Category: Communist Party Canada
Unite and fight: Jobs, democracy, sovereignty and peace

Unite and fight: Jobs, democracy, sovereignty and peace

Sep032017

This Labour Day 2017, is the centenary of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia. Against all odds, the Russian workers defended their socialist revolution against invasion, fascism and wars, at an enormous cost of 22 million Soviet lives. Their goal was to create a new workers’ state in which the exploitation of one human being by another was abolished forever.

100 years later, the peoples of the world are once again facing war, racism, exploitation and fascism, while the USSR – a great counter-weight to US imperialism and global war – has been overthrown. The world has changed, but the struggle for peace, jobs, democracy, sovereignty and socialism remains the goal of millions of workers around the world.

Today working people in Canada and around the globe are faced not only with the ongoing corporate assault against jobs and living standards, but with a US president willing to launch a nuclear war which could devastate humanity. It’s time to unite and fight – for jobs, democracy, sovereignty and peace.

Say no to Trump! Get out of NAFTA!

As we march in Labour Day parades, our sovereignty and independence are being sold out in the NAFTA talks. Contrary to what the Liberal government and Chrystia Freeland claim, these negotiations aim to open up Canada like a sardine can to US based transnationals that want to feast on energy and natural resources, including oil and gas, water, lumber, and much more. They want to scrap Chapter 19, which settles trade disputes among the NAFTA partners, while expanding Chapter 11, which gives corporations the power to sue governments over future lost profits. They want to allow US corporations to bid on healthcare and education services and delivery, which are all public in Canada today. They want to swallow our manufacturing jobs and repatriate the Big Three auto parts and assembly operations to the US, using rules of origin to send auto and manufacturing jobs south, where wages are much lower. They want to finish off our agriculture supply management system, which keeps farmers afloat by guaranteeing quotas and incomes – by allowing agribusiness to flood the market with US milk (laced with BGH), eggs, and poultry products. Leaving everything to “the free market” is precisely why US dairy farmers have huge surpluses, while the price of milk has dropped 40% since 2014. Why would Canada sign on to that?

On top of all this, the US is demanding more access to the Canadian market through technology that allows on-line purchases of US goods and services virtually tax free, negatively affecting the Canadian economy and the pubic purse. Privacy rights protected under Canadian law are also on the chopping block in NAFTA renegotiations.

There are no benefits for Canada. Working people, youth, women, the unemployed, will all be hit by these negotiations, just like they were by NAFTA in 1992 and the FTA in 1988. It was a bad deal then – it’s a worse deal now. No side deals can change that reality.

Unfortunately, much of the leadership of the labour movement in Canada seems unwilling to grasp this danger, referring to the key issues as “irritants” in these talks, while the CLC participates in the government’s NAFTA Advisory Council. The CLC should pull out of the Advisory Council and instead demand that Trudeau PULL THE PLUG ON NAFTA now!  Out of NAFTA!

Instead of one-sided and detrimental “free” trade with the US, Canada needs mutually-beneficial, multi-lateral trade with the world that respects national sovereignty and independence.

Say yes to democracy! Defend workers’ rights and standards!

Since Trump’s election, the attack on civil, social, labour, and democratic rights has escalated dramatically, especially in the US.  The gathering of racist and fascist forces in Charlottesville, and Trump’s defence of  the terrorist actions which left one dead and dozens wounded, is a clarion call to action for all those who recognize the threat that these forces represent.

In Canada, xenophobic, racist and Islamophobic hate campaigns came into the open with the Harper Tories’ “Barbaric Cultural Practices Act and Snitch Line”. Similar legislation was introduced by the PQ government in Quebec under the claim of protecting  “Quebec values”. Now the Liberals have put this back on the table with Bill 62.  The attacks escalated from hate messages and confrontations on city streets, to the murder of six Muslim men in a St. Foy mosque last February. Hate crimes have increased significantly in Canada, as the Conservative leadership candidates signalled that hate campaigns against Muslims, immigrants, Blacks, Jews and Indigenous Peoples are acceptable. Tory MPs in the Commons even voted en masse against M103, a motion directing the government to look into hate crimes including Islamophobia in Canada. Now, the anti-Muslim Bill 62 is back on the legislative agenda in Quebec, and the “World Coalition Against Islam” is promoting white supremacist hatred.

Andrew Scheer, the new Conservative leader, has close ties with the far right, including (despite recent disavowals) Ezra Levant’s ultra-right Rebel Media. Tory MPs including Kelly Leitch and Chris Alexander have spoken at rallies organized by Rebel Media and other groups, to attack immigrants and racialized communities.

