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September 26, 2013 - Vol. 2 No. 51

Our Anniversary!

Ontario Political Forum Enters
Third Year of Publication

Our Anniversary!
Ontario Political Forum Enters Third Year of Publication

In the Legislature
Oppose Attempts to Incite Passions Against Quebec to Divert from Violations of Rights at Home!
PMLQ Welcomes the Discussion on Quebec Values - Statement of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec

Working People in Action Against Austerity
Spirited Action at PC Convention Demands Justice for Injured Workers
Oppose the Austerity Agenda! Picket Liberal Provincial Council in Hamilton
September 28

Wynne Government's Refusal to Affirm Workers' Rights
Minister of Labour Must Certify Part-Time College Workers' Union!
- Christine Nugent

Harper Sides with Ontario Government Against Workers
Labour Board Hearing Concerning Withdrawal of Voluntary and Extracurricular Activities Resumes - Mira Katz

Oppose Federal Government's Anti-Immigrant and Refugee Campaign
Support Striking Immigration Detainees in Lindsay!

Our Anniversary!

Ontario Political Forum Enters Third Year of Publication

Today, September 26, we celebrate our second anniversary. With this issue Ontario Political Forum enters its third year of publication!

We have remained true to our aim - to publish a political affairs paper which informs the Ontario contingent of the Canadian working class and all working people in Ontario on matters of concern. Our very first issue set the tone with a headline which declared "40th Ontario General Election: All Out to Establish a New Direction for Ontario."  Since then, we have had a momentous two years of reporting on the struggles of the working people against the anti-social, anti-national and anti-worker offensive being waged by different levels of government in Ontario and federally, providing news, analysis and opinions on the lessons learned. We plan on staying the course and thank the several thousand readers we have acquired along the way for their support. Please continue to send reports, photos and also financial assistance to make this project possible. We are convinced it is a worthy cause!

Financial Contributions

Please send contributions to help sustain OPF  in the coming year. Any cheques above $20.00 made out by individuals to the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada (MLPC) dated prior to December 31, 2013 entitle the donor to a tax credit. You can contribute a total of $1,200 under the Canada Elections Act and receive a tax credit of $625. By making a financial contribution to the MLPC, you will be defending your own interests!  Furthermore, if you will owe the government money on income, help build OPF instead! Send a cheque or money order made out to  MLPC, P.O. Box 666, Station C, Montreal, QC H2L 4K4.

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In the Legislature

Oppose Attempts to Incite Passions
Against Quebec to Divert from Violations
of Rights at Home!

On September 19, Liberal MP Monte Kwinter tabled a Private Member's motion in response to the Charter of Quebec Values. The motion was endorsed by all those sitting in the Legislature at the time. The motion states: "[...] that, in the opinion of this House, the government of Ontario should oppose any legislation that would restrict or prohibit people's freedom of expression and religion in public places and affirm that Ontario greatly values our diverse population and the social, cultural and economic contributions they make to help our society thrive."

At the federal level the Harper government too has taken up presenting itself as the defender of rights, declaring the Quebec Charter violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that if the Quebec Assembly passes its Charter of Values, the federal government will challenge it in court. Federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair has also issued all kinds of threats about taking the proposed Charter of Values to court.

Ontario Political Forum calls on the people of Ontario not to let themselves be sucked into this Quebec bashing debate which has no other purpose than to incite passions. The people of Quebec are having a discussion and debate about their future and should be fully supported in doing so. Every time they seek to deliberate on their social and political affairs, the federal government and parties start inflaming passions and accusing Quebeckers of xenophobia and all kinds of other epithets to cover up the reality.

It is incredible to hear the Harper government launch accusations when it has participated in the worst Islamaphobia possible and even taken Canada to war, legitimized the use of torture and spying on Canadians and drones in commercial airspace, as well as trafficking in cheap labour, stripping citizenship without due process and refusing to abide by international laws and conventions — all in the name of what the Government calls Canadian values. For the government of Ontario to also intervene in the most knee-jerk way is also not acceptable. Whereas the Quebec government is speaking about the separation of church and state, the government of Ontario counters that in Ontario anyone can do whatever they please in "public places," as if this is not the case in Quebec. What have "public spaces" got to do with the separation of church and state which means that the church does not run the state? The motion is even more egregious given that the public authority in Ontario is being privatized at a very rapid rate. Today, the separation the working people demand is no longer a matter of church and state but private monopoly interests and state.

