Category: Communist Party Canada
The Communist Party of Canada’s contribution to the 19th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties

CPC contribution to 19th International Meeting of Communist & Workers’ Parties

October 4, 2017

The Communist Party of Canada’s contribution to the 19th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties

We are honoured to bring greetings to this historic gathering on the centenary of the Great October Socialist Revolution.

Great October is the historic marker between all class divided, exploitative and oppressive societies heretofore; and the end of the exploitation of one human being by another achieved with the victory of Soviet power in Russia.  The epoch of the transition from capitalism to socialism was irrevocably opened for the working class to pass through, according to the objective and subjective conditions in each country. 

As Lenin said, the road to socialism is not straight like the Nevsky Prospect.  The loss of the USSR showed that the transition period is intense – a life and death struggle with imperialism, in which socialist states can be overthrown and great setbacks sustained.  But the political struggle of the working class and its allies for socialism cannot be stopped and will prevail, because the working class is the grave-digger of capitalism, as Marx proved.  This is the irreconcilable contradiction of capitalism that foretells its inevitable passing.

Imperialism has seized the moment to drive the world to the brink of world war and environmental devastation, and to unleash the forces of reaction and fascism aimed to destroy socialism, to overthrow socialist and progressive governments, to eliminate the Communist and Workers’ parties.

US imperialism’s threat to “totally destroy” DPRK, to overthrow governments in Venezuela and Syria, and to effect regime change in Cuba, is an invitation to world war and nuclear catastrophe.  US imperialism is sliding towards fascism.  The growth of fascist movements and parties globally, of austerity, xenophobia, racism and misogyny, is imperialism’s response to the changed balance of forces after 1991.

We live in a very dangerous time, facing the stark choice of socialism or barbarism.   We must soberly assess how to roll-back the threat of fascism, reaction and war, and how to advance the struggle for fundamental social transformation which working people increasingly seek, despite growing anti-communist campaigns.

In Canada, nascent fascist movements are also blooming, given new life by developments in the US and Europe.  These include Soldiers of Odin, PEGIDA, and La Meute.  They prey on the insecurity and fear of working people who are victims of the capitalist crises and who are aware that there is no recovery for them, while the biggest corporations rake in super-profits, lay-off workers, drive down wages and pensions, and demand social spending cuts.  Social democratic governments and parties, including in Canada, continue to offer prescriptions to better manage capitalism.

In Canada, the Trudeau government was elected on a platform promising peace, jobs, democracy, equality, and redress for Indigenous Peoples, most of which they have abandoned.  Trudeau has bowed to US demands to increase support for NATO and NORAD, and will increase military spending by 70%.  Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland (grand-daughter of a Ukrainian fascist collaborator) has stick-handled the government’s pro-US positions, including threats to Venezuela, and permanent stationing of Canadian troops in Latvia and Ukraine.   We vigorously oppose these policies, and campaign for peace and disarmament, withdrawal from NATO and NORAD, and cutting current military spending by 75%.  We are working hard to build the peace movement, and in particular the Canadian Peace Congress, affiliate of the World Peace Council.

The climate change crisis, causing major disasters this year, has forced itself onto the global agenda.  The struggle for climate justice must be a priority for our movement.  Socialism will prevail, provided the globe has not been destroyed by war and environmental devastation.

The NAFTA negotiations are collapsing, killed by US protectionism.  A revived Trans Pacific Trade and Investment Partnership is on the horizon.  We have campaigned hard against these deals and capitalist globalization generally, designed to cement corporate control of the world’s resources and markets, eliminating national sovereignty.

We fight for mutually beneficial, multi-lateral trade that includes long-term credits for developing countries.

We have closely followed developments in Catalonia and Kurdistan.  Like other parties, we condemn the use of force by the Spanish government against the Catalan people and their struggle for national self-determination, a right that Lenin invoked as inviolable for Marxist Leninists.