Canada is at a watershed moment. Hate crimes must be prosecuted in the courts, and hate speech is also a criminal act when it advocates hatred and/or violence against identifiable groups based on religion, gender, ethnicity, nationality, or place of origin.

Mass protests and demonstrations are essential to send a strong message that the cancerous ideas spread by fascist, racist and white supremacist movements will not be tolerated. Working people have fought fascism in Canada before, from the battle of Christie Pits in Toronto during the 1930s right up to the present. This struggle is needed today as well, to drive these rats back into the sewers.

These movements have arisen again because of the crisis of capitalism and its inability to meet the needs of working people without curbing the power and the profits of the biggest corporations. Instead, reactionary governments have relied on policies of austerity, mass unemployment, war, and attacks on labour, civil and democratic rights to quash resistance and maintain the status quo.  This has created an opening for the rise of the ultra-right.  Racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism aim to split and divide the working people and weaken their resistance when united action is essential and decisive. US imperialism, now openly aided and abetted by Canada, also has a wider militarist agenda. The labour and people’s movements cannot sit on the sidelines as the US and its NATO allies, including Canada, relentlessly push to overthrow governments which resist their domination of the planet.

No to Trump’s war threats

The “fire and fury” threat by President Trump against the DPRK (North Korea) is his latest tactic to demonstrate the ferocious power and global domination agenda of US imperialism. But any US attack on the DPRK would lead to the death of millions of Koreans. There is no such thing as a tactical nuclear war – such a US strike could potentially ignite a global conflagration.

The South Korean government is pleading with the US to step back, stating that no-one has the authority to start a war on the Korean Peninsula without the agreement of the people who live there. Trump – and Trudeau – should listen. PM Trudeau and the labour and democratic movements must say NO! Instead of nuclear weapons, the Korean people and the peoples of the world need a political solution – and peace. This can be achieved, if US troops are withdrawn from the Peninsula, and joint manoeuvres by the US, Japan and South Korea to invade DPRK and overthrow its government are stopped now.

Closer to home, where Venezuela sits atop the largest oil deposits in the world, the Trump administration is threatening to overthrow the elected government of Nicolas Maduro, who has full constitutional rights to convene a Constituent Assembly. Cuba is also in Trump’s sights, just 90 miles from Miami. US military forces in and around Syria are also building up, even though the war against ISIS has largely been won by the Syrian government with Russian support.

On a global scale, military spending (largely by the US) already consumes over a trillion dollars a year. Now, the Liberal government has promised a 70% increase in military spending, to meet the US demand that Canada vastly increase its NATO funding. This means deep cuts to social programs, and more undelivered Liberal promises to Indigenous Peoples, the unemployed, youth, women, and workers.

Higher military spending also means more privatization of public services and assets like Canada Post, and higher user fees and prices. The conversion of civilian to military spending and the expansion of Canada’s role in US dirty wars means that job creation will be tied to military industries and services, as they are in the US. The labour and peace forces must say NO to militarization of Canada’s economy. This money must be invested in good jobs, higher wages and pensions, affordable housing, quality public healthcare and education. This includes environmental protection and sustainable development of natural and energy resources and industries, in the interests of working people from coast to coast to coast.

A People’s Coalition

The Communist Party calls for a People’s Coalition that can unite all the forces fighting against austerity, war and the rise of the ultra-right, and for a people’s recovery from capitalist crisis. Working people need a strong and independent voice to defend their interests in the turbulent times ahead.  This cannot be contracted out to the NDP ,who are committed to put a human face on capitalism, or to the Liberals, the “friendly” face of capitalism. A People’s Coalition would be just that: a coalition of people’s organizations, labour, the Communist Party and others united around a common program and united action to secure those gains. This would enable a united struggle across Canada, moving from the defensive to the offensive – an objective whose time has surely arrived.

On this Labour Day, we call for mass united action to stop the drive to war and reaction, and to move labour onto the offensive, shoulder to shoulder with its social and political allies.

  United we stand – divided we fall!

                An injury to one is an injury to all!

Unite and fight: Jobs, democracy, sovereignty and peace
| September 12, 2017 | 8:51 pm | Communist Party Canada | No comments

Sep032017

Unite and fight: Jobs, democracy, sovereignty and peace

This Labour Day 2017, is the centenary of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia. Against all odds, the Russian workers defended their socialist revolution against invasion, fascism and wars, at an enormous cost of 22 million Soviet lives. Their goal was to create a new workers’ state in which the exploitation of one human being by another was abolished forever.

