We are publishing a discussion document written by the Fightback editorial board. It attempts to outline the dominant trends within the Canadian labour movement to give youth and worker militants a guide to action.

The Campbell government is planning a major offensive on the rights of working people. Over the past five years, each attack of the government has been met with stiff resistance. Each battle has taken on an increasingly militant character. With most public sector contracts ending this month, the stage is set for a decisive battle.

The Liberal Party of Canada has finally been kicked out of office. The Conservatives must attempt to lead an even more fractured minority Parliament while there is little support for right-wing policies. The Canadian elite wants a strong majority government to push through attacks on the working class. But the good showing by the union-backed NDP, and the continued presence of the separatist Bloc Québécois, means the Canadian political crisis will continue until the fall of this weak government.

The world's largest producer of aluminum, Montréal-based Alcan, announced on January 22, 2004 that it was closing its Jonquière Soderburg smelter in Arvida, Québec. In order to protect their jobs, the unionized workers of the smelter have seized it and demanded that it either remain open, or that Alcan replace the smelter with a new one.

A group of “prominent personalities” in Québec issued a manifesto titled Pour un Québec lucide (in English, For a clear-eyed vision of Québec). Attempting to draw upon Québec’s history and using some of the strongest symbols from its past, it is nothing more than a manifesto of the bourgeoisie for the 21st century. More than that, Pour un Québec lucide is a stark warning to the working class that things are about to change.