Canada is a multi-national state, created at the point of a gun, after British colonialism defeated France in North America in 1763 and then subdued the French speaking populations in what is now Quebec.  During capitalism’s rise, colonial governments aimed to exterminate or forcibly assimilate Indigenous Peoples.  This unequal and involuntary union of oppressed and oppressor has been maintained by force and violence of the Canadian state ever since.

While the CPC does not support the option of Quebec secession, because it will weaken the struggle of the working class as a whole against capitalism and for socialism, we unequivocally support the right of Quebec and other nations in Canada to self-determination and to secession if they so choose.  This puts the onus on the English speaking nation to offer a new, equal and voluntary partnership as the basis for unity in Canada, one which recognizes the national rights of all, including the right of each to leave, in a new democratic Constitution.  This is the option we favour and campaign for.

In conclusion comrades, we thank the CPRF for hosting this historic meeting in Leningrad, the cradle of the Great October Socialist Revolution.

We express our confidence in the unity and coordinated action of the Communist and Workers’ parties, in our historic struggle for socialism, peace, and a sustainable global environment.

Long live Marxism-Leninism!

Hasta la Victoria Siempre!

Delivered by CPC leader Elizabeth Rowley on behalf of the Central Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Canada to the 19th Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties held in Leningrad, November 2-3rd, 2017.

Winnipeg Sun. Nov 5 12:30pm: Celebrate 100 years of the Russian socialist revolution! [Please forward widely]
| October 31, 2017 | 8:07 pm | Announcements, Communist Party Canada, USSR | No comments

Celebrate with friends and comrades from many lands!

1917-2017 100th Anniversary
of the Russian socialist revolution!

Sunday, November 5
12:30 p.m. Late lunch, Music, Displays, Speakers
Ukrainian Labour Temple 591 Pritchard Ave.

We can hold tickets for you at the door, but we must know you are coming!
RSVP today for tickets! (204) 586-7824 or cpc-mb@changetheworldmb.ca

Celebrate revolutions, past and future!
Tickets $10 unwaged or $30 (tax credit $22.50)
Children under 12 free
Cheques are payable to Communist Party of Canada – Manitoba

Doors at the Labour Temple open at 12:30; the program begins at 1:30. You won’t want to miss this.

– The Celebration Committee

* * * *
The revolution’s impact on Canada was profound, but its influence is deliberately omitted from official histories and the education system.
Russia’s revolution animated the politics of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike and unions across Canada.
The Western Labor Conference (Calgary, March 1919 – the largest gathering of trade unionists west of the Great Lakes up to that time) unanimously placed itself “on record as being in solidarity with the Russian… revolution… (and) declares its full acceptance of the principle of “Proletarian Dictatorship” as being absolute and efficient for the transformation of capitalist private property into communal wealth…”
When the Borden Conservative government ordered troops to board ships and crush Russia’s Soviet republic, the soldiers mutinied in Vancouver.
Prominent big business politicians started to promise far-reaching reforms like those invoked by Russia’s Soviet republic.
Across Canada, all women won the same right as men to vote.
A month after the Winnipeg Strike Mackenzie King promised free medicare at the Liberal convention where he was elected leader.
The revolution inspired the founding of Canada’s Communist Party in 1921, as an illegal party. All previous socialist parties were banned under the War Measures Act in 1918, the Borden government’s response to the revolution.
The title of John Reed’s famous book Ten Days that Shook the World truly captures the political temper of those times.
Today, millions of people are again renewing the ideas of socialism and revolution, notably in the U.S. and Britain.
These ideas are certain to become profound and sharper with mass experience as the struggle against capitalism grows.

“For invited guests and members – Please drink responsibly (required words)”

Nationalize Bombardier: Stop the Giveaway!
| October 27, 2017 | 7:07 pm | Canada, Communist Party Canada | No comments

Oct252017

 

The Communist Party’s Executive Committee is demanding the federal government immediately block the corporate deal with Airbus that will kill thousands of new jobs and give away controlling interest in Canada’s C-series jet for $1.

