Education issues in Canada

Ontario teachers to stage regional walkouts, as Ford government escalates threats

By Roger Jordan, 20 January 2020

While the unions are confining teachers to ineffectual one-day regional strikes, Ford and his ministers are plotting to ram through class-size increases and other cuts by outlawing all job action.

Ontario teachers strike against government assault on public education

By our reporters, 6 December 2019

Wednesday’s province-wide high school teachers’ strike won widespread support from parents, students and other working people.

Ontario high school teachers stage one-day walkout Wednesday

By Roger Jordan, 4 December 2019

More than 60,000 Ontario high school teachers will walk off the job today in opposition to the sweeping cuts the provincial Conservative government is making to education and their terms of employment.

Ontario education workers set to strike Monday against Ford’s savage cuts

By Penny Smith and Roger Jordan, 5 October 2019

The Canadian Union of Public Employees and the teachers unions are terrified that a strike will result in a head-on clash with the hated Ford government and trigger a broader working-class challenge to the capitalist elite’s austerity agenda.

Ontario teachers face threat of state repression, wage and job cuts in upcoming contract fight

By Carl Bronski, 23 August 2019

The role of the teacher unions has been to hand the initiative to the Ford government, allowing the Tories to unveil a sweeping assault on teachers’ wages and working conditions without their organizing any meaningful opposition.

Whitewashing Canadian capitalism’s crimes:

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s inquiry issues final report

By Roger Jordan and Keith Jones, 21 June 2019

The MMIW report shifts the blame for the oppression of the native people from Canadian capitalism and its state to a racist “colonialist” mindset and “white society.”

Ontario government slashes post-secondary education funding and student aid

By Penny Smith, 9 May 2019

Ford’s cuts are part of a concerted drive to restructure post-secondary education to tailor it even more to the demands of big business.

University of California service and patient care technicians on one-day strike

By Marc Wells, 10 April 2019

University of California’s 25,000 service and patient care technicians are on strike today, for the fourth time in less than a year.

Over 10,000 rally in Toronto against Tories’ education cuts

By our Reporters, 9 April 2019

Demonstrators expressed their anger at the Ontario government’s plans to hike class sizes, cut thousands of teaching positions, slash funding for children with special needs, and gut student aid.

“We are the future. Give us what we need!”

Thousands of Ontario students walk out to protest school cuts

By our reporters, 6 April 2019

The student-led initiative saw thousands rally across the province against the right-wing government of Doug Ford.

Ontario workers need an international socialist program to defend public education and fight austerity

By the Socialist Equality Party (Canada), 6 April 2019

If public education from kindergarten to university is to be defended, workers and students must launch a political struggle independently of the unions and in opposition to the entire political establishment.

Ontario education minister touts class-size increases as means to teach “resiliency”

By Jake Silver and Roger Jordan, 1 April 2019

Thompson’s remarks exemplify the ruling elite’s contempt for the millions of working-class families that rely on Ontario’s chronically underfunded public education system.

Ontario government axes provincial funding for autism therapy

By Penny Smith, 27 March 2019

The changes the government announced last week to mollify angry protests are cosmetic, leaving parents to fund tens of thousands of dollars in annual treatment costs from their own pockets.

Ontario government savages public education

By Roger Jordan, 20 March 2019

According to teacher union estimates, the Ford government’s education “reform” will result in the elimination of nearly 10,000 teaching jobs and class sizes of up to 40 students.

“Capitalism should be toppled in my opinion”

Students protest in Toronto against cuts to financial aid

By our reporters, 28 January 2019

Around 2,000 students marched from Yonge-Dundas square to the provincial legislature at Queens Park to oppose the gutting of financial assistance for college and university students by Premier Doug Ford’s right-wing Tory government.

Ontario guts financial aid for low-income students

By Roger Jordan, 24 January 2019

Outraged students have called a rally in Toronto tomorrow to protest the gutting of student aid—the latest volley in the Ford government’s war on the working class.

1937: When Canadian and US autoworkers fought together

By Roger Jordan, 6 December 2018

In the face of GM’s plans to shut down five plants in the US and Canada, we are reposting this article about the history of cross-border collaboration by workers originally published in October 2016.

Ontario Liberals attempt to legislate end to York University strike

By Roger Jordan, 9 May 2018

The Liberals’ anti-strike bill underscores that in their fight against poverty wages and precarious employment, York contract faculty and graduate assistants face a political struggle.

Ontario Liberal government preparing intervention to end York University strike

By Roger Jordan, 24 March 2018

The big business Liberal government, which has enjoyed the unions’ steadfast support since coming to power 15 years ago, has repeatedly outlawed education strikes.

