What the hell is going on in Toronto? This must surely be the response of people around the world as the surreal scandal surrounding Toronto mayor Rob Ford filled newspapers from Britain to Germany to South Africa.  How is it possible that a crack-smoking drunk-driving man who likes to urinate in public parks and go on half-naked vodka-fuelled benders at City Hall still be the mayor of Canada’s largest city?  The fact that he remains in power speaks to the vacuum of leadership present in both the labour movement and within the ruling class.

Canada has become the latest country to be caught in the scandal surrounding electronic espionage. In many respects, the fallout from Canada’s spy activities in Brazil could end up being more damaging than the revelations around the NSA and Spygate earlier this year.

November 3, 2013 is the date set for municipal elections across Québec. The past few years have been a roller coaster ride of scandal and corruption for municipal politicians across the province. Gérald Tremblay, the mayor of Montreal since 2002, resigned on Nov. 5, 2012 as a result of allegations of corruption and Mafia ties. His successor, interim mayor Michael Applebaum, was not even able to finish the remaining term in office; in a pre-dawn raid on Jun. 17, 2013, Applebaum was arrested on 14 charges including fraud, conspiracy, breach of trust, and corruption in municipal affairs.  Montreal’s bourgeois parties are in crisis.

After weeks of rumours, the Parti Québécois government has finally released the details of their proposed “Charter of Quebec Values”. According to the PQ government, the charter is needed to continue the traditions established during the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s, ensuring a proper separation of church and state and defending Quebec society from the dangers of religious indoctrination.  However, for many in Quebec, the charter is correctly seen as an attempt to target ethnic and religious minorities for the crisis that plagues Quebec society, and to set one sector of the working class against the other.

As the 2013-2014 school year begins, youth across Canada will once again have to face the crisis facing them under capitalism. Tuition fees continue to rise across the country, making post-secondary education increasingly inaccessible to a growing number of youth. Moreover, the lack of stable well-paying jobs means that students are graduating with a record level of debt that makes a decent future seem like a pipe dream.

Five unions, which represent a total of 175,000 construction workers across Quebec, went on strike as of Sunday midnight when negotiation broke down. This is the first province-wide strike of construction workers in 20 years.

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