This motion can only be considered an attempt to stir up passions and chauvinism against Quebec on the basis of the most crass self-righteousness and hypocrisy so as to divert the attention of the people of Ontario from what is taking place right here. The same forces supporting this motion in the Legislature used the Labour Board to make illegal the political expression of teachers and education workers against the violation of their rights in the form of their political protests and the coordinated withdrawal of voluntary and extracurricular activities. These same forces sat back and watched as certain school boards attempted to bully teachers and education workers of ETFO from expressing their membership in their union by wearing shirts simply stating I AM ETFO in public schools. These "champions of diversity and freedom" were in an all-out attack against teachers and education workers, targeting them in the most aggressive fashion, with one PC MPP going so far as to call their actions "labour terrorism." This was all done in order to steal billions from the public purse to hand over to private interests. They did not consider any of this worthy of rising to the defence of high ideals as they are claiming to do when it comes to the proposed Charter of Quebec Values.

The PCs, who on a daily basis call for the violation of workers' rights, including using laws to eliminate the right of unions to participate in political expression, also resoundingly supported the motion. One high-ranking PC MPP with direct links to the Harper government stated: "[...] We fought long and hard for our rights, including the right to have freedom of religion. We've made significant strides in building a province that believes in unity and togetherness. As Ontarians, we all share the same values. We believe in giving back to our communities and helping those who are less fortunate. Divisive policies like the one proposed in Quebec hurt us as Canadians. It goes against the values we treasure as Canadians. Regardless of our religion, the colour of our skin, our sexuality, we are all one: We are Canadians."

There is clearly a total disconnect between the notion of rights contained in the motion adopted by the Ontario Legislature and the notion of rights upheld by the people of Ontario. No to the interference of the federal and Ontario governments in the right of Quebeckers to deliberate on their own social and political affairs! For your information OPF is reprinting the statement of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec on the proposed Charter of Quebec Values.

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PMLQ Welcomes the Discussion on Quebec Values

The government of Quebec, through its Premier Pauline Marois and Minister Responsible for Democratic Institutions and Citizen Participation, Bernard Drainville, is proposing to enact a Charter of Quebec Values.

The direction in which governments take Quebec is necessarily based on the values they espouse. Thus, the Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec (PMLQ) considers that to engage the entire polity in deliberating on the values to be upheld in Quebec is a positive development. The PMLQ welcomes the discussion on Quebec's values and calls on everyone to join in!

In the opinion of the PMLQ, a great opportunity has presented itself to discuss the government's proposed values. Do those values arise out of the Quebec experience? If so, how? What is the Quebec experience? What about the experiences of other peoples, which might shed light on the subject and contribute to our ability to draw warranted conclusions?

The period the world has entered is highly complex and the way forward is not so obvious. The demand has never been greater to discuss the significance of the experience achieved to date and to engage in its summation to serve the needs of the present and open a path for the future. We must educate ourselves about the definitions inherited from the past and the considerations that informed those who built the nation. While it is true we must study the past, it is also true that such a study will not be helpful unless we first identify the needs of the present. We can then go into the past to understand better where the present came from.

We need to appreciate in a profound way the values we espouse, not superficially, but in terms of how they are experienced and understood by all individuals and all their collectives. The aim to harmonize all the competing interests with the general interests of the society is crucial. This must be recognized as an important condition to ensure the discussion is successful.

When it comes to individuals, all have rights by virtue of being human. There is no such thing as one having more rights than another. But when it comes to individuals, they are not born equal. Some are born rich with many privileges; others are born into poverty. Some are more gifted than others in different fields of human endeavour. Furthermore, not all people experience the world the same way. It is because people are not born equal that we need governments, state institutions and laws which defend the rights of all and provide them with a guarantee. It is because of our competing interests that we require political processes to sort out differences and problems without resorting to the use of force. Recourse to use of force can only be condoned based on a rule of law and due process.

The PMLQ thinks no other field of endeavour is more important today than the one we undertake ourselves to define both who we are and the social, political, economic and ecological arrangements we need to flourish. Such a discussion requires an atmosphere where everyone can speak responsibly and freely without fear of recrimination. The very aim of the discussion rejects those who are boorish and seek to benefit from sowing confusion for partisan reasons or for purposes of disinforming the polity and inflaming passions so that people cannot think.