“The issues we are facing are not just related to university teachers, but affect the entire working class”

An interview with a striking York University contract faculty member

By our reporter, 8 March 2018

Around 3,000 contract faculty and support staff are on their fourth day of strike action at Toronto’s York University over poverty wages and job security.

Nova Scotia Teachers Union abandons strike mandate, capitulates to Liberal attack on education

By Roger Jordan, 3 March 2018

In exchange for the NSTU’s suppression of teacher opposition to its right-wing education “reform,” Nova Scotia’s Liberal government has agreed to changes that will bolster the union apparatus.

Nova Scotia teachers vote massively in favour of “illegal” strike

By Roger Jordan, 23 February 2018

The province's Liberal government is seeking to ram through changes to the education system that will enhance its managerial power over teachers and facilitate further spending cuts.

“We have to know that we’re fighting the same fight”

Striking Ontario college faculty speak out

By our reporters, 9 November 2017

Now in its fourth week, the strike by 12,000 Ontario community college faculty is a struggle against precarious work contracts and for greater academic freedom.

An educational Walmart

Ontario-wide community college teachers on strike

By Carl Bronski, 18 October 2017

12,000 teachers and librarians have walked out against precarious job security and the undermining of academic freedom.

Canada: Nova Scotia teachers on one-day strike against imposition of concessions contract

By Laurent Lafrance and Carl Bronski, 17 February 2017

The Liberal government's anti-teacher legislation comes in the wake of teachers rejecting for the third time a tentative contract endorsed by their union.

Canadian economy faces sharpest quarterly contraction since financial crisis

By Roger Jordan, 11 June 2016

The Bank of Canada is warning that housing prices in Toronto and Vancouver are unsustainable.

Canada: Ontario Liberals orchestrate outlawing of teacher strikes

By Carl Bronski, 28 May 2015

While the government claims it is acting to save students’ school year, its real aim is to push through social spending cuts and impose concessionary contracts on teachers.

Ontario Liberals move to criminalize teachers’ strikes

By Dylan Lubao and Carl Bronski, 19 May 2015

Ontario’s trade union-backed Liberal government has moved to outlaw secondary school teachers’ strikes that have affected three of the province’s largest local school boards.

Canadian high schoolers paid $2,000 to take military training course

By Ashley Tseng, 25 April 2015

Under a new Saskatchewan government program, the Canadian military is partnering with Regina schools to provide military training to high school students.

Canada’s Conservatives pledge more austerity and war

By Keith Jones, 24 April 2015

Tuesday’s federal budget is a blueprint for dismantling public services, redistributing wealth to the most privileged, and expanding the military and national-security apparatus.

Quebec government criminalizes student strike

By Laurent Lafrance, 17 April 2015

The government is determined to break the student protest movement against its austerity program and to put an end to Quebec’s tradition of political protest through student strikes.

Quebec education minister urges mass expulsions of striking students

By Keith Jones, 4 April 2015

Education Minister Blais has told university rectors to use their disciplinary powers to break a student strike against the Quebec Liberal government’s sweeping austerity measures.

Toronto university strikes end

By Carl Bronski and Dylan Lubao, 2 April 2015

CUPE worked to ensure that strikes did not become the catalyst for a working class challenge to the provincial Liberal government’s austerity agenda.

Quebec Liberals respond to student anti-austerity strike with repression and threats

By Keith Jones, 26 March 2015

The greatest fear and concern of the Canadian ruling class is that the student protests could trigger an eruption of mass working-class struggle.

The Quebec student strike and the fight against austerity: A socialist perspective is necessary

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Canada), 26 March 2015

To prevent a defeat like in 2012, students must reject the nationalist-protest politics of ASSE and the Spring 2015 committee.

Toronto university strikes: Workers reject another sell-out contract

By Dylan Lubao, 24 March 2015

Six thousand education workers at the University of Toronto and a further three thousand teaching and graduate assistants at York, Toronto’s other principal university, have been on strike for three weeks.

Quebec student union ASSE promotes trade unions as students vote for anti-austerity strike

By Richard Dufour, 17 March 2015

ASSE is using its reputation for militancy to provide a “left” cover to the unions even as they promote the big business PQ and enforce anti-strike laws.

Toronto university strikes:

A socialist strategy to defeat austerity and defend education

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Canada), 16 March 2015

While the strikers have shown great determination and militancy, their struggle is in grave danger of being strangled by the pro-capitalist trade unions.

Toronto university strikes: OFL head conceals unions’ support for Liberals

By Carl Bronski, 9 March 2015

Ontario Federation of Labour head Sid Ryan masqueraded as an opponent of Ontario’s Liberal government at rallies to support 10,000 workers at Toronto’s two main universities.

