New traditions

“Esguerra’s ‘new tradition’ concept offers a useful framework for us to reimagine our efforts. ‘To create something new, you have to know where you came from: your past, your roots, and the struggle of your ancestors,’ explains Esguerra. ‘You have to study in order to contribute new elements and fuse it with other styles.’ Taking Esguerra’s lead, we might ask: how can we combine the best of our traditions with new approaches to labour organizing that respond to the changing realities of work?”

Ryan Hayes – Briarpatch – October 2020

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The last straw: How gay bars and other LGBTQ2 businesses are facing disaster

“There’s a lot of talk of resiliency and creativity during the pandemic—entertainers holding digital drag shows, or shops that once focused on analog sales going digital. But while there’s plenty of discussion about financial support for small business owners, queer business owners are finding it difficult to access and are, in turn, imagining what their post-COVID-19 future looks like.”

Rob Csernyik – Xtra – June 2020

The last straw: How gay bars and other LGBTQ2 businesses are facing disaster

Double Double Tracking

“I never would have consciously volunteered my home address, work location and vacation plans to Tim Hortons, but the company found out anyway. I haven’t been singled out for special treatment. For more than a year, the coffee chain has been tracking the movements of customers in exacting detail through its mobile ordering app. I’ve spent months sifting through my own data, and it’s staggering how much the company knows about me. From my home to my office to a Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre, even all the way to Morocco, where I travelled on vacation last June, the company’s app silently logged my coordinates and relayed them back to its corporate servers.”

James McLeod – Financial Post – June 2020

The arts of the deal

“To be a cultural worker in Canada is to be a filler of forms. If the American cultural scene is structured by entrepreneurialism and private foundations, our creative endeavours are highly dependent on direct government support. Canadian artists have a high degree of freedom, but their activities are fostered through subsidies and state regulations, especially with respect to Canadian content requirements. This is both a gift and a curse.”

Darrell Varga – Literary Review of Canada – February 2020

‘It Smelled Like Shit.’ Why These Workers Quit Toronto’s First Legal Weed Shop

“When Marcus got hired to work at the first legal weed dispensary in Toronto, he didn’t expect to come face to face with a puddle of human feces. But Marcus, 22, quit his budtender position at the Hunny Pot Cannabis Co. after he alleged the company mishandled two floods, including one where his colleagues were asked to clean up sewage water without proper equipment. ‘It smelled like shit,’ Marcus said.”

Manisha Krishnan – Vice Canada – February 2020

In the GTA’s tow-truck turf wars, the race for profit leads to road rage, violence and intimidation

 
Molly Hayes – The Globe and Mail – February 2020

‘NASA North’ or Final Frontier fantasy?

 
Catherine McIntyre – The Logic – January 2020

Is Cannabis the Answer to Everything?

 
Lauren McKeon – The Walrus – January 2020

The Alberta town that’s at greatest risk of losing jobs to automation

“A radio disc jockey interrupts the country music playing to an empty room at Ricky’s All Day Grill in Brooks, Alta. He wants to take a minute, he says, to recognize Gissela Ramirez, a recruiting supervisor who left her corporate law gig in Guadalajara, Mexico to work at the slaughterhouse and beef-packing plant in Brooks. The facility, owned by the world’s largest beef-processing company, Brazil-based JBS, is the biggest employer in town.”

Catherine McIntyre – The Logic – December 2019

I went undercover as an Amazon delivery driver.

“Outside the entrance of Amazon’s nondescript Scarborough warehouse on McNicoll Avenue is a sign with one of the company’s corporate mantras: ‘It’s still day one. Are you ready to make a difference?’ But I’m not here for a job with Amazon, not technically anyway. I answered an online ad for E.V.K. Limousine Services, a third-party subcontractor, or, in Amazon parlance, a ‘Delivery Service Provider.'”

Brendan Kennedy – Toronto Star – December 2019