The PMLQ believes a substantive discussion can greatly enrich the Quebec polity, unite it and strengthen its confidence in itself. Only those who have a morbid preoccupation with defeat have no confidence in the people or question their striving to build a society that upholds the rights of all. In this regard, the PMLQ rejects with utmost contempt the uncouth intervention in this debate of the misnamed federal Minister of Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney. He displays crass ignorance not conducive to building the unity of the Quebec people, or the fraternal unity between the people of Quebec and the Canadian people.

That a minister of the federal government has the power to use his position to trivialize matters of great sensitivity underscores the necessity for people to arm themselves with enlightened opinions on all the fundamental matters of concern. These include basic concepts such as the distinction between citizenship and nationality, the separation of church and state, what is meant by secularism, tolerance, multiculturalism and integration, and others. Most importantly, it includes how these concepts have evolved over time within Quebec itself and in its relationship and arrangements with the Anglo-Canadian federal state.

The PMLQ will do its utmost to contribute to this discussion in the days ahead.

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Working People in Action Against Austerity

Spirited Action at PC Convention
Demands Justice for Injured Workers

On September 20, working people from across southern Ontario demonstrated against the Progressive Conservative Party (PC) at their policy convention in London. This action was another expression of the widespread opposition to the austerity agenda being pushed by both the ruling Liberals and the Official Opposition PCs and both their attacks on workers' rights. The demonstrators carried banners reading "Justice for Injured Workers!," "No to Austerity! Defeat the Liberals and PC's" and "Our Future Lies in the Fight for the Rights of all!"

The militant action was organized by activists of the London and District Injured Workers Group who have held ongoing actions to demand justice for injured workers. They used the convention as an opportunity to denounce the PCs for pushing for the privatization of Workers' Compensation and for allowing employers to opt out of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) coverage. Other working people participated in the action to support the stand of injured workers. They also expressed the widespread opposition of workers to the PC proposals for a slave labour "right-to-work" law and for other anti-worker, anti-union legislation.

Delegations from Hamilton, Brantford, Toronto, Kitchener and Windsor joined participants from London in the demonstration. The demonstration was part of the continuous struggle of injured workers for just compensation. Working people in Ontario are determined to keep up the momentum of this movement with the aim of defeating the Liberals and PCs in the next Ontario election and defeating the Harper Conservatives in the 2015 federal election.

Wendy Knelson of the London and District Injured Workers Group and injured worker activist Kim Hoover spoke on behalf of the injured workers who had organized the action. They spoke about how the Liberals are trampling on injured workers' right to just compensation and how the Liberals and PCs both have proposals in the works that will make things worse. They also spoke of how instead of providing just compensation from the funds paid into by employers the government is more and more pushing injured workers onto social assistance as another way of using public funds to pay the rich. Patti Dalton, President of the London and District Labour Council welcomed working people from other cities to London and condemned the PCs for their callousness towards the most vulnerable in Ontario.

Members of OSSTF and UNIFOR from Windsor also spoke, expressing the unity of the working people of Windsor and London against austerity.

Rolf Gerstenberger, President of USW Local 1005 congratulated the working people of London for taking a stand against austerity in the August by-election by defeating the candidates of both the Liberals and PCs in London West. He closed by inviting everyone to come out to the action being organized by Local 1005 and the Hamilton and District Labour Council at the Liberal annual Provincial Council meeting in Hamilton on September 28. Working people will be demonstrating at the Liberal Council meeting to oppose the Liberal-PC austerity agenda.

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Oppose the Austerity Agenda! Picket Liberal Provincial Council in Hamilton September 28

Oppose the Austerity Agenda!
Picket Liberal Provincial Council in Hamilton! 

Saturday, September 28, 2013 -- 7:00 am to 10:00 am

Hamilton Convention Centre, 1 Summers Lane
Called by USW Local 1005 and Hamilton and District Labour Council

Steelworkers of Local 1005 in Hamilton in conjunction with the Hamilton and District Labour Council have called a picket outside the Liberal Provincial Council meeting in Hamilton. They are inviting everyone to join them to "Oppose the Liberal Attacks on the Workers of Ontario with their Austerity Agenda."

No doubt the Liberal Council will now be pre-occupied with another by-election the Liberals will be forced to deal with following the resignation on September 25 of another Liberal MPP; Kim Craitor from the riding of Niagara. Of particular significance to the Conservatives as well is that like London-West, Niagara is a riding held by the Harper government, Conservative stallwart and current Minister of Defence Rob Nicholson.