100 years later, the peoples of the world are once again facing war, racism, exploitation and fascism, while the USSR – a great counter-weight to US imperialism and global war – has been overthrown. The world has changed, but the struggle for peace, jobs, democracy, sovereignty and socialism remains the goal of millions of workers around the world.

Today working people in Canada and around the globe are faced not only with the ongoing corporate assault against jobs and living standards, but with a US president willing to launch a nuclear war which could devastate humanity. It’s time to unite and fight – for jobs, democracy, sovereignty and peace.

Say no to Trump! Get out of NAFTA!

As we march in Labour Day parades, our sovereignty and independence are being sold out in the NAFTA talks. Contrary to what the Liberal government and Chrystia Freeland claim, these negotiations aim to open up Canada like a sardine can to US based transnationals that want to feast on energy and natural resources, including oil and gas, water, lumber, and much more. They want to scrap Chapter 19, which settles trade disputes among the NAFTA partners, while expanding Chapter 11, which gives corporations the power to sue governments over future lost profits. They want to allow US corporations to bid on healthcare and education services and delivery, which are all public in Canada today. They want to swallow our manufacturing jobs and repatriate the Big Three auto parts and assembly operations to the US, using rules of origin to send auto and manufacturing jobs south, where wages are much lower. They want to finish off our agriculture supply management system, which keeps farmers afloat by guaranteeing quotas and incomes – by allowing agribusiness to flood the market with US milk (laced with BGH), eggs, and poultry products. Leaving everything to “the free market” is precisely why US dairy farmers have huge surpluses, while the price of milk has dropped 40% since 2014. Why would Canada sign on to that?

On top of all this, the US is demanding more access to the Canadian market through technology that allows on-line purchases of US goods and services virtually tax free, negatively affecting the Canadian economy and the pubic purse. Privacy rights protected under Canadian law are also on the chopping block in NAFTA renegotiations.

There are no benefits for Canada. Working people, youth, women, the unemployed, will all be hit by these negotiations, just like they were by NAFTA in 1992 and the FTA in 1988. It was a bad deal then – it’s a worse deal now. No side deals can change that reality.

Unfortunately, much of the leadership of the labour movement in Canada seems unwilling to grasp this danger, referring to the key issues as “irritants” in these talks, while the CLC participates in the government’s NAFTA Advisory Council. The CLC should pull out of the Advisory Council and instead demand that Trudeau PULL THE PLUG ON NAFTA now!  Out of NAFTA!

Instead of one-sided and detrimental “free” trade with the US, Canada needs mutually-beneficial, multi-lateral trade with the world that respects national sovereignty and independence.

Say yes to democracy! Defend workers’ rights and standards!

Since Trump’s election, the attack on civil, social, labour, and democratic rights has escalated dramatically, especially in the US.  The gathering of racist and fascist forces in Charlottesville, and Trump’s defence of  the terrorist actions which left one dead and dozens wounded, is a clarion call to action for all those who recognize the threat that these forces represent.

In Canada, xenophobic, racist and Islamophobic hate campaigns came into the open with the Harper Tories’ “Barbaric Cultural Practices Act and Snitch Line”. Similar legislation was introduced by the PQ government in Quebec under the claim of protecting  “Quebec values”. Now the Liberals have put this back on the table with Bill 62.  The attacks escalated from hate messages and confrontations on city streets, to the murder of six Muslim men in a St. Foy mosque last February. Hate crimes have increased significantly in Canada, as the Conservative leadership candidates signalled that hate campaigns against Muslims, immigrants, Blacks, Jews and Indigenous Peoples are acceptable. Tory MPs in the Commons even voted en masse against M103, a motion directing the government to look into hate crimes including Islamophobia in Canada. Now, the anti-Muslim Bill 62 is back on the legislative agenda in Quebec, and the “World Coalition Against Islam” is promoting white supremacist hatred.

Andrew Scheer, the new Conservative leader, has close ties with the far right, including (despite recent disavowals) Ezra Levant’s ultra-right Rebel Media. Tory MPs including Kelly Leitch and Chris Alexander have spoken at rallies organized by Rebel Media and other groups, to attack immigrants and racialized communities.

Canada is at a watershed moment. Hate crimes must be prosecuted in the courts, and hate speech is also a criminal act when it advocates hatred and/or violence against identifiable groups based on religion, gender, ethnicity, nationality, or place of origin.

Mass protests and demonstrations are essential to send a strong message that the cancerous ideas spread by fascist, racist and white supremacist movements will not be tolerated. Working people have fought fascism in Canada before, from the battle of Christie Pits in Toronto during the 1930s right up to the present. This struggle is needed today as well, to drive these rats back into the sewers.

