In the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, many activists and organizers in the neighborhood of East Side (DTES) initiated a campaign in 1990 to change policies regarding intraveneous drug use. Intravenous drug use was rampant – the spread of HIV/AIDS, drug overdoses and deaths were reaching epidemic proportions. From 1988 – 1993 illicit drug deaths in British Columbia increased 800% and 60% of these cases took place in Vancouver.
In March of 2011 the Brandon University Faculty Association’s (BUFA) collective agreement with the Brandon University expired. Entering into negotiations was delayed due to a declared state of emergency. The Assiniboine River was rising, flooding the lower portion of the city and causing parts of Brandon to be evacuated. Negotiations did not commence until May 18, 2011.
Artificial baby milks—so called “infant formula”—became widespread commercial product during the early decades of the twentieth century. Among many companies involved, Nestlé’s was the biggest promoter, controlling more than 40% of the estimated $1.72 billion market. Nestle aggressively pursued the interest from infant formula with indiscriminate marketing. The marketing that evoked popular indictment was their promotion of infant formula in the Third World.
In North America and Western Europe in the later half of the 19th century, women began to campaign in earnest for the right to vote. At this time women were second-class citizens. The 1870s were the start of the movement in Canada, but there were few Canadians that supported the women’s right to vote. Two of the groups that lead the way in Manitoba were the Icelandic feminists and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). The Icelandic women had settled near Gimli. These women established the first suffragette associations.
Following World War I, Canada was suffering massive unemployment and inflation. A wave of unsuccessful strikes across Canada, the 1917 overthrow of the Tsarist regime in Russia, and the growth of revolutionary industrial unionism created an atmosphere of labor unrest in a country that had almost no labor regulations.
In March 1919, diverse labor leaders met in Calgary in Western Canada to discuss the creation of an industrial union to be called the One Big Union to work for higher wages, improved working conditions, official union recognition and collective bargaining.
At its height, the Quebec General Strike in the spring of 1972 was the largest strike in North America’s history. The strike, which involved over 250,000 public and private service workers, was a very important moment in Quebecers’ self-determination and struggle for rights. Planning of the strike had been in motion since 1970, when Quebec’s three main union federations held joint meetings to discuss ways in which they could work together to address common struggles. At the time, many of Quebec’s working class felt disenchanted with and ignored by the government.