This picket will be an opportunity for the working people to keep the initiative in their hands following the recent by-elections. Ontario Political Forum encourages everyone who can attend the picket to do so.

For more information about the picket call the USW Local 1005 Union Hall at (905) 547-1417 or go to their website at www.uswa1005.ca or call the HDLC office at (905) 547-2944

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Wynne Government's Refusal to Affirm Workers' Rights

Minister of Labour Must Certify
Part-Time College Workers' Union!

Since the Ontario Liberals chose Kathleen Wynne as head of their party and the government, they have been advertising themselves as more fair and friendly toward public sector workers than the openly anti-worker, anti-union Conservatives (PCs). The way the Liberal government -- under both McGuinty and Wynne -- has trampled on the union rights of part-time workers in Ontario's community colleges exposes such claims as deceptive political posturing. What the PCs want to achieve with straightforward anti-union legislation, the Liberals are accomplishing by stealth through administrative measures.

The latest development in the long struggle of part-time college faculty and support staff for a union to represent them is the August 12, 2013 decision by the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) turning down their application for certification with the Ontario Public Service Employees' Union (OPSEU) as their bargaining agent. Part-time faculty and support staff in Ontario's twenty-four community colleges had been seeking to join OPSEU, which already represents full time staff, to represent them in collective bargaining. This decision follows four years of collaboration between the Ontario government, the College Employer Council, which is the bargaining agent for Ontario's community colleges and the OLRB to stonewall the college workers' union certification bid.

This decision represents a flagrant denial of the collective bargaining and union rights of 16,000 part-time college workers and must be opposed. It will also affect the rights of many more workers in the future as the Ontario government and the colleges are rapidly converting more and more college faculty and support staff positions into jobs with part-time, contract and other precarious work arrangements and sub-standard wages and working conditions. Part-time college workers were denied the right to join a union until the Community Colleges Collective Bargaining Act (CCBA) was passed by the Liberals in 2008. But in characteristic Liberal style, rights granted in law were negated through administrative means.

In its decision the OLRB ruled that the bargaining agent chosen by the workers, OPSEU, had not submitted enough signed union cards to reach the thirty-five per cent threshold for certification under the CCBA. The ruling also upheld the demand of the College Employer Council for the destruction of the ballots from the 2010 OLRB-supervised certification vote by part-time college workers on whether they wanted a union or not.

OPSEU had in fact submitted union cards signed by far in excess of the thirty-five per cent required under the CCBA for a certification vote of the part-time faculty and support staff. Union organizers fully expected to win the certification vote after a successful organizing campaign. The Employer Council opposed the expressed will of the workers by taking advantage of the precarious work arrangements at the colleges to fraudulently inflate the bargaining unit with phantom "members" and to challenge membership in the bargaining unit by many people actually working at the colleges.

Another tactic of the Employer Council was to grind down OPSEU with countless legal challenges aimed at draining the union of staff time and legal fees. Following the certification vote held at the colleges, the Employer Council blocked the counting of the ballots by challenging every signed union card and by resorting to countless other legal challenges. In July, after fighting for four years to have the ballots counted, OPSEU notified the OLRB that it could no longer challenge the Council's obstructions at the Board.

During this four-year long legal farce the OLRB, the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities or the Cabinet could have at any time put an end to it. Instead, they allowed this stonewalling and the trampling of workers' rights to continue, no doubt because it serves the aim of limiting the rights of public sector workers to organize, making it easier to impose austerity measures on them.

When it came to teachers and education workers employed by school boards however, the government used Bill 115 to limit unions from challenging violations of their members' rights under the Human Rights Code, the Labour Relations Act and even the Charter of Rights and Freedoms before the Labour Board, putting the lie to the Ontario Liberals' and Harper government's claims (see next article) that the OLRB operates outside government control and should not be influenced or interfered with.

After all the fraud and violation of the rights of workers the community colleges have engaged in, there is only one way the situation can be set right: by voluntary recognition of OPSEU as the bargaining agent of part-time college faculty and support workers. Under the CCBA the Minister of Labour has the authority to set aside the unjust and arbitrary ruling of the OLRB. He should do so immediately to affirm the rights of college workers to join a union and bargain collectively with their employers.