These movements have arisen again because of the crisis of capitalism and its inability to meet the needs of working people without curbing the power and the profits of the biggest corporations. Instead, reactionary governments have relied on policies of austerity, mass unemployment, war, and attacks on labour, civil and democratic rights to quash resistance and maintain the status quo.  This has created an opening for the rise of the ultra-right.  Racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism aim to split and divide the working people and weaken their resistance when united action is essential and decisive. US imperialism, now openly aided and abetted by Canada, also has a wider militarist agenda. The labour and people’s movements cannot sit on the sidelines as the US and its NATO allies, including Canada, relentlessly push to overthrow governments which resist their domination of the planet.

No to Trump’s war threats

The “fire and fury” threat by President Trump against the DPRK (North Korea) is his latest tactic to demonstrate the ferocious power and global domination agenda of US imperialism. But any US attack on the DPRK would lead to the death of millions of Koreans. There is no such thing as a tactical nuclear war – such a US strike could potentially ignite a global conflagration.

The South Korean government is pleading with the US to step back, stating that no-one has the authority to start a war on the Korean Peninsula without the agreement of the people who live there. Trump – and Trudeau – should listen. PM Trudeau and the labour and democratic movements must say NO! Instead of nuclear weapons, the Korean people and the peoples of the world need a political solution – and peace. This can be achieved, if US troops are withdrawn from the Peninsula, and joint manoeuvres by the US, Japan and South Korea to invade DPRK and overthrow its government are stopped now.

Closer to home, where Venezuela sits atop the largest oil deposits in the world, the Trump administration is threatening to overthrow the elected government of Nicolas Maduro, who has full constitutional rights to convene a Constituent Assembly. Cuba is also in Trump’s sights, just 90 miles from Miami. US military forces in and around Syria are also building up, even though the war against ISIS has largely been won by the Syrian government with Russian support.

On a global scale, military spending (largely by the US) already consumes over a trillion dollars a year. Now, the Liberal government has promised a 70% increase in military spending, to meet the US demand that Canada vastly increase its NATO funding. This means deep cuts to social programs, and more undelivered Liberal promises to Indigenous Peoples, the unemployed, youth, women, and workers.

Higher military spending also means more privatization of public services and assets like Canada Post, and higher user fees and prices. The conversion of civilian to military spending and the expansion of Canada’s role in US dirty wars means that job creation will be tied to military industries and services, as they are in the US. The labour and peace forces must say NO to militarization of Canada’s economy. This money must be invested in good jobs, higher wages and pensions, affordable housing, quality public healthcare and education. This includes environmental protection and sustainable development of natural and energy resources and industries, in the interests of working people from coast to coast to coast.

A People’s Coalition

The Communist Party calls for a People’s Coalition that can unite all the forces fighting against austerity, war and the rise of the ultra-right, and for a people’s recovery from capitalist crisis. Working people need a strong and independent voice to defend their interests in the turbulent times ahead.  This cannot be contracted out to the NDP ,who are committed to put a human face on capitalism, or to the Liberals, the “friendly” face of capitalism. A People’s Coalition would be just that: a coalition of people’s organizations, labour, the Communist Party and others united around a common program and united action to secure those gains. This would enable a united struggle across Canada, moving from the defensive to the offensive – an objective whose time has surely arrived.

On this Labour Day, we call for mass united action to stop the drive to war and reaction, and to move labour onto the offensive, shoulder to shoulder with its social and political allies.

  United we stand – divided we fall!

                An injury to one is an injury to all!

 

No to war and occupation: Stop Trudeau’s massive military spending increase!

No to war and occupation: Stop Trudeau’s massive military spending increase!

July 14, 2017

 

The Communist Party of Canada condemns the federal Liberal government’s June announcement of its plan to increase military spending by 70% over the next ten years. This massive militarization means the government is committing to increase its already significant role in military interventions and full-scale wars around the world, further escalating imperialism’s drive towards world war.

The Trudeau government’s plan is to add 5,000 regular and reserve personnel to the Canadian Armed Forces, buy a bigger than expected fleet of 88 new fighter jets (with an estimated cost of $15-19 billion), pay for 15 war ships (with an estimated cost of $60 billion), increase the size of Canada’s secretive special forces by 600, and purchase armed drones, all the while increasing annual expenditures by $14 billion to over $32 billion a year within ten years. This is far beyond what the previous Harper Conservative government attempted or had planned.

The military spending plan is being sold as a move towards Canadian sovereignty and away from reliance on the United States. Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, the granddaughter of a Nazi collaborator and herself responsible for war-mongering against Russia, said just before the report was issued: “To rely solely on the U.S. security umbrella would make us a client state”.

