Radio — Building a common front against poverty in New Brunswick


On this week’s episode of Talking Radical Radio, provincial co-ordinator Jean-Claude Basque of the New Brunswick Common Front for Social Justice talks about their efforts to raise the minimum wage, increase social assistance, restore Employment Insurance, and support struggles for pay equity.

New Brunswick is a small province, not a terribly wealthy one, and in some ways at least somewhat conservative. And, as is true across our society (with its social relations that create and depend on significant inequality), its residents include plenty of people who live in poverty. Wherever there are people living in poverty, there is struggle against it. In New Brunswick, one significant vehicle through which that has happened in recent years is the New Brunswick Common Front for Social Justice, an organization that brings together unions, community groups, and individuals. It came out of struggles against changes to Unemployment Insurance in the 1990s, and it continues today to focus on the multiple experiences grouped under “poverty,” with campaigns around the minimum wage, social assistance, employment insurance, and pay equity. Basque is the provincial co-ordinator of the Common Front. He talks to me about the origins of the organization, the context in which it operates, and what it is doing today to fight poverty in New Brunswick.

For more about the work of the New Brunswick Common Front for Social Justice, click here.

Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada through in-depth interviews that concentrate not on current events or the crisis of the moment, but on giving people involved in a broad range of social change work a chance to take a longer view as they talk about what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. To learn more about the show in general, click here.

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Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Sudbury, Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.

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