

  1. Build out a National Public Transit Network 
  2. Stop Carbon Intensive Projects 
  3. People First #COVIDzero 
  4. Anti IHRA Definition
  5. Cancel Student Debt 
  6. EDA Engagement
  7. Repeal the Red Tape Reduction Act 
  8. Providing Financial Support for Election Candidates 

If your EDA submits any of the resolutions, please let us know by emailing info@couragecoalition.ca. This will allow us to gauge support as we head into convention. 

If your EDA chooses to submit the EDA Autonomy constitutional amendment, we recommend that you also email the submission directly to resolutions@ndp.ca and request that it be formally considered, despite the 100-word maximum imposed on the resolution submission form. Jesse Calvert, NDP Deputy National Director, responded to our question regarding this word limit stating that “we would determine on a case by case basis but yes, a constitutional amendment might need to be longer.” While the word limit is an obstacle, Courage believes proceeding with this amendment is critical, as it will allow us to build stronger, local parties that will be more empowered to independently organize in our neighbourhoods and communities. 

Courage will be active and digitally present at convention and we will be offering a space for progressive delegates to connect and collaborate. Membership in Courage is not required. Please circulate this form to local members to let them know how they can connect with their fellow delegates as we coordinate our efforts at convention:

Join progressive delegates from across the country:

NDP Convention Organizing 

In Solidarity,



A call to listen to social justice movements and progressive voices in India today

The NDP and Liberals must take a clear position against India’s citizenship law and systemic human rights violations by the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.

Courage Coalition, Montréal chapter, January 2021, Canada.

The BJP-led right-wing nationalist government in India pushed anti-democratic and repressive legislation throughout 2020, a year marked by a “systematic and brutal crackdown on human rights, further restrictions on dissent and civic space, growing prosecutions of human rights defenders, and the rise of hate speech and discrimination against vulnerable groups and minorities,” outlines Human Rights Watch.

From December, 19th, 2019 until March, 24th 2020, when a nationwide lockdown was declared in the wake of COVID-19, millions of people took to the streets to protest a new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) legislated by the BJP. The CAA has been deemed unconstitutional by many civil rights leaders and legal scholars, as it introduces religion as a key criterion in determining citizenship. 

Along with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Registry (NPR), the CAA actively discriminates against the Muslim community in India, turning away from the framework of a secular national identity that has been central to India’s constitutional and social ethos since winning independence from British colonialism in 1947. 

In cities, on campuses, and in communities across India people protesting against this discriminatory law have been met with police brutality. At least 31 people were killed over the course of these protests, with hundreds more left injured. Violent police repression upon students, human rights activists, and anti-CAA protesters, took place in tandem with organized paramilitary violence against progressive protests, often driven by the BJP affiliated Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and affiliated vigilant groups. RSS linked right-wing paramilitary groups also broke into university student dorms, beating up students and professors at many campuses in Delhi, including Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and also in Sonipat at Ashoka University, all while police personnel watched like bystanders in cases reported by the BBC. Dozens of peaceful protesters have been killed killed, hundreds injured, and thousands arrested—all disproportionately Muslim. 

Meanwhile, the Indian federal administration, which is under BJP control, has continued to incite communal violence within Indian society by targeting Muslim protesters publicly and blaming them for their own circumstance of facing state repression and violence. The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, has blatantly claimed that peaceful protests, organized by human rights groups and Muslim student groups, were causing the violence, while at BJP rallies, affiliated politicians have been demanding, as reported in the Guardian, that “terrorists” (Muslims and progressive protesters) be fed with bullets.

 In February 2020, Hindu nationalist mobs stoked by the anti-Muslim rhetoric of BJP leaders such as Kapil Mishra, attacked Muslim communities in Northeast Delhi, resulting in 53 deaths and widespread destruction of property. Throughout these anti-Muslim pogroms, which lasted several days, the police stood by, enabling the violence and, in some cases, even purportedly joining the attacks on Muslims. The Modi government’s silence on these incidents underscores the impunity with which Islamophobia operates within India today.  

