In 2001, a campaign to reconstitute the NDP into a new party emerged, calling itself the New Politics Initiative. It proposed a party with stronger links with social movements and the anti-globalization campaigns that had been growing over the previous years, and had some high-profile spokespeople. What happened with this initiative? What was the response from within the NDP? Can anything be learned from this effort to reshape the NDP towards a more explicitly left-wing vision?
We’ve put together a few episodes you might enjoy. First, check out Killing the Welfare State: Liberals and the 1990s. It’s an exploration of the manufactured debt crisis and deep budget cuts that the Chrétien Liberals brought to Canada in the 1990s, as Canada welcomed corporate globalization. Features Rank & File editor Doug Nesbitt.
While Canada’s medicare system was launched in the 1960s, some notable exclusions remain. Vision, pharmaceuticals, mental health, and dental care are all aspects of health that remain largely uncovered by our public health system. Brandon Doucet, dentist and member of the Coalition for Dentalcare, and Thomas Lange, health economist and research coordinator at the University of Calgary, join Team Advantage to discuss the potential ways health coverage could be expanded to include dentalcare.
Did you know that the Ku Klux Klan operated in Alberta— with thousands of members, a newspaper published out of downtown Edmonton, and regular picnics, parades and marches? Anti-racist activist Jason Devine joins Team Advantage to explore the strange history of the KKK in Alberta, and discuss how these historical forms of white supremacy have contributed to implicit and explicit forms of white supremacy today.
New Brunswick, home to one of Canada’s wealthiest families, is far from a nexus of left-wing political culture— yet in 1971, a small group of Waffle-aligned activists managed to briefly take over the New Brunswick NDP, before the federal party intervened. Who was involved in this radical takeover of the provincial party, and how did it happen? New Brunswick correspondent Abram Lutes joins Team Advantage to discuss this strange tale involving Trotskyites, entryism, and dueling conventions. Follow Abram on Twitter @abramxlutes.
Further reading: Webber, Patrick. “Entryism in theory, in practice, and in crisis: The Trotskyist experience in New Brunswick, 1969-1973.” Left History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Historical Inquiry and Debate 14.1 (2009).
Webber, Patrick. “” For a Socialist New Brunswick”: The New Brunswick Waffle, 1967-1972.” Acadiensis 38.1 (2009): 75-103.
Blocker, David G. “‘To Waffle to the Left:’The Waffle, the New Democratic Party, and Canada’s New Left during the Long Sixties.” (2019).
What is the employer-friendly CEWS, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, and how is it funneling public funds to big businesses? Doug Nesbitt joins Team Advantage to discuss the generosity of the Canadian state with regards to employers, and how this differs substantially from the approach taken towards workers. Why did the NDP and major labour leaders support a program that is essentially trickle-down economics on steroids? Who benefits from this program? And how will the costs it creates be used against working people in the future?
Follow Doug Nesbitt on Twitter @StandingTheGaff, and read his work at rankandfile.ca.
What happens when a government adopts the Fraser Institute’s policies wholesale, pushing cutbacks, austerity and a rollback of rights? How does labour leadership respond to widespread discontent with a government— and how does it act to contain this discontent? Team Advantage explores Operation Solidarity, one of the largest political protests in British Columbia’s history.
The morning of October 26th, workers at health-care sites across the province of Alberta walked off the job. What happened, and how has the broader labour movement responded? Join Team Advantage as we discuss the wildcat strike and the Alberta Federation of Labour’s response. If you’re interested in the AFL’s campaign, check it out at standuptokenney.ca.
Documentary filmmakers Marc Serpa Francoeur and Robinder Uppal rejoin Team Advantage to discuss their theatrical-length exploration of the deeply troubled Calgary Police Service: No Visible Trauma. Recent years have seen the Calgary Police Service shoot and kill more people than officers in any other Canadian city, and more than either the New York or Chicago police departments in 2018.