This ignores the fact that U.S. President Trump and NATO have been lobbying for Canada to increase military spending. This ignores that Canada’s military is already totally tied into the U.S. and NATO’s military power. This is in fact an effort for the Canadian government to become an even bigger partner in the U.S. dirty war machine. The United States has waged a long series of offensive wars since the end of World War II, and for the last sixteen years has been engaged in a permanent “war on terror” that has led to the deaths of millions of people in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Freeland and Trudeau’s use of Canadian sovereignty in order to justify massive military expenditures actually continues to undermine the sovereignty of the peoples of Canada and blocks the path of a truly independent foreign policy of peace and disarmament. In order for this to be possible Canada must immediately withdraw from NATO.

Already under the Harper government Canada helped to lead the regime change operation in Libya, which has resulted in the destruction and ruin of that country. Canadian warships and troops are currently in the Baltic and the Middle East, enhancing US and NATO power. These operations have nothing to do with defence and any increase in military spending will only ensure that Canadian participation in these bloody, dangerous and often illegal wars is drastically increased.

Trudeau’s election victory in 2015 was based on “sunny ways” against the Conservative government’s agenda of war and austerity. He campaigned on more “peacekeeping” and less involvement in the U.S.’s wars in countries like Syria. Now, Trudeau and Defence Minister Sajjan are saying that militarization and war preparations are necessary. In late June, Trudeau announced that Canadians should be proud of a Canadian sniper in Iraq for killing someone from a long distance away. This took place in the context of Canada’s supposedly non-combat role in Iraq. The people that voted Liberal in 2015 did not vote for more war and occupation.

Part of the cynical political spin of this announcement is that Canada needs to play a bigger role on the world stage as the United States “retreats”. Just days before the Trump administration announced that it would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. Putting aside the fact that Canada should not play a bigger role in wars around the world, in terms of climate change, increasing the size of the military will also drastically increase Canada’s carbon emissions. The Department of National Defense is already one of Canada’s biggest emitters of carbon, and 88 new jets and 15 new warships makes the military an even larger climate criminal.

For working people in Canada, further militarization means more killing and being killed around the world. It means more military recruitment of our precarious young people, desperate for decent work at home.

Who will pay the tens of billions in increased expenditures? The government has not made any mention of how they intend to fund their ambitious war plan. Those that can afford it won’t be the ones that pay: the corporations and the wealthy. The Liberals have ruled out corporate tax increases. The only options are increased taxes on working people, through sales taxes, user fees and other regressive taxation schemes. Undoubtedly this will mean more attacks on social programs and services: more cuts to Medicare, the privatization of public services and assets, the further privatization of education, and much more.

Trudeau shows off his new NATO themed socks

The priorities of the Liberal government and of Bay Street are seen clearly by comparing the current debate on federal health and social service funding to Indigenous children and the government’s military increase plan. The federal government is in a prolonged legal fight to avoid making the funding to these services equitable between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children. But somehow there are tens of billions of dollars available for war.

The Communist Party of Canada demands that the federal government cut the existing military budget by 75% and use these funds to create good jobs across Canada; build affordable housing and infrastructure; develop a sustainable industrial strategy and expand value-added manufacturing and secondary industry to create jobs; expand and improve Medicare, including a public pharmacare program; address the housing crisis by building social housing across Canada; introduce a universal, accessible, affordable public childcare system; invest in public renewable energy to transition from fossil fuels and pay climate reparations to over-exploited countries to avoid climate catastrophe; fully fund public and post-secondary education and eliminate tuition fees and student debt; increase the minimum wage and pensions; and deliver on promises made to Indigenous peoples for urgent and long-term funding to raise living standards on and off reserve in order to implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Trump’s prescription for economic recovery is war: huge profits for the arms industry and total hegemony over the land, labour and resources of the world. We need to fight for a recovery for people. An urgent part of this fight is building the anti-war movement across Canada, with the immediate task of stopping this drive to war.

Central Executive Committee
Communist Party of Canada

Communists condemn Minister Freeland’s violations of sovereignty of Venezuela

Communists condemn Minister Freeland’s violations of sovereignty of Venezuela

Aug 01, 2017

The Communist Party of Canada condemns the latest flagrant violation of the national sovereignty of Venezuela by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.Going far beyond the bounds of diplomacy, Minister Freeland attacked the July 30 voting to elect a Constituent Assembly which will have powers to resolve the political crisis in Venezuela. The Liberal government’s claim that the election was “contrary to Venezuela’s Constitution”, and therefore illegitimate, is a lie. Article 347 and 348 of the Bolivarian Constitution outline the president’s right to initiate a National Constituent Assembly.  

