The return of the Corporate Welfare Bums

The 1972 federal election was notable for many reasons – (Pierre) Trudeaumania was long gone and the ruling Liberals were reduced to a minority. It was in that campaign that then NDP Leader David Lewis coined the phrase “corporate welfare bums.” Today in The Conversation Canada, the late politician’s grandson, Avi Lewis of Rutgers University, teams up with Roberta Lexier of Mount Royal University to bemoan the 21st century version of those corporate welfare bums that benefit from government handouts and tax breaks and then do little for the average Canadian.

That’s just one of several great reads we have for you today. The rest of our lineup touches on many important topics:

  • The history of how Indigenous woman have faced forced sterilization, as recently as 2017.
  • The world’s Climate Clock is ticking faster than ever because of an increase in CO2 emissions last year and again in 2018.
  • A look at the legality of Quebec’s plan to ban certain civil servants from wearing or displaying religious symbols while at work.
  • As we mark White Ribbon Day, which commemorates the lives of female engineering students who were murdered 29 years ago today, it’s important to also remember that violence against women is still a major problem.

And finally… Yoshua Bengio of the Université de Montréal is world expert on artificial intelligence He explains why scientists must take a stand when it comes to the responsible development of AI – and why Montreal is leading that cause.

A reminder you can read the latest from our French-language experts at La Conversation Canada.


Scott White


The lede....

Hundreds of people march in Vancouver to protest against corporate greed as part of the global Occupy movement in October 2011. (Shutterstock)

Corporate welfare bums: It’s payback time

Roberta Lexier, Mount Royal University; Avi Lewis, Rutgers University

Canada’s welfare state is disintegrating while corporate welfare soars. In an era of climate crisis, precarious work and instability, it’s time the corporate welfare bums paid us back.


Environment + Energy

  • The Climate Clock: Counting down to 1.5℃

    H. Damon Matthews, Concordia University; Glen Peters, Center for International Climate and Environment Research - Oslo; Myles Allen, University of Oxford; Piers Forster, University of Leeds

    We are on track to reach 1.5°C of global warming within 16 years according to new data.

Culture + Society

Science + Technology

Health + Medicine