(AA) ++ Canada update June 1996

esperanto (lingvoj@lds.co.uk)
Sun, 23 Jun 1996 15:53:12 +0200



The Federal Fisheries Department has decided, in the guise of protecting=
the Pacific salmon, to destroy the small-scale fisheries. Fishermen=
now require three licences instead of one, ranging in cost from $70 -=
$150,000. Only fish-packing companies and rich fishermen will be able to
afford this, meaning the destruction of many small communities on the coast
of British Columbia. Mass meetings were called in many villages. "We don't
want to go the way of the Newfoundlanders" claim the fishermen. They
threatened to withhold their taxes and ignore the new laws, for as one man=
it, "they can't arrest all of us." An unprecedented alliance of fishermen,
enviros, native people and community groups has arisen. The alliance feels
the fishing grounds should be taken away from the government and given to
the communities.
The Quebec government is attempting to impose a "Drug Insurance"
policy. This new tax will cost the average person about $200 a year. This=
to the Drug companies comes at a time when many Quebecois are beginning
to question traditional "pill-pushing" medicine.=20

April 1 - After a five week long strike, 50,000 Ontario government
functionaries voted to accept a new contract. The union leadership claimed
victory, though terms were virtually the same as before the strike. 13,000
positions are to be abolished. Score a point for anarchism - even though the
government was shut down, few people missed it.

April 10 - Hundreds of workers blocked the highways north of Montreal after
the Kenworth Truck plant announced its closing after an eight-month long
strike. some @900 will lose their jobs as the work will now be done in
Mexico. Quebec's Labour's Fond de Solidarit=E9 is trying to buy the factory=
save the jobs.=20

April 12 - The Quebec government has seized the province's subsurface
water rights under the guise of protecting water from pollution and=
There will be no compensation for this multl-billion dollar robbery, but=
owners will have "the right to use the water". One wonders how long this
"right" will last as the state is now in a position to charge for the use of

May 1 - Two thousand people marched for Mayday in Montreal. This was
much less than the trade union organisers had wished, having claimed that
10,000 would show up. Theme of the march was counteracting the reduction
of the state. A separate march of "excluded workers", many of "ethnic"
backgrounds, was held in one of the poorest neighbourhoods of the city.
They demanded "Jobs not Welfare" and an end to their exclusion from
society and the workforce.=20

May 3 - Youth riot in Quebec City put down with tear gas. Much property
damage as shops attacked. Many arrests and iniuries.=20

May 16- A dispute has arisen between Desjardins Co-operative. The CSN
Trade Union and the Desjarddins co-operative. The CSN claims Desjardins is
trying to fire its members in a hotel that it owns. Desjardins claims it
does not
own the hotel outright and that the vast majority of employees will maintain
their jobs and previous salary levels. In its 20 years of service the hotel=
lost some $50 million.=20

May 29 - In contradiction to the supposed right wing wave sweeping across
North America, British Columbia has returned the NDP (Social Democratic)
government to power. many people feared cut-backs. The NDP's majority is
a slight three seat margin and due to the vagaries of the=
system the Liberal Party actually scored a higher percentage of the vote.=20

May 31 - The Quebec Government, in contradiction to its earlier rhetoric
about decentralisation, is trying to force the merger of more than 700 small
municipalities They have until 1999 to do so or "face financial penalties."

June 1 - 2500 Montrealers demonstrated against ballot box fraud during the
independence referendum and the government's subsequent whitewashing of
the affair.=20

June 2 - Some 10,000 people demonrated in front of the national assembly in
Quebec City. They were protesting the government's inaction on pay equity
for women and raising the minimum wage. A has been threatened if these
conditions are not met. The previous day several thousan women circled the
assembly building and spent the night camped out.