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.
Henry Morgentaler was born in Poland of 1923 and lived to change the world of women’s rights in Canada. He was a Holocaust survivor who lost both his parents in concentration camps and spent his own time there until 1945. After moving to Canada in 1950, he began to study medicine and the University of Montreal, and soon opened his practice in 1955.
In the 1960-1980’s a number of people urged the legalization of abortion by holding demonstrations. They believed that the law against abortion was a breach of the fundamental right women had to make a choice.
On 2 July 2003, the International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge made the announcement that Vancouver, British Columbia had been selected to host the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The Vancouver government appointed the Vancouver Olympic Committee to organize and plan the Winter Games. The Vancouver Olympic Committee, the British Columbian government, and the Canadian government began planning to build the venues for the games.
In the 1920s, the giant automobile corporation General Motors began introducing wage cuts, speeding up its assembly line, and laying off workers at their plant in Oshawa, Ontario. General Motors did not allow workers breaks, and underemployed them at part-time for much of the year. The company fired workers if they complained about conditions.
The Toronto’s Printer’s Strike was part of the Nine-Hour movement. The Nine-Hour movement was an international worker’s movement striving for shorter workdays in the 1870s.
In January 1872 in Hamilton, Ontario, railroad workers as well as other craft workers formed Nine Hour Leagues. Nine hours was normally a reduction of two to three hours off a regular shift. The workers explained that society as a whole would benefit from shorter workdays because individuals would have more time for family and community.
Winnipeg's LGBTQ sexual minorities activists win inclusion in the Provincial Human Rights legislation, 1984-1985
In the 1980’s, gay activists made their stand against sexual orientation discrimination in Manitoba. At this point in time, the members of the LGBTQ* were asking the Manitoba NDP government to prohibit sexual orientation discrimination under the existing Manitoba Human Rights Act.
Reforms to the Canadian Criminal Code legalized abortion in 1969. Under the direction of Pierre Trudeau’s government, a constitutional amendment was made to Section 251 of the Code. The alteration limited legal abortions to be performed only when the mother’s health was at risk. In addition, abortions could only be performed in credible hospitals with licensed physicians and needed to be approved by a panel of doctors called Therapeutic Abortion Committees, which often consisted of all males.
The Canadian General strike of 1976 was a result of the Bill C-73 passed by Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and the House of Commons in Ottawa on 14 October 1975. This bill limited wage increases to 8% the first year, 6% the second year, and 4% the third year after its enactment.
The majority of the provinces of Canada accepted the bill by spring of 1976, but within eighteen months they began to withdraw from the program. Despite its introduction in 1975, it was not until 1976 that the Anti-Inflation Board (AIB) began to roll back workers' wages.
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.
For many years in Sri Lanka, tensions have existed between the Tamils, 12.6% of the total population, and the Sinhalese, representing 74% of the population. One of the main root causes of this conflict could be traced back to British colonization, which saw partiality displayed by the British toward the Tamils through concessions and the subsequent marginalization of the Sinhalese.
In the mid 1950’s hundreds of loggers were employed by the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company (AND). Many of these workers were employed out of Grand Falls, near the town of Badger, Newfoundland, Canada. These particular workers soon felt that they were not being treated as they should be, and became increasingly frustrated with the low wages and uncomfortable living situations in the bush camps. These camps had cramped, cold, uncomfortable sleeping areas and lacked both showers and heaters for warmth.
During the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with the entire world watching, the Pivot Legal Society and the City Wide Housing Coalition held a nonviolent campaign. This campaign was an attempt to put pressure on the federal government to establish a National Social Housing Policy, to raise awareness of the magnitude of homelessness in Vancouver and to expose the government's failure to keep their promise of an Olympic housing legacy.
In 1931, many people across Canada were struggling to survive through the Depression. In Bienfait, Saskatchewan, Canada, coal miners were facing the same struggles. The price of coal was lower than it had been in recent years, and mine workers were facing unsafe working conditions and steep wage cuts. Miners were often forced to work 10 hours a day in cramped mine shafts that made it difficult to maneuver around. Water would regularly build up in low lying areas in the mines, forcing miners to wade through water to complete their job.
Attawapiskat First Nation is a small community located on James Bay approximately 220 kilometers north of Moosonee, Ontario. Attawapiskat was home to a courageous and passionate young woman named Shannen Koostachin. Shannen led a campaign of school children to fight for the right to “safe and comfy” schools and quality, culturally based education for First Nations children all across Canada.
The context for this campaign starts in the early 1980s with the repatriation of the legislation that founded Canada: the British North America Act of 1867. The idea of repatriation had been around since the 1920s and was finally brought to realization in 1982 by the then Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Elliot Trudeau.
Beginning in 1983, students and student allies at the University of Toronto began creating the organizational structures needed to pressure the University to divest from South Africa. Students created an Anti-Apartheid Network, or AAN, drawing membership from the Student Christian Movement, the Communist Club, the African and Caribbean Students’ Association, and the New Democratic Party Club. The group had large support among the student body from very early on, but gained no traction with the University administration.
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.