While coronavirus has monopolized public attention and forced people away from the public realm, the Indian state has been capitalizing upon this lack of attention by cracking down on Muslim activists who (peacefully) protested CAA before lockdown. In the last few months, many protesters, a majority of whom are Muslim, have been arrested under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The UAPA gives the government unchecked powers to declare an individual as a terrorist which heavily curtails the right to dissent in India. This despotic attempt to arrest protestors under UAPA explicitly demonstrates the complicity of the judiciary in the quashing of dissent in India.

In response to the ongoing crisis of human rights in India, the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations secretariat have all called on the Modi government to scrap its discriminatory policies. International human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International, have spoken firmly against the CAA and the wave of human rights violations taking place in India, particularly against Muslims. The European Parliament passed six resolutions condemning the CAA for potentially creating “the largest statelessness crisis in the world”. Genocide Watch has issued a Genocide Alert for Assam and Kashmir, two states with major Muslim populations in India. 

Across Canada, people have been protesting and calling on the Liberal Party and the NDP to denounce India’s discriminatory law. For instance,  Indians Abroad for a Pluralist India in Vancouver and activists working with CERAS AND India Civil Watch in Montréal have been organizing and acting to protect human rights in India in the face of the CAA. Despite multiple anti-CAA protests across the country, Canada’s Liberal government has been largely silent on this issue and the NDP has issued only a few notices of serious alarm on this internationally condemned and discriminatory law in India. 

Although NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has explicitly condemned the “citizenship law” in India, there has been no specific call from the NDP for Canada to take steps of political and economic consequence in response to the law, no specific plan for the NDP to move from merely signaling opposition to specific calls for Canada to take action. 

Given the serious economic and political links between Canada and India, there are clear ways for the Canadian government to take concrete action both economically and politically, and to move from rhetoric to action. Specifically, the Canadian government must suspend the bilateral negotiations toward the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) that remain in motion. Canada must take concrete and consequential action in response to this move toward a violent sectarian framework for Indian identity that the BJP is pushing, by immediately suspending economic cooperation agreements between Canada and India. 

The NDP also must speak up about this specifically and clearly call for a suspension to all negotiations toward the FIPA between the government of Canada and India. 

It is also essential that Canadian political parties issue clear statements condemning the CAA, NRC and NPR as fundamentally discriminatory, and to exhort the Indian government to repeal them immediately. Should they fail to address these serious violations of human rights, Canada must move toward sanctioning BJP officials for their continued efforts to legislate systemic oppression toward minorities and incite political violence against minority communities in India, particularly Muslims. 

Beyond words, Canada must take political and economic action. It has been loudly and clearly called for by important groups within the Indian diaspora, in early December 2020, a response to this moment of human rights crisis in India. This crisis of injustice in India, under the BJP, is also deeply evident in the pro-corporate and anti-farmer farm laws passed by the BJP government, which are facing fierce resistance right now. Let us stand in solidarity with social movements in India struggling for economic justice, human rights and equality. 

Courage Coalition’s Montréal chapter has drafted this call in collaboration with members of the South Asian Women’s Community Centre, India Civil Watch and Alternatives International.

Let’s put democracy back in the NDP

We call on the New Democratic Party, in the year of its 60th anniversary, to live up to its name. The upcoming virtual convention in April 2021 provides us with an opportunity to expand the NDP’s internal democracy and affirm the active voice that members have in steering the party. For too long, the NDP has allowed a small circle of party insiders to wield undue influence over party policy and subvert the will of its membership, while actively working against attempts to strengthen internal party democracy.

We call on the NDP to honour its 2018 commitment to democratize the resolution process, and to reaffirm the status of conventions as the highest governing authority of the party, by taking the following steps as soon as possible:

1. Democratize policy resolution prioritization.

The NDP’s democracy depends on listening to the will of its members. The NDP must honour the passed 2018 resolution, “Modernization and Democratization of Convention Resolution Process (7-45-18)”, that empowers all members to rank our resolution priorities in advance of the convention. Furthermore, the NDP must ensure that this system is built in the spirit of the resolution passed by the membership, by making participation in this resolution prioritization process as clear and simple as possible for all members, and taking the necessary steps to maximize membership awareness of this new process ahead of convention.

