Saturday, December 30, 2017

Etobicoke Park Stairs, Niki Ashton, Jagmeet Singh & more -- 2017 on The Left Chapter in review

2017 saw over 300 posts of various kinds on The Left Chapter. We also saw record numbers of hits and readers including the top piece in The Left Chapter's history.

It also saw the launch of new pages and features such as the Vintage Leftist Leaflet Project.

Consistently popular as well were our vintage postcard and photography posts such as Leningrad During the Days of the War and in Peacetime -- A Photographic Exposition of Resistance, Victory and ReconstructionVintage Vegas 1958 - A Colour Postcard Folder of the Classic Hotels and Toronto Working Class and Immigrant Life 1910 - A Photographic Exposition. 

I want to thank all of our readers and contributors very much for their feedback, support, criticisms and engagement.

The year had many posts that came very, very close to making this list including posts like John Horgan lets the facade drop with cynical, ugly comments after green-lighting Site CIn the shadow of October -- Reflecting on the USSR and Soviet power, If there is no left, there is no left -- A short note on the politics of appeasement and socialist ideology and Omar Khadr is 'innocent' even if he is 'guilty'

We also had contributions from other writers that were widely read and shared and included Scotty Hertz's trenchant and brilliantly titled The Constant Image Gardeners, Marko Velimir Kobak's The Meaning of October on its Centenary looking at the Russian Revolution's legacy, and Ammario Reza's Polling Success or Electoral Flop? Religious Neutrality Laws that asks if bills like Quebec's C-61 are really as popular as people think they are.

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed this year and I look forward to seeing what interesting viewpoints and arguments we see next year!

(Remember that if you have a left point-of-view or opinion, a recipe or a story you want to share or if you want to share a petition/appeal or upcoming event you can send them to The Left Chapter via!)

Here, without further ado, are the top ten posts (in terms of hits) on The Left Chapter in 2017:

1) Etobicoke "park stairs" story is a perfect example of the crass, reactionary, anti-regulatory nonsense that led to the Grenfell disaster

By now almost everyone in  Toronto would have heard the story of newly minted Etobicoke folk hero  Adi Astl and how he built stairs quickly in a park for only $500 when city officials said building the stairs would cost $65,000 or more.

Read more!

See also: John Tory's austerity regime triumphs in latest Toronto budget

2) James Di Fiore's hatchet job on Niki Ashton deserves nothing but contempt

No doubt many have seen the inane hatchet job James Di Fiore wrote on the Huffington Post attacking Niki Ashton in deeply sexist, reactionary and over-the-top terms that lead to his absurd assertion from the title on that her "Obsession With Identity Politics Could Destroy The NDP".

Read more!

See also: The backlash against Niki Ashton from anti-Black Lives Matter commentators is what is really off base

See also: The sexist insults about Catherine McKenna are not acceptable because sexism is not acceptable

3) Don't be fooled -- The campaign against so-called small business tax reform is class warfare by the wealthy

Census data released today from 2016, according to Andrew Jackson of the Broadbent Institute, confirms "rising income inequality" in Canada.

In the two weeks since Jagmeet Singh was elected leader of the federal NDP in a first ballot landslide where nearly half of party members did not even bother to vote at all, the dust has settled to reveal a party that neither wanted nor embraced any serious change of course or path of introspection after the catastrophe of 2015.

Have you heard the news?

The "left" is "out of touch" with the pulse of what is going on in the United States and North America more broadly because insert left academic or commentator/insert left publication says this must be true due to Trump's victory in the US Presidential race.

Guest Editorial by Robert McCarthy

My name is Robert McCarthy from Sudbury, Ontario and I am supporting Niki Ashton to become the next leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada. Like myself, Niki is a proud Democratic Socialist. She is the candidate that I most identify with. Her vision includes free tuition and student debt forgiveness, opposing pipelines where they infringe on Indigenous rights and endanger the environment, and the expansion of public healthcare to include dental care, pharmacare and access to mental health services for all Canadians. These policies are perfectly in line with what I believe.

The sins of the mother or father, grandmother or grandfather, should never be held against the child...unless they then appear to lie about and celebrate those sins.

What a difference a night and an imperial missile strike makes. Especially to those who jockey for position within the shadow of an empire.

To ring in the New Year The Walrus magazine decided to run a rather long, and very odd piece about the Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE) and the attempts by its leader, Justin Trottier, to allegedly mainstream men's rights activism (MRA) in Canada.

Given the truly inspiring turn of events within the Labour Party in the UK under Corbyn over the last couple of years it is not at all surprising that leftists in Canada are hoping that perhaps these conditions can be recreated here and within the country's mainstream social democratic party the NDP.

Have a happy and safe New Year! See you all in 2018. 

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