Editors’ Letter: What to Keep, Toss and Fix This Spring

(Also see the Publisher’s Letter on page 4, “How The Grind Is Keeping Independent Journalism Alive”)

Time to throw out those holey socks and the old papers in the corner. It’s spring cleaning time! The warmer weather is here – not that it was much of a winter, what with climate change plus El Niño.

This season has us thinking about what to throw away and what to keep. That’s the theme of this issue’s cover by Olea Kim, who is also our Comics Editor.

A few things we want to toss: unrealistic hopes in the new mayor (for more, see page 8), elites lecturing us about “civility” during a genocide (p. 11), anti-Palestinian racism (p. 14), and overly-cautious conversations on Canada Reads (p. 21).

Things we want to keep: quality TTC service (p. 17), non-market housing (p. 16), the right lessons from the 1933 Christie Pits Riot (p. 12), expanding $10-per-day child care (p. 19), and lots more in this issue.

As you’ll see on the next page, we also want your help keeping The Grind alive.

Spring is a time for renewal, but these days we can feel stuck in the past — especially when major newspapers keep telling us to celebrate the legacy of Brian Mulroney, who was prime minister from 1984 to 1993 and recently passed away.

Those obituaries tell us that we should admire the cheery conservative’s “tenacity” and “charm” but fail to mention that Mulroney also brought the neoliberal revolution to Canada. That meant tax cuts for the rich, deregulation (e.g. giving the oil industry everything it wanted), and privatizing government services and industries, including selling off Petro-Canada to private investors.

When we think today about precarious work and lack of job protections, or about how the oil and banking sectors make billions while the world burns, we should remember that Mulroney kicked that process into gear here.

If people are looking to find who “broke Canada,” Mulroney was a big part of the puzzle. So was the Liberal government after him of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin, and most governments after them at all levels.

Mulroney also sent the Canadian military to face off against the Kanien’kéha:ka (Mohawk) of Kanesatake who were protecting their burial site from being turned into an expanded golf course for the town of Oka, QC. It’s not so different from militarized raids we’ve seen the RCMP do for pipeline and forestry companies in recent years (see p. 22).

We may have inherited this system from people like Mulroney, but we don’t have to accept it as is.

While you read this issue in the springtime, we encourage you to think about what you want to keep, what to toss, what to fix, and how to do it.

This article appeared in the 2024 May/June issue.