Prior to the passing of this resolution, the power to prioritize resolutions lay in the hands of the NDP’s National Director, who decided which resolutions would make it to the convention floor behind closed doors, a completely opaque process from the perspective of the party membership. This effectively shut out certain ambitious policy proposals our members wanted to debate, in favour of watered-down resolutions. With bold, progressive policies gaining the majority of the Canadian public’s support, it is now more imperative than ever that the NDP ensures the issues the membership cares most about are debated and voted on during convention.

We call upon the NDP to create an online platform that allows all members to vote on the priority of resolutions to be debated and voted upon at the 2021 convention, in accordance with the 2018 resolution, “Modernization and Democratization of Convention Resolution Process (7-45-18)”.

2. Make the 2018 policy book and all future policy books available to the public.

We are dismayed at the lack of transparency shown by the federal council by not making the up-to-date policy book publicly accessible to current and future NDP members. For democratic governance of this party to be possible, it is crucial to make the most current version of party policy, last amended during the 2018 convention, accessible to everyone. This is an urgent matter that must be rectified immediately, to give all affiliated organizations and members ample time to propose new resolutions for the 2021 convention. Going forward, this should be an automatic process whereby the NDP immediately and publicly releases an updated policy book after each convention, reflecting the changes adopted via convention resolutions.

We understand that the recently-published website for the 2021 convention includes a copy of the policy book, but it appears to be an outdated version that does not reflect the resolutions passed at the 2018 convention. Furthermore, making the policy book available on a temporary site for convention-goers does not satisfy our desire for this document to be permanently and easily available to all members and updated in a timely manner after convention.

We call upon the NDP to make the 2018 policy book publicly accessible, and to ensure all future policy books are released to the public immediately following each convention

In Solidarity,

Courage Coalition

Leah Gazan Member of Parliament, Winnipeg Centre

Matthew Green Member of Parliament, Hamilton Centre

Alfred-Pellan Electoral District Association

Burnaby North—Seymour Electoral District Association

Carleton Electoral District Association

Eglinton—Lawrence Electoral District Association

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Electoral District Association

Kingston and the Islands Electoral District Association

Kitchener Centre Electoral District Association

Laurier—Sainte-Marie Electoral District Association

London West Electoral District Association

Ottawa Centre Electoral District Association

Ottawa South Electoral District Association

Saint Boniface—Saint Vital Electoral District Association

Spadina—Fort York Electoral District Association

Toronto—St. Paul’s Electoral District Association

University—Rosedale Electoral District Association

Vancouver Granville Electoral District Association

York Centre Electoral District Association

York—Simcoe Electoral District Association

If you would like to add your riding association to the list of endorsers, please email info@couragecoalition.ca

Courage Halifax — 2020 Municipal Election Endorsements

The newly formed Halifac chapter of Courage would like to announce our endorsements and honourable mentions for the Halifax Municipal elections.

The following set of Questions were sent to all candidates in all districts:

1. Given our vulnerability as a coastal community, what are your ideas for combating climate change within our municipality?

2. Do you support the incremental defunding of police in HRM?

3.If you do support the incremental defunding of Halifax Police, how would you move forward with it?

4. What are some strategies you would implement to create more equitable access to services across rural, urban, and suburban HRM, such as transit, water, etc?

5. Do you see a conflict of interest with campaigns taking donations from developers why or why not??

6. Do you feel we have a poverty problem within the HRM?

7. How do you think we got here and how do we get out of it?

8. What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?

9. What additional programs/projects would you like to see funded in the community?

10. Do you feel the municipality has a role in solving a healthcare/mental health care crisis?

11. If you do feel the municipality has a role in solving a healthcare/mental health-care crisis, what are your plans/strategies to address it?

