We talk about how Praxis and the anti-poverty movement were targeted by the RCMP Security Service in what became known as the force's 'dirty tricks' scandal.
By Paul Weinberg
Published April 24, 2020
COVID-19 reminds us of the importance of government, public health and social services and how they have been degraded through the years.
In my new book, When Poverty Mattered: Then and Now, I take us back to the late 1960s when a powerful anti-poverty movement emerged during a period of prosperity to push for improvements to a significant but somewhat flawed new welfare state in Canada. During that time, at least 200 poor peoples' groups sprang up in cities and towns across the country, including the Hamilton Welfare Rights Organization and Toronto's Just Society Movement.
Sadly, the federal government (Liberal at the time), which had introduced innovative national social programs in welfare, health, student loans and pensions, started to turn its back on its own progressive legacy after the 1968 election where Pierre Trudeau sailed into a majority government on a more economically conservative program.
The major theme of the government was that Canadians were living beyond their means and thus their reliance on government had to be trimmed through anti-inflation initiatives. One victim of this change was the newly formed Praxis social research institute, which was set up near the University of Toronto in Toronto to tackle social inequality in a profound way.
In a podcast featured on CFMU's Get Lit, I had the privilege of being interviewed by host Jamie Tennant to talk about how Praxis and the anti-poverty movement were targeted by the RCMP Security Service in what became known as the force's "dirty tricks" scandal.
When Poverty Mattered: Then and Now by Paul Weinberg
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