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Harper Sides with Ontario Government
Against Workers

One of the allies of the Ontario government in suppressing the right of the province's part-time community college faculty and support workers to join a union is the Harper government. The federal government defended Ontario during an investigation by the International Labour Organization (ILO) into complaints that Ontario (and thus Canada) is in violation of United Nations conventions on workers' rights by allowing Ontario's twenty-four community colleges to block the certification of the Ontario Public Service Employees' Union (OPSEU) as the bargaining agent for 16,000 part-time college workers.

The complaint to the ILO for violation of workers' rights was filed by OPSEU/NUPGE against Canada and Ontario under a UN convention Canada is signatory to, the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention, 1948 (no. 87). The complaint described the anti-union tactics of the community colleges which are Ontario government agencies: "After flooding their own lists of affected workers with employees who clearly would not be part of the union bargaining unit and manipulating the timing of workers' contracts so as to limit the number of signed union cards, the employers had undertaken long, costly and protracted mediation and litigation proceedings at the OLRB to challenge the certification process which would likely take months or even years before a final decision." OPSEU/NUPGE also complained about the "abusive use of procedural mechanisms under the amended Act [Community Colleges Collective Bargaining Act, 2008] by employers to delay the certification process and substantially impede or altogether prevent workers to unionize and engage in collective bargaining."

In a mandatory response to the investigation by an ILO tribunal, the Harper government replied, "The Government of Ontario emphasizes the importance of the adjudicative role played by the OLRB in the process of certification established by law and considers that it would be inappropriate to interfere with or influence the procedure. It adds that this position is shared by the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE)."

NUPGE is a national union central made up mostly of OPSEU and other provincial public service unions. On June 18, NUPGE and OPSEU issued a statement debunking this blatant falsehood the Harper government in its typical hooligan fashion saw no problem in presenting to an important international body of the United Nations. The statement said that NUPGE and OPSEU took exactly the opposite position to what the federal government reported. They maintain that the Ontario government should intervene and order the colleges to grant voluntary recognition of OPSEU. "We have made it clear in our bargaining process and in our presentations to the Ontario government, that political influence on the employer to grant voluntary recognition would be our preference," said the OPSEU/NUPGE statement.

Further information about the anti-worker tactics of the Ontario government, the college employers and the Ontario Labour Relations Board was given in another letter to the ILO from NUPGE in June: "The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) has provided contradictory rulings on the process of signing up and recognizing cards from academic and support staff. OPSEU's request to recognize the right of part-timers to union representation has been consistently stonewalled by process at the Ontario Labour Relations Board and as well, there has been no political solution offered by the Ontario government."

The Ontario Labour Relations Board's final ruling against the union certification bid in August comes after the government and its agencies stonewalled the part-time college workers for more than four years in order to prevent certification. As OPSEU and NUPGE have proposed, the Ontario government should direct the College Employer Council to extend voluntary union recognition.

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Labour Board Hearing Regarding Withdrawal of Voluntary and Extracurricular Activities Resumes

On September 13, the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) hearing regarding the complaint of two school boards over the withdrawal of voluntary and extracurricular activities by two locals of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) resumed. The hearing was last convened on April 11, at which time Chair Bernard Fishbein issued an interim ruling that members of ETFO at the two boards had engaged in an illegal strike by their withdrawal of voluntary and extracurricular activities to protest Bill 115. The ruling set a precedent as it was based on a decision by the Chair that voluntary/extracurricular activities are considered part of the normal functioning of Ontario school boards, which if withdrawn in "coordination or concert" during the term of a collective agreement constitute a strike under the meaning of the Education Act. In a summary of his decision, Fishbein wrote at that time:

"the withdrawal in combination or in concert of participation in voluntary co-instructional (or extracurricular) activities as listed in Appendix A and B in paragraph 27 of this decision constitutes a ‘strike' within the meaning of the Education Act;

He also wrote: "[N]o final orders are issued because ETFO's Charter challenge to the definition of strike in the Education Act remains to be litigated -- but a direction to post a Notice to Employees is issued clarifying the stage that this litigation has reached and the position of ETFO (at least up until it withdrew its "advice" to members on March 26, 2013) with respect to the participation of its members in the withdrawal of these activities."