Harper government to criminalize Canadian Pacific railway strike

By Carl Bronski, 16 February 2015

Canada’s Conservative government is set to introduce legislation today outlawing a two-day-old strike by 3,300 CP Rail workers.

Canadian prime minister praises troops as military clashes escalate in Iraq

By Roger Jordan, 2 February 2015

The growing involvement of Canada’s armed forces in ground combat makes a mockery of the government’s claim that the deployment in Iraq is purely a training and assistance mission.

Media magnate Péladeau seeks Parti Québécois leadership

By Laurent Lafrance, 20 January 2015

Presenting himself as the “sovereignty candidate,” Péladeau is focusing his campaign around the claim that independence is the best vehicle for the Quebec ruling class to enrich itself.

CLC president helped scuttle BC teachers’ strike

By Carl Bronski, 11 October 2014

Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff intervened to shut down the militant strike British Columbia teachers were mounting in defence of public education.

BC teachers union endorses austerity contract

By Keith Jones, 18 September 2014

The British Columbia Teachers Federation is seeking to scuttle the militant strike the province’s teachers have mounted since mid-June.

British Columbia teachers’ union seeks to scuttle strike

By Keith Jones, 12 September 2014

The BC Teachers’ Federation wants to scuttle the thirteen week-old strike by British Columbia’s 41,000 public school teachers without any of the teachers’ demands having been met.

Canada: BC government escalates attack on striking teachers

By Keith Jones, 9 September 2014

The teachers are fighting to defend public education, which has been ravaged by budget cuts, even as the government increases funding for private schools and cuts corporate taxes.

British Columbia teachers’ strike in danger

By Keith Jones, 30 August 2014

The political and business elite have stepped up their campaign to impose a “settlement” that ensures BC schools remain chronically under-funded and short-staffed.

“Children are being sacrificed to save money”—striking British Columbia teacher

By a WSWS reporter, 12 July 2014

Forty-one thousand British Columbia teachers—now in their fourth week of a province-wide strike—are challenging the provincial government’s decade-long assault on public education.

Talks to end BC teachers’ strike collapse

By Keith Jones, 5 July 2014

Talks to end a strike by 41,000 British Columbia public school teachers collapsed this week after the provincial government refused to discuss teachers’ demands.

British Columbia teachers’ strike enters second week

By Carl Bronski, 24 June 2014

The Liberals have ravaged education budgets, driving up class sizes, reducing teacher-support programs, and slashing teachers’ wages and benefits.

British Columbia teachers mount rotating walkouts

By Keith Jones, 30 May 2014

British Columbia’s public school teachers are mounting rotating one-day walkouts to press their demands for a pay increase, reduced class sizes, and increased educational funding.

Canada’s Conservative government sideswiped by Senate expenses scandal

By Keith Jones, 29 October 2013

Prime Minster Stephen Harper and his government have repeatedly dissembled and lied about the Senate expense scandal.

Ontario teachers to face pension cuts under union-promoted deal

By Carl Bronski, 15 May 2013

A deal between the Ontario Liberal government and the Ontario Teachers’ Federation that freezes pension plan contributions is generating opposition among public school teachers.

Ontario Liberals to keep raising post-secondary tuition fees

By Dylan Lubao, 19 April 2013

Ontario’s NDP-backed minority Liberal government has announced plans to raise university tuition fees to $8,000 by 2016.

Quebec’s Education Summit and the failure of ASSE’s protest perspective

By International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Canada), 5 March 2013

Supporters of the IYSSE distributed this statement at the February 26 demonstration organized by the student group ASSE to protest the Quebec government’s education summit.

Quebec: PQ imposes annual hikes in university tuition fees

By Keith Jones, 28 February 2013

Using a phony “national” Education Summit as a backdrop, Quebec’s Parti Québecois government announced Tuesday that henceforth university tuition fees will rise annually by at least 3 percent.

Toronto homeless advocates protest budget cuts

By Dylan Lubao, 27 February 2013

In the midst of a luxury condo boom, eight homeless people have died in Toronto in the first eight weeks of 2013.

Quebec’s education summit: A cover for university tuition fee hikes

By Keith Jones, 25 February 2013

Today and tomorrow, Quebec’s Parti Québecois government will hold an education summit to provide political cover for imposing annual university tuition fee hikes.

Ontario teachers’ union funded Liberal leadership candidates

By Carl Bronski, 8 February 2013

The largest secondary school teachers’ union local in Ontario lavished donations on candidates running to lead a provincial Liberal government that is implementing a brutal austerity program, including real wage-cuts for teachers.