34 municipal candidates answered our questionnaire. We did not consider candidates who did not complete the questionnaire for endorsement. The respondents were:

District 1

Art Wamback

Stephan Kamperman

District 11

Patty Cuttell

Jim Hoskins

Ambroise Matwawana

Stephen Chafe

Lisa Mullin

Hannah Munday

Pete Rose

Kristen Hollery

District 12

Eric Jury

Iona Stoddard

District 13

Lain Taylor

Pam Lovelace

District 15

Jay Aaron Roy

District 2

David Boyd

David Hendsbee

District 4

Jerome Lagmay

Kevin Foran

Ryan Burris

Caroline Williston

Daryl Johnson

District 6

Douglas Day

Ibrahim Manna

District 7

Waye Mason

Craig Roy

Jen Powley

District 8

Dylan Kennedy

Virginia Hinch

District 9

Shaun Clark

Bill Carr

District 12

Eric D Jury

Mayoral Election

Mike Savage


From these respondents, Courage Halifax would like to endorse Caroline Williston (District 4), Jay Aaron Roy (District 15), Hannah Munday (District 11), and Pam Lovelace (District 13). 

Courage Halifax while not endorsing the following candidates would like to add that these candidates should seriously be considered:

Waye Mason (District 7), Jen Powley (District 7), and Iona Stoddard (District 12). 

A Jobs Guarantee: the Path to a Green Recovery

Since January, Canada’s unemployment rate has nearly doubled. . But even before the pandemic, over a million people were unable to find work — and that’s without counting those who had stopped looking. The amount of suffering that this number represents is difficult to imagine.

Everyone who wants work, should have dignified, accessible living wage employment.

And let’s be clear, there is a lot of work to do: transitioning to a zero-carbon economy will require a top-to-bottom overhaul of housing, transportation, production, and care.

That’s why a federal jobs guarantee needs to be the cornerstone of an economic recovery, from the effects of the pandemic and for the climate.

What is a jobs guarantee?

A jobs guarantee is what it sounds like: everyone who wants a job can get one. A new federal agency (the Comprehensive Rapid Employment Agency for Treaties and the Environment – CREATE) would be created and charged with administering jobs and training programs across a variety of public sector agencies. Anyone could show up and sign up for a living-wage job, or paid full-time training program leading to long-term work.

Some of the jobs that could be filled to address the effects of COVID:

Beyond the pandemic, we need to put people to work caring for our future generations and preserving the planet for them:

There are many other pressing needs: building green infrastructure, planting trees, building green social and cooperative housing, and growing food and enhancing food sovereignty – to name just a few.

Isn’t that expensive?

The cost of such a program would be significant: in the multiple tens of billions per year, depending on the level of participation. However, it would have many important effects beyond creating a model for rapid decarbonization that is necessary for planetary survival:

  • Massive private sector growth as the money is spent
  • Growth in tax revenues at all levels of government
  • Growth in wages as a living wage “floor” is built under the labour market
  • Elimination of the hidden misery and indignity of millions of unemployed humans

By comparison, Canada’s military budget is over $21 billion per year. Corporate tax cuts passed by the Liberals have deprived the government of over $10 billion in revenues. Plus, corporations dodge the remaining taxes by at least $11 billion per year by using tax havens. Meanwhile, the fortunes of Canada’s billionaires are ballooning.

There is an estimated $700 billion in “dead money” that Canada’s corporations are not investing to expand operations or create jobs, instead pouring it into speculation and driving privatization. Taxing the super-wealthy and corporations to fund a jobs guarantee would put that money to work for people and the planet.

How does this help Indigenous communities?

The economic deprivation in First Nation, Metis and Inuit communities generally stems from lack of access to land – land that is frequently stolen in violation of treaties and inherent rights. However, Indigenous communities have also missed out on a wave of economic development driven by expansion of public services in the post-war period.

