• Magazine

    Liquid assets

    Despite much ado over the world’s dwindling oil supplies, the real lifeblood of the planet is water—and we are quickly draining the well dry.

  • Magazine

    Remembering Maria Fischer

    Briarpatch’s founding editor, Maria Fischer, died peacefully in her home in Ladysmith, B.C. on October 3, 2007, at the age of 87.

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    A dove with two right wings

    With the dust of the fall 2007 elections settling, many Guatemalans are breathing a sigh of relief. Another violent campaign period has come and gone and, although more than 50 candidates and activists were assassinated in the process, the lesser of evils has come out on top.

  • Magazine

    Retracing our steps

    In the wake of the 10th anniversary of one of Canada’s greatest foreign-policy successes, the ripple effects of the Ottawa Treaty, also known as the Mine Ban Treaty, are still being felt among the sea of 65,000 south Sudanese refugees living in Ethiopia.

  • Magazine

    Da’s toch dope, man!

    The Netherlands is the only country in the world to allow over-the-counter sale of cannabis products. In the 1970s, when cannabis was becoming the drug of choice of young people in the Netherlands, for reasons of pragmatism and public health the Dutch government amended the Opium Act to distinguish soft drug use from hard-drug use and, deeming cannabis no more risky than alcohol, created the coffeeshop system.

  • Magazine

    The shock doctrine

    Book reviews of Jeremy Scahill’s Blackwater: The rise of the world’s most powerful mercenary army and Naomi Klein’s, The Shock Doctrine: The rise of disaster capitalism.

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    Trail-Blazing

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    Blind Drunk

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    Malaria as a weapon of war

  • Magazine

    Green is not the only colour

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    New government, old problems

  • Magazine

    The Deserter’s Tale: The story of an ordinary soldier who walked away from the war in Iraq

    Book review of The Deserter’s Tale: The story of an ordinary soldier who walked away from the war in Iraq

  • Magazine

    Workplaces that Work: A Guide to Conflict Management in Union and Non-Union Work Environments

    Book review of Workplaces that Work: A Guide to Conflict Management in Union and Non-Union Work Environments

  • Magazine

    Seizing the advantage

    In a landmark ruling on June 8 of this year, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms constitutionally protects collective bargaining as part of its guarantee of freedom of association.
    One group that has long been struggling against the denial of its freedom of association rights is Ontario’s part-time college workers—and our struggle could serve as a model for other workers in similar circumstances.

  • Magazine

    ‘Each day of our lives is dedicated to surviving’

    The province of Québec is in the midst of a major swing to the right, as the results of the March 2007 provincial election indicate. The centre-right Liberals of Jean Charest managed to hold on to power with a minority government, and the right-wing Action Démocratique du Québec (ADQ) made significant gains to form the official opposition. While student, labour, and environmental groups are bracing themselves for the anticipated cutbacks, welfare recipients—already reeling from more than a decade of frozen benefits—are wondering how much harder they can be squeezed.

  • Magazine

    Out of their labours

    “These photos were taken on farms in southern Ontario, as well as in Mexico, in the home villages of the workers. The portraits provide an intimate glimpse into the lives of people who are the backbone of Canada’s agricultural industry, and yet whose faces go largely unseen.”
    —Adam Perry

  • Magazine

    Building ‘The World’s Most Flexible Workforce’

    Since coming to power, the Harper Conservatives have moved aggressively to expand Canada’s Foreign Worker Program, making it increasingly easy for employers to import workers from abroad. In this first segment of our special report on Canada’s invisible workforce, Karl Flecker investigates the impact on workplace rights in Canada, and how the labour movement is responding.

  • Magazine

    Working for a ban

    Over 40 countries have banned the use of asbestos—a known and dangerous carcinogen. So why does Canada continue to oppose a ban? And where does the labour movement stand on the question?

  • Magazine

    Bikes without borders

    What connects singer/songwriter Fred Eaglesmith, a rape crisis centre in Brantford, Ontario, and an anti-poverty group in nearby Port Dover? They’ve all come together to help ensure the safety of migrant farm workers on Canadian roads. Perhaps an odd combination for social justice work, but it seems to be working.

  • Magazine

    Letter from the editor

    Sometimes a term comes along that enables us to name—-to make visible—-our situation, to better understand the social and economic forces that shape our choices, and to connect various struggles within a broader tapestry of social change. Precarity is perhaps such a term.