Ontario government threatens teachers with fines in bid to thwart walkout

By Carl Bronski, 11 January 2013

Ontario’s Liberal government has urged the province’s Labour Relations Board to declare the one-day walkout by 76,000 teachers planned for today illegal.

Ontario Liberals impose sweeping concessions on teachers

By Carl Bronski, 5 January 2013

Invoking its anti-worker Bill 115, Ontario’s Liberal government has imposed concessions contracts on thousands of teachers.

Parti Québécois’ education summit—a mechanism for imposing tuition fee hikes and spending cuts

By Eric Marquis, 4 January 2013

Quebec’s trade unions and student associations are lending their support to the Parti Québécois government’s phoney “national summit” on higher education.

Ontario high school teachers union accepts concessions

By Carl Bronski, 24 November 2012

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation has reached agreement with seven provincial school boards on a series of major concessions demanded by the Ontario’s Liberal government.

Ontario teachers’ unions seek concessions deal

By Carl Bronski, 8 November 2012

The union of Ontario public teachers has postponed limited job action in protest of legislation that imposes wage cuts and other concessions.

Quebec: Thousands protest Liberals’ tuition hikes, user fees and privatization

By Keith Jones, 24 August 2012

The large turnout in Wednesday’s demonstration attests to the fact that youth and workers are as determined as ever in their opposition to the Liberal government’ rightwing agenda, but CLASSE made no effort to draw the political lessons of the past six months of struggle.

Quebec students debate whether to continue their strike

By a WSWS reporting team, 14 August 2012

The WSWS spoke with students who met last week to decide whether to continue their six-month strike against the Quebec Liberal government’s plans to dramatically raise university tuition fees.

SEP public meeting

The Quebec student strike, the working class and the struggle for social rights

11 August 2012

The SEP is holding a public meeting in Montreal August 16 to draw the lessons of the Quebec student strike and elaborate a socialist internationalist strategy to carry forward the fight for fundamental social rights.

Quebec students seek to broaden strike, but CLASSE leaders capitulate to union opposition

By Keith Jones, 24 July 2012

Tens of thousands of striking students and their supporters marched through downtown Montreal Sunday in a demonstration called by CLASSE, the student association that has spearheaded the five-month strike against the Quebec Liberal government’s plan to drastically raise university tuition fees.

Quebec union head condemns “social strike” against Charest government

By Richard Dufour, 28 June 2012

The president of Quebec's second-largest labor federation has ruled out any possibility that the unions will organize even limited job action in support of the striking students and against the provincial Liberal government.

Québec Solidaire open to an electoral alliance with the Parti Québécois

By Richard Dufour, 19 June 2012

Under conditions where the four-month-long student strike and opposition to Bill 78 have roiled the establishment, Québec Solidaire has again signalled its readiness to form an electoral alliance with the Parti Québécois.

Quebec: Protests continue against Bill 78 and the attack on education

By a WSWS reporting team, 16 June 2012

The vast movement of social protest that arose in Quebec in response to the provincial Liberal government’s university tuition fee hikes is continuing.

Quebec artists denounce governments’ smear campaign against student strike

By Keith Jones, 14 June 2012

More than 2,500 writers, filmmakers, actors, and others artists have signed an open letter to Quebec Culture Minister Christine St. Pierre demanding that she retract her claim that the four-month-long student strike is “violent.”

“Casserole” protests in support of Quebec students spread across Canada

By a WSWS reporting team, 5 June 2012

A new form of protest, “casserole” demonstrations, emerged last month in response to the Quebec Liberal government’s draconian Bill 78.

Quebec government scuttles talks to end 16-week student strike

By Keith Jones, 1 June 2012

Quebec’s Liberal government broke off negotiations with student associations yesterday afternoon.

As state repression continues

Student associations in talks with Quebec government

By Keith Jones, 30 May 2012

Quebec’s province-wide student associations held talks Monday and Tuesday with the provincial Liberal government, even as it continued its drive to break the 16 week-long student strike.

Quebec student strike: Government excludes fee hikes, Bill 78 from proposed talks

By Keith Jones, 26 May 2012

One week after criminalizing Quebec’s 15-week-long student strike, the provincial Liberal government is apparently about to summon leaders of the province-wide student associations for talks.

Quebec police mount mass arrests in bid to break student strike

By Keith Jones, 25 May 2012

Following this week’s mass protests backing Quebec’s striking students, the state has intensified its repression.