A jobs guarantee that respected Indigenous sovereignty could be a seismic shift away from poverty and social and environmental crises, and create a new economic footing for communities that have seen some of the worst effects of land theft, funding cuts, and pollution.

What about people who can’t work?

One effect of the CERB was to expose how absurdly low so-called disability and social support benefits are. In Ontario, for example, people living on disability must make do with $1,100 per month, a little over half of the CERB payments.

A jobs guarantee – with its massive influx of economic stimulus, improved quality of life and increased tax revenues – should be used as leverage to set the minimum provincial disability benefits at $2000, with cost of living adjustments in remote or urban areas with higher costs, and an additional amount to account for the increased costs of life while disabled.

Employment Insurance has also been deeply eroded by both Liberals and Conservatives. It’s a service that people pay for, but payments have been reduced, quotas for disqualifying people have been set, and billions have been stolen from the fund – effectively to pay for corporate tax cuts and oil industry subsidies. Comprehensive reform of EI is also necessary.

What about migrant workers and undocumented workers?`

The government has denied human rights and labour rights to temporary foreign workers and undocumented workers, many of whom were and are essential workers during the pandemic. And employers in Canada have taken advantage, exploiting vulnerable populations and paying those workers substandard wages.

For a jobs guarantee to be effective, it must be implemented in tandem with a Status for All policies – as proposed by migrant workers and civil society and movement organizations.

What about inflation?

When a jobs guarantee gains traction, watch out for corporate economists to appear in the media, warning of inflation. While paying people a living wage will lead some goods to cost a bit more, a well-implemented jobs guarantee would lower the cost of the central items in household budgets, like food, transportation, education, childcare and housing.

How will we get a jobs guarantee?

The idea of full employment hasn’t been seriously discussed in Canada in decades. Currently, no political parties are proposing a jobs guarantee. The idea has much more traction in the United States, where progressive voices like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders have put forward proposals. As the climate crisis deepens and the economic “recovery” claims more victims, we need to collectively demand a jobs guarantee, and put forward federal candidates who are in office as representatives of the people, not corporations. 

Has anyone done this before? Where can I find out more?

Most of the serious discussion has been in the US. Policy researchers like The Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the Levy Economics Institute,  and the Centre for American Progress have all published in-depth discussions of how a jobs guarantee could work.

Artists stand with Wet’suwet’en and for climate justice

No to colonial pipelines, yes to an economy and society based on Indigenous sovereignty.

September 9, 2020, Tiohtià:ke/Montréal.

Today, as artists in this city, we collectively declare our support for Indigenous sovereignty movements, specifically the ongoing campaign by the Wet’suwet’en people for ancestral land rights and title. 

We are sharing this letter to express collective admiration and support for the active resistance of Wet’suwet’en people and the Unist’ot’en Clan against the colonial corporate oil and gas industry. 

Amidst an unfolding climate disaster facing all life, we support Indigenous voices fighting for self-determination, sovereignty and environmental justice. 

Global scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming. The Guardian recently reported that there is “near unanimity among climate scientists that human factors – car exhausts, factory chimneys, forest clearance and other sources of greenhouse gases – are responsible for the exceptional level of global warming.”

Indigenous voices and communities are sounding the alarm and yet the Canadian government is undertaking a tiny fraction of what is needed to concretely address this reality. 

Rather than prioritize renewable energy and deeper systemic change, the Liberal government is building the new Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX) pipeline. They are also facilitating the growth of the oil and gas sector more broadly, including Tar Sands expansion and the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

As artists who support Indigenous sovereignty and climate justice, we are calling for the implementation of a Green New Deal of the North: a social and economic transformation that moves to eliminate fossil fuel use and redistribute wealth, while creating dignified livelihoods within a framework of Indigenous sovereignty. 

The choice between jobs on the one hand, and Indigenous self-determination and the environment on the other, is a false one. Millions of green jobs can be created by taxing corporations and the wealthy. It’s time for mass participation in efforts to build a society and an economy that are aligned with the sovereignty of Indigenous nations and planetary survival, an Indigenous project now ongoing for well over 400 years.