These statements are a form of blatant interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela, and openly support efforts by the United States to prepare for outside intervention against the country’s elected government.

Despite the boycott of the constituent assembly elections by the right-wing opposition, and their open calls for violence, over 41% of citizens cast ballots, and 94 percent of polling stations were open. The turnout exceeded the participation in the 1999 referendum that ordered the previous Constituent Assembly to be convened, which was responsible for drafting the current constitution. These figures are highly significant, since the opposition had tried to prevent voting, urging its supporters to set up barricades, block roads and take over the country.

Such threats are far from idle, since most of the recent killings in Venezuela have targeted government supporters. Among the latest reports of violence was an attack by opposition protesters in the community of Borburata, Carabobo state, where stones and petrol bombs were thrown at National Guard members protecting a polling station located in a school.

Over eight million people voted on Sunday, choosing from 6,120 candidates for the 545-member Constituent Assembly, which will allow the Venezuelan people to exercise their popular sovereignty in a truly democratic fashion. The Communist Party of Canada welcomes the outcome of the Constituent Assembly voting, and we urge the labour movement and all democratic-minded and progressive peoples in Canada to speak out against the attempts of US imperialism and its faithful ally the government of Canada, to set the stage for a reactionary coup against the Maduro government.

Central Executive Committee, CPC

Pride 2017: An Injury to One is an Injury to All!

Communist Party of Canada
Parti communiste du Canada

06/26/2017

Pride 2017: An Injury to One is an Injury to All!

 

Pride 2017 Statement from the Communist Party of Canada and the Young Communist League

In 2017, Pride events across Canada take place in a much different context than one short year ago. The election of Donald Trump has encouraged fascists and other reactionaries to emerge from their dark corners and to openly promote hatred in the form of homophobia and transphobia, as well as Islamophobia, racism, misogyny and sexism – all of which are intended to roll-back the hard-won rights of oppressed peoples, including the LGBTQ2SIA community. Signs of this appeared last summer, when the shootings at the Pulse gay club in Florida seemed to galvanize the Pride season, and focused attention on the backlash against the gains made by the LGBTQ2SIA  movement in the USA, where reactionary forces have been resisting the extension of civil rights for LGBTQ2SIA people, and actively attempting to roll-back rights already won. In this context, it is necessary to remember that Pride is not only a celebration of the rainbow community, but also a reminder that our gains are the result of a political defense of our community and a political struggle for our rights.

In that spirit, we salute the actions and spirit of Black Lives Matter, and in particular their action during Toronto Pride 2016, which reminded everyone that the commercialization of Pride, the role of corporations, and the institutional presence of police had whitewashed the ongoing marginalization and oppression, even within the rainbow community, of Black LGBTQ2SIA people, other LGBTQ2SIA people of colour, of Indigenous Two-Spirit people, and of LGBTQ2SIA people who suffer from income insecurity and poverty. Black Lives Matter reminded us that Pride was born in activism and struggle. However, that action also elicited a backlash from the corporate media and in some quarters of the LGBTQ2SIA community who wish to deny or dismiss the experience of racism, sexism and misogyny, transphobia, poverty and exploitation, and Islamophobia in our very own community. The reality is that the commercialization of Pride, and the institutional participation of uniformed police, have made Pride less, not more inclusive.

The social and political climate for Pride in 2017 is one of growing polarization based on class, social position and identity. This is reflected in election of Andrew Scheer as leader of the Conservative Party; Scheer represents the continuity of Harperite homophobia and transphobia, racism, sexism, and Islamophobia. Unfortunately, the Trudeau Liberals talk a feminist and pro-LGBTQ2SIA position, but have done little or nothing to actually improve the lives of most in our community. After decades of struggle led by trans activists and communities, Bill C-16 was just passed, which updates the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to include the terms ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression.” It would also extend hate speech laws to include the two terms. Criminal laws now need to be updated to make it a hate crime when someone is targeted because of their gender identity or gender expression, meaning judges would have to consider it as an aggravating factor in deciding what sentence to impose.

On the other hand, the Trudeau Liberal government continues to pursue a corporate-driven austerity agenda, most recently with the announcement that it will increase military spending by 70 percent over the next ten years. This, and the continuing refusal to make corporations and the rich pay their share of taxes, means that working class and poor Canadians will face increasing exploitation and oppression, including attacks on labour, civil and democratic rights such as the security state laws (Bill C-51), introduced by previous Liberal and Tory governments. In fact, the Liberals are a party of big business and continue to follow policies (from pipeline expansion to military spending) that negatively impact LGBTQ2SIA people, women, Indigenous peoples, and racialized groups, and undercut equality gains. Similar austerity measures are on the table in every province and territory.

