Canada may be some distance from Greece geographically, but the economic policies being adopted look strikingly similar, with public sector wage freezes, cuts in spending and increased costs of services. And for people in Britain who may be thinking of voting Liberal, take a look at what the Canadian Liberals are doing in Ontario.

Meanwhile in the French-speaking part of Canada, the Liberals are doing exactly the same thing as in English-speaking Canada, while the Parti Québécois and the Action démocratique du Québec, supposedly parties that are supposed to defend the French-speaking population of Quebec, have supported attacks on public sector workers and made clear they would pursue cuts of their own if they were in power.

Last year the three biggest union federations in Quebec – CSN, FTQ, and SISP – formed a Common Front that unites 475,000 public sector workers. On Saturday March 20th, this union front brought 75,000 workers from all over Quebec onto the streets of Montreal. After years of being held back, now the workers are presenting the bill just when Quebec’s public debt as at a record high.

Peter Kent, a Canadian minister, recently expressed concerns over the supposed “shrinking democratic space” in Venezuela. He was referring to measures against several TV stations. On one of these, Noel Álavarez, president of the bosses’ union FEDECAMARAS, called for another “military solution” to the political situation in Venezuela. How would Kent like it if a Canadian boss suggested Canada’s military intervene to remove his government?

After the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, governments around the world have been quick to announce that the recession is over and that a recovery is on the horizon. Although the recession may already be technically over, the recovery which we will be seeing will not bring the economy back to pre-recession levels. Most likely, it will be a weak one with little job growth.

Despite the images of natural beauty and pleasant ‘middle class’ life that will be broadcast to the world in February, Vancouver is a troubled city and B.C. is a troubled province. In the past decade, Gordon Campbell’s Liberals have brought unprecedented cuts to social services.

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