Artists in this city have often spoken to historical moments, and so at this critical time, we stand together to stand with Wet’suwet’en and for climate justice.

A Socially Just Foreign Policy

Courage endorses Canadian Foreign Policy Institute Call to Reassess Canadian Foreign Policy

The Courage Coalition has endorsed the recent Canadian Foreign Policy Institute (CFPI) call to Reassess Canadian Foreign Policy. Canadian foreign policy has consistently failed to reflect our commitments to international solidarity and the rights of all peoples to dignity, health and security. Canada’s government and political parties are not devoting adequate attention to developing and implementing a socially just foreign policy for Canada.

In recent months, Courage has issued a number of statements concerning Canada’s foreign policy, including:

  • a call for the Canadian government to break from its endorsement of the U.S. efforts to undermine democracy in Venezuela, to end sanctions and extend solidarity through humanitarian aid to Venezuelans.
  • a call for the Canadian government to end sanctions against Iran and to act to support Iranian public health services and to send relief to Iran
  • a call to Canadian politicians to  speak up and support international law  in regards to human rights for the Palestinian people, including their self-determination and the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees.

Some issues that many Courage members are concerned about, and following closely, include:

The continued service of Canada’s foreign policy to the interests of extractive industries, militarism and profiteering at the expense of Indigenous and human rights, workers, democracy, international law and environmental responsibility is unacceptable.

Courage’s commitments to international solidarity, decolonization, self-determination and environmental justice align with CFPI’s call for a fundamental reassessment of Canada’s foreign policy. Along with our collective endorsement, Courage members are encouraged to support the campaign here.

Media advisory: No to pandemic austerity for poor and working people in response to ballooning deficit

WHAT: Community groups and unions hold joint press conference to warn against deficit burden being placed on most vulnerable 

WHEN: Wednesday, August 5th, 11am

WHERE: Casa del Popolo (back terrace), 4873 St. Laurent, Montréal, Quebec

Speakers :

Dave Bleakney, 2nd National Vice-President at the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW).

Thibault Camara, Le Québec c’est nous aussi.

Manuel Salamanca Cardona, Immigrant Workers Centre.

Dolores Chew, South Asian Women’s Community Centre (SAWCC).

Alexandre Rochette Legros, Courage Coalition, Montréal chapter. 

Nakuset, Executive Director of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal.

Media contacts :

Stefan Christoff, Courage coalition 438-936-1948

Manuel Salamanca Cardona, Immigrant Workers Centre, 514-267-5770

As the Federal Liberal government announced a $343B deficit for 2020, community organizations, labour unions and social activists are stating loud and clear that the bulk of responsibility for this economic imbalance must not be placed on poor and working people who are already disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and longstanding free market economic policies. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, these organizations have continued to serve people who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.

Although many mainstream reports about the deficit focus on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the wage subsidy program for businesses, less discussed is the $750 billion that Ottawa gave to the banking sector as a bailout this year. Such reports also neglect to mention the extreme, pre-existing wealth inequalities within Canada, where wealth inequality has been steadily growing since the 1990s.

A 2019 report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives outlined how income inequality in Canada grows when racial inequality is taken into consideration. Based on figures from the 2016 Census, it shows that racialized women earn 59 cents for each dollar earned by non-racialized men, while racialized men earn 78 cents for every dollar earned by their white male counterparts. Given such findings, community groups and organizations serving communities who live the inequities outlined in this study, and community members themselves must be supported rather than placed at the centre of any austerity framed response to budgetary deficits. 

Meanwhile, even the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) has publicly estimated that wealthy Canadians are hiding at least $25 billion from taxation in offshore tax havens, and the Liberals have done nothing serious to recover these funds. 

The Liberal Government’s cosy relationship with Bay Street financial institutions must not form the guidelines for economic policy to tackle the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the dignity and lives of working people and the poor must be the focus of economic policy. 

– 30 –