LGBTQ2SIA youth are particularly affected by persistent and resurgent homophobia and transphobia combined with austerity measures, precarious employment, unemployment and growing barriers to education. This is demonstrated by the fact that as many as 25-40% of Canada’s homeless youth are LGBTQ2SIA identified.

The world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place; for the LGBTQ2SIA community, the urgent imperative of the day is to unite against a corporate agenda that has increasingly fascist overtones. Homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of hate only serve to divide people and to undermine resistance to the corporate agenda of “trade deals,” raw materials extraction and exports, and militarism.

We believe that “an injury to one is an injury to all.” Adopting full legal and political protections for sexual orientation and gender expression, and gender identity, and respect for the bodily diversity of intersex people, is urgently needed to strengthen working class unity. This unity is a vital element of the broad labour, democratic and social movement to put people’s needs before corporate greed, austerity and war. Our LGBTQ2SIA community must be a key player in efforts to build a “People’s Coalition” of labour, Indigenous peoples, youth and students, women, seniors, farmers, immigrant and racialized communities, environmentalists, peace activists and many other allies.

Mass resistance in our communities and workplaces, in the streets and at the ballot box, can defeat the parties of big business and open the door to a “people not profits” government. The goal of the Communist Party is to win genuine people’s power in a socialist Canada, where our economy and resources will be socially owned and democratically controlled. Homophobia and transphobia seek to entrench the heterosexual, patriarchal family, which is necessary for capitalism to police and maintain the gendered division of labour, and increase the rate of profits. The historic advance to socialism will make it possible to eradicate the interweaving forms of exploitation and oppression which threaten our world today. We urge you to join the Communist Party and the Young Communist League to achieve a liberated society in which, as Karl Marx said, “the freedom of each is the condition for the freedom of all.”

The Communist Party and the Young Communist League fight to:

  •       Strengthen and enforce hate crime legislation, no to all forms of transphobia, homophobia, sexism, Islamophobia, racism, and xenophobia;
  •       Strengthen solidarity with trans people in North Carolina and elsewhere in North America against new transphobic legislation;
  •       Struggle to expand trans rights including the explicit protection from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression in all Provincial and Territorial laws and human rights codes;
  •       Make “conversion therapy”, a pseudo-psychiatric or religious practice that tries to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, illegal in all provinces;
  •       Expand the rights of LGBTQ2SIA youth: end the two-tiered age of consent laws for LGBTQ2SIA youth and protect Intersex minors from non-consensual surgery respecting bodily diversity;
  •       End the homophobic and unscientific blood ban for gay men donating blood;
  •       Increase social services and housing support to meet the needs of the 25-40% of homeless youth who identify as LGBTQ2SIA;
  •       End the Federal and Provincial governments’ drive towards austerity, and big business’ move towards precarious part-time employment, which disproportionately affect LGBTQ2SIA peoples who are amongst the hardest hit by social program cutbacks.
  •       Stop imperialism’s pinkwashing in support of reactionary forces around the world. No to the coup in Brazil and interventions in Venezuela, no to the pro-fascist government in Ukraine. Withdraw Canadian troops from Iraq and Syria, support the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions movement against Israeli apartheid, end the supply of arms to Saudi Arabia by Canada. Jobs not bombs – cut military spending by 75%.

(Note: In this statement, the acronym “LGBTQA2SI” refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender variant, two-spirited, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual and others.)

Central Executive Committee and the Pride Commission of the Communist Party of Canada

Central Executive Committee of the Young Communist League of Canada

Canada 150: whitewashing the genocidal history of colonialism

Communist Party of Canada
Parti communiste du Canada

06/21/2017

Canada 150: whitewashing the genocidal history of colonialism

 

On National Aboriginal Day, June 21, the Communist Party of Canada sends our warmest greetings to all First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We take this important occasion to renew our solidarity with the resistance against the expansion of resource extraction industries on traditional indigenous territories, and with all those who stand for an end to racist oppression of indigenous peoples in this country.

Just ten days after June 21, hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent by the federal government to mark “Canada 150”. This year’s July 1 holiday is not a day of celebration for millions of working people who suffer from growing economic insecurity, and especially for indigenous peoples who face the highest rates of unemployment, poverty, health crises, incarceration, police violence, and countless other measures of inequality. For indigenous peoples, being forced to pay for this “party” with their own tax dollars is a bitter insult, especially since these events are being held by the Liberal Party government of Justin Trudeau, who won the electoral support of many indigenous voters two years ago, when he campaigned as a leader who would heal the damage inflicted by Stephen Harper’s Tories.