Fishbein did not wait to consider ETFO's argument that its members' Charter rights would be violated if the Education Act were interpreted as prohibiting them from withdrawing from voluntary/extracurricular acitivities before issuing a ruling and a direction to effectively prohibit their withdrawal from these activities unless their union was in a legal strike position. In his interim decision he indicated he did so out of a concern that ETFO did not consider its actions improper or illegal in any way and that there was no assurance at the time ETFO would reach a deal with the Government (regarding terms imposed by Bill 115), leaving the possibility that this form of protest would recur "if not on this issue -- on the next about which ETFO and the Government disagree, perhaps about provincial bargaining?"

Clearly the OLRB Chair and the government were cognizant of wanting to send a message that using extracurricular and voluntary activities to affirm rights would be met by the full force of the law.

The hearing was reconvened on September 13 to consider whether the definition of a strike under the Education Act violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It lasted only 25 minutes. ETFO's position is that the Charter rights to freedom of association and expression of its members were violated when their ability to withdraw collectively from purely voluntary activities was made illegal. The hearing was adjourned by the Chair to allow the boards' lawyer more time to submit evidence in support of his case against ETFO's Charter arguments at a future date that has yet to be set.

Clearly the OLRB does not operate with the same speed and decisiveness when it comes to workers' rights. According to reports of observers who attended the hearing, Mr. Fishbein questioned whether the OLRB was even an appropriate forum for Charter issues to be dealt with.

In related news, the Charter challenge to Bill 115 by a number of unions including ETFO, OSSTF, CUPE and OPSEU is set to be heard October 21-25 at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

For background on the previous Labour Board hearings see Ontario Political Forum, February 5, 2013 - No. 22 , Ontario Political Forum, March 5, 2013 - No. 26 and Ontario Political Forum, April 15, 2013 - No. 32.

(David Chiarelli - Latest Edition! blog)

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Oppose Federal Government's Anti-Immigrant and Refugee Campaign

Support Striking Immigration Detainees in Lindsay!

As of September 24, 191 immigration detainees in Lindsay Ontario's Central East Correctional Centre (CECC) are on a hunger strike. In a joint statement from groups building support for the action it is pointed out "They are striking against conditions of their detention. The detainees were recently moved from other prisons in the Greater Toronto Area, about two hours away, and have lost touch with families and legal support as a result. Conditions at Lindsay are substantially worse for them then before. Some of the prisoners began a hunger strike on September 18 which lasted 24 hours. A new hunger strike started September 23."

The striking immigration detainees in Lindsay are demanding improvements in their living conditions, better access to legal aid and to have the ability to be detained closer to their families, and legal and social services.

Strikers are requesting supporters call and write Detention Centre Superintendent Neil Neville and immigration enforcement in support of their demands. Call: 705-328-6009 or sign the petition here.

The statement goes on to inform that "some of the prisoners are long-term detainees, people immigration enforcement cannot deport but will not release. Others have been designated as ‘high security' based on prior criminal history but this can be as little as an arrest that has not led to conviction. Some people have been in jail for over 7 years because Canada has no limit on how long someone can be held prior to deportation." The statement also points out that that immigration detention centres are a $50 million business. In some cases the government pays companies like G4S, Garda and Corbel Management Corporation to secure facilities. In Toronto alone, G4S and Corbel were paid $19 million between 2004 and 2008. Garda has the contract for the Laval Immigration Holding Centre. For more information on the strike visit http://endimmigrationdetention.wordpress.com/

Since coming to power, the Harper government has paid particular attention to persecuting new immigrants and refugees all in the name of its bogus Canadian values. Showing how the Harper government uses every occasion of historical injustice to hide its crimes in the present, just two days after the beginning of the hunger strike former Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and current Minister of Multiculturalism released a statement concerning Canada's apology in 1988 for the expulsion and internment of Japanese Canadians during World War Two. Kenney stated:

"The mistreatment of Japanese Canadians by authorities of the era represents a dark moment in our country's history, one that Canadians rightfully look back upon with regret.

"[...] I encourage all Canadians to reflect on the lessons learned from past mistakes that are at odds with our values as a society, and to use those lessons to continue to build a better future for Canada." [OPF emphasis added]

The Minister's statements show the necessity to defeat the Harper government so that it is not permitted to use its control of state power to violate rights with impunity all in the name of Canadian values.

(Joint statement by Books to Bars Hamilton, Dignidad Migrante, Fuerza/Puwersa, No One Is Illegal-Montreal / Personne n'est illégal, No One Is Illegal Toronto, No One Is Illegal — Vancouver, Solidarity Across Borders / Solidarité sans frontières (Montréal)

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