Further, Parliament must step up to put Bombardier under public ownership and democratic control, and pull the plug on NAFTA which has contributed in a big way to this debacle.

Bombardier’s $8.7 billion debt includes over $6 billion spent on development of the C-series jet – a project meant to make Canada a leader in the global aerospace industry, creating thousands of new jobs in Canada. That’s why the federal government made $1.3 billion in loans to Bombardier and why the Quebec government invested $1.25 billion for what began as a 49.5% interest, now shrunk to just 19%.

While reaching into the public purse time after time, Bombardier’s executives were being paid millions in publicly funded bonuses year after year – without any public oversight or control.

What induced Bombardier to hand over control of the C-Series jet to the European based Airbus, was NAFTA, and the decision of the US administration to slap a 300% tariff on Bombardier’s sales of the C-series jet to Delta airlines in the US. The tariff was the result of demands by the US based-Boeing corporation which claimed that Bombardier was unfairly subsidized by the Canadian government. To get around the tariff, Bombardier made a deal with Airbus to build the jets in Alabama, in a non-union shop, in a US right-to- work state. In exchange Bombardier gets a 31% stake in the C-series for 7.5 years, while sales will be larger because Airbus is a mega-player in the aerospace industry.

Canadian workers get left holding the bag for public investments and loans that will never be repaid, and for jobs that will never materialize because wages are so much lower in the US. In fact, there is a good chance that the 2,000 Bombardier jobs in Montreal could disappear, as production ramps up in Alabama. NAFTA gives corporations complete freedom to set up and close down wherever and whenever they want, with low wages, poor working conditions, and a union-free, regulation-free environment all acceptable reasons to move production out of Canada.

This is another perfect example of why Canada should pull the plug and get out of NAFTA now.

Continuing in NAFTA means continuing to watch as manufacturing and industrial jobs are routinely stripped out of Canada, while wages are beaten down, pensions are gutted and unions and labour rights are undermined and destroyed.

Private corporations have repeatedly demonstrated, in their pursuit of profit, that they cannot be relied upon to provide good jobs with fair wages and benefits, to the working class in Canada. The practice of massive public bailouts to huge corporations, in exchange for job guarantees that evaporate, must end. The aerospace and transportation industry is a key element in Canada’s economy and it must be developed in the interests of the people, not corporate profit.

Enough is enough! Get out of NAFTA! Nationalize Bombardier and block the deal with Airbus. Build the C-series jet in Canada. And build a Canada-wide transportation system that’s publicly owned and democratically controlled, and meets the needs of the people who live and work in Canada – not those corporations that profit here.

Central Executive Committee, CPC

Condemn Spain’s Repression of Catalonia – Defend the National Right to Self-Determination

Condemn Spain’s Repression of Catalonia – Defend the National Right to Self-Determination

Oct. 6, 2017

The Communist Party of Canada condemns the savage violence of the Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy exercised against the Catalan population, in order to prevent voting in a referendum on October 1, 2017 to decide on their future as a nation.

According to the Catalan authorities, more than 800 people were wounded by police forces, including nearly 100 more severely.

While Rajoy rejoiced that the Spanish state had succeeded in preventing the referendum “with all its strength”, the Catalan regional government announced that more than 90% of the 2.2 million ballots that could be counted supported the independence option. The police did manage to close 319 polling stations and seize the ballot boxes, so that approximately 770,000 ballots could not be counted. In total about 56% of the 5.3 million registered voters cast a ballot, or were prevented from voting by the repression.

This situation follows the Catalan regional parliament’s decision on September 6 to hold the Oct. 1 referendum on self-determination. After the referendum was declared illegal by the Spanish Constitutional Court, the Spanish government announced three days later that it would not recognise the result. About a million Catalan people went into the streets of Barcelona to demand the right of self-determination, that is, the right to decide for themselves.

On September 20, the Spanish police stormed the Catalan government, conducting searches and