The Communist Party of Canada joins with many others in condemning this celebration of Confederation as a racist rewriting of the history of the northern half of Turtle Island. The truth is that modern-day Canada was created through a wide range of genocidal and assimilationist policies going back nearly 500 years, along with the national oppression of French Canadians and the brutal exploitation of generations of immigrant workers.

The story of genocide began with the theft of traditional indigenous territories, and the imposition of unfair and repeatedly violated treaties. This was followed by the deliberate destruction of indigenous languages and cultures, the mass removals of indigenous children from their families (the residential schools, the “60s scoop,”, etc.), and thousands of unsolved murders of indigenous women and girls. This record is usually dismissed as “past history”, giving rise to the arrogant racist view that “you people should just get over it,” and also to the liberal myth of a post-racist society.

But the legacy of genocide remains very real today, even if individual expressions of racism may have become less acceptable. Despite official apologies from politicians, and the important recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, structural anti-indigenous racism is so deeply embedded in Canadian society that it is usually minimized or even completely denied.

How else to explain that 150 years after Confederation, a judge and prosecutor in Edmonton can jail a young indigenous woman, placing her in handcuffs and leg shackles, for the “crime” of testifying against her violent sexual predator? Or that a Prime Minister elected on the promise to respect indigenous rights then endorses resource extraction and export projects with profoundly negative impacts on First Nation communities? Or that the Sureté du Québec in Val D’Or (and other police forces), still commit widespread physical and sexual abuse against indigenous women? Or that the Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women is bogged down in bureaucratic details after almost two years? Or that over 100 indigenous communities still lack clean drinking water?

Countless examples could be given, but the point is obvious: anti-indigenous racism is not “past history”, it remains a defining contemporary feature of the Canadian state and society, right up to the level of the federal Liberal cabinet which has failed to deliver on its promise of a new relationship with indigenous peoples. This failure is a reflection of “big nation” Anglo chauvinism, the ideological concept of an English-speaking, Christian, “white man’s country” which has held sway since before the time of Confederation, despite huge demographic changes after 1867.

The struggle for national equality calls for a conscious and dedicated effort to overcome the entire colonial legacy of imperialism, as a crucial element of resistance against the right-wing, racist agenda of the big corporations and pro-austerity political parties. Such resistance can only be advanced through full rejection of Anglo chauvinist and white supremacist ideologies, and unity in action of the working class and democratic forces of all nations, around policies to put the needs of people and the environment ahead of corporate greed.

The Communist Party of Canada demands to remove the colonialist structure and legacy which is at the heart of the crisis of Confederation. We call for a Constituent Assembly with equal representation of all nations, to draft a new democratic constitution, based on the equal and voluntary partnership of indigenous peoples, Quebec, the Acadians and English-speaking Canada. The Communist Party also demands urgent action to fulfill the 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and to meet the economic, social, cultural and national needs of the indigenous peoples. Such a strategy to eradicate the colonialist legacy of the Canadian state would be the only truly honourable and just way to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Central Executive Committee and the Indigenous Commission of the Communist Party of Canada

New Hope For Working People

New Hope For Working People

New Hope For Working People

After a series of depressing elections over the last year (the rise of Donald Trump was not the only case), some positive news for working people has arrived at the ballot box. Here are two very different scenarios, with some interesting similarities.

In British Columbia, one of the most right-wing governments in recent Canadian history got the hook on May 9. The Liberals won a few more votes than the NDP, but lost their majority in the Legislature, and the Greens ended up with the balance of power. Barring unexpected events, the NDP will take office by the end of June, ready to implement an accord with the Greens based largely on demands raised by people’s movements across the province. The accord isn’t a program to attack the basic political power of the big corporations, but it can help to reverse the worst impacts of austerity and cutbacks imposed by the Liberals since 2001 (and in fact by the previous NDP government of the 1990s). By any measure, this is a victory. But the only way to build on this accord is through mass mobilization and pressure by the labour and people’s movements.

On a global scale, the setback for Theresa May’s Tories in the UK a month later was a much bigger development. Not just because Britain is a key ally of US imperialism, but also because Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn campaigned as a socialist, on a platform calling for radical reforms.

There is much to discuss and debate about these complex events, along with the continued popularity of Bernie Sanders in the United States. One thing is certain: the myth that working people reject the concept of socialism has been decisively disproven. A better world remains both possible and necessary!