Quebec student strike:

Police begin to apply draconian Bill 78

By Keith Jones, 24 May 2012

Quebec authorities have begun to make use of the sweeping repressive powers contained in Bill 78—the emergency legislation the provincial Liberal government rushed through the National Assembly late last week to suppress the province-wide student strike

Quebec law criminalizing student strike threatens basic rights of all

By Keith Jones, 19 May 2012

Quebec’s Liberal government has rammed through emergency legislation that criminalizes the fourteen-week long Quebec student strike and places chilling restrictions on the right to demonstrate over any issue.

Quebec to adopt emergency law to break student strike

By Keith Jones, 18 May 2012

The Quebec Liberal government introduces emergency legislation aimed at breaking the 14-week student strike.

SEP/ISSE public meeting:

Defend Quebec’s striking students! Education should be a social right!

16 May 2012

The International Students for Social Equality and the SEP (Canada) are holding a public meeting in Kingston, Ontario on the afternoon of Saturday, May 19 as part of the fight to mobilize the working class in defence of Quebec’s striking students.

Quebec students reject union-promoted sellout of their fight for accessible education

By a WSWS reporting team, 11 May 2012

Striking students have overwhelmingly rejected the agreement reached last Saturday between the Quebec Liberal government and leaders of the three province-wide student associations to end their three-month strike.

Quebec scuttles talks with striking students, unveils plan to nearly double tuition fees

By Richard Dufour, 1 May 2012

The Quebec Liberal government’s “global solution for university accessibility” is a transparent attempt to break the 12-week-old student strike and legitimize further state repression.

Workers must rally to the defense of Quebec’s striking students

By Keith Jones, 27 April 2012

The Canadian elite has been so implacable in its opposition to the Quebec student strike because it recognizes that the students’ insistence that education should be a social right is an implicit challenge to their entire class strategy.

Major daily publishes fascist diatribe against Quebec student strike

By Eric Marquis, 25 April 2012

One of Quebec’s principal dailies has published a commentary from a senior Quebec government official that openly calls for fascist-type violence to be employed against striking students.

Quebec government seeks to intimidate, split striking students

By Keith Jones, 21 April 2012

Over the course of the past week, Quebec’s Liberal government has escalated its efforts to break the two-month old strike of students opposed to its plan to increase university tuition fees by 75 percent.

In the face of state repression, government intransigence:

Quebec student strike at a crossroads

By the International Students for Social Equality, 18 April 2012

The two month-old Quebec student strike must become the catalyst for a working class counter-offensive against the destruction of jobs and public services.

Quebec government escalates campaign to break student strike

By Eric Marquis, 14 April 2012

Quebec’s ruling elite has stepped up its campaign to break the two-month old province-wide student strike, which it views as an intolerable challenge to its drive to dismantle public services and extinguish any social rights.

Quebec authorities seeking to criminalize student strike

By Richard Dufour, 9 April 2012

Quebec’s Liberal government is using arrests, court injunctions and the threat of cancelling the winter semester to force an end to a nearly two-month-long strike by students opposed to its plan to raise university tuition fees by 75 percent.

Quebec student strike:

A strategy to mobilize the working class is needed

By Richard Dufour, 27 March 2012

The student strike against the Quebec Liberal government’s drastic increase in university tuition fees is at a crossroads.

Quebec: Mammoth demonstration in support of strike against university fee hikes

By Keith Jones, 24 March 2012

Two hundred thousand people took to the streets of downtown Montreal Thursday to demand that the Quebec Liberal government rescind its plan to raise university tuition fees by 75 percent over the next five years.

Quebec to implement university fee hikes in face of mass protests

By Keith Jones, 22 March 2012

In Tuesday’s budget address, Quebec’s Liberal government vowed to press ahead with its austerity program, including a 75 percent increase in university tuition fees that has sparked the largest student strike in the province’s history.

Quebec: Almost 200,000 students striking against university tuition fee hikes

By Eric Marquis, 17 March 2012

The student strike against the Quebec Liberal government’s plan to raise university tuition fees by 75 percent has swelled to involve close to 200,000 post-secondary students.

Support for Quebec student strike swells

By Eric Marquis, 1 March 2012

Seventy thousand university and college students have joined a two week-old strike against the Quebec Liberal government’s plans to dramatically increase university tuition fees. And thousands more may soon join the strike.

Quebec’s striking students must turn to the working class!

By International Students for Social Equality, 29 February 2012

Students must consciously reach out to workers as allies in a common battle and fight to transform the student strike against tuition fee increases into a unified struggle in defense of all public services, all social programmes, and all jobs.

Strike cancels classes at Toronto’s York University

By our reporting team, 15 November 2008

Having forced 3,500 teachers’ assistants and contract faculty on strike, York University is pressing for the contract dispute to be resolved by binding arbitration.