Murray Dobbin, ‘Giant of the Canadian Left’

Murray Dobbin, ‘Giant of the Canadian Left’

Postby Oscar » Tue Sep 28, 2021 10:22 am

Murray Dobbin, ‘Giant of the Canadian Left’

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The activist and thinker exposed much and inspired many. He was our good friend and comrade.

By Seth Klein and Shannon Daub September 27, 2021 |

Seth Klein is an adjunct professor with SFU’s urban studies program and the former B.C. director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Shannon Daub is B.C. director of the CCPA.

Prolific author and commentator Murray Dobbin contributed columns to The Tyee and Rabble for years.

Neoliberal myth-buster. Far right exposer. Movement philosopher. Activist mentor. Murray Dobbin was all of these.

On Sept. 8, our good friend and comrade Murray died at age 76. Murray was not ready to leave, but after two-and-a-half years the inexorable brutality of cancer led him to choose medical assistance in dying to end his life on his own terms.

Murray’s fighting spirit, sharp intellect and unwavering values guided him through decades of work in service of a better world. We read him and heard him before we knew him. The man we read and listened to on the radio and giving speeches directed his righteous anger at the neoliberal project unfolding in the 1980s and ’90s. But the man we got to know was mostly of good humour — still with a strain of that suitable outrage, but kind and supportive.

Readers of these pages would have known Murray mainly as a writer. For years he wrote a political commentary column that appeared in The Tyee and Rabble. He wrote numerous popular papers for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. And Murray was the author of five outstanding books, including cutting biographies of Preston Manning (he was tracking the rise of the far right in Canada long before others) and Paul Martin (whom he dubbed “the CEO of Canada”), and the 1998 book The Myth of the Good Corporate Citizen: Democracy Under the Rule of Big Business.

Less known were the countless hours and many years Murray spent donating his time on the national boards of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Council of Canadians, and Canadians for Tax Fairness. In 2001, Murray was a key architect (along with Judy Rebick, Jim Stanford, Svend Robinson and Libby Davies) of the New Politics Initiative, an endeavour to renew the NDP and strengthen its connections to social movements. . . . .

MORE . . .

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Legendary activist Murray Dobbin: Canada loses a writer, fighter and friend

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22 September 2021

By Toby Sanger

Canada lost one of its greatest progressive activists, thinkers, writers, political commentators and organizers earlier this month. Murray Dobbin, the founding president of Canadians for Tax Fairness—our longest serving board member—and a giant of the Canadian left, died on 8 September after a long struggle with cancer. He was far ahead of his time in his concern for and activism about tax justice, equality, democracy, public services and controlling the power of corporations and the political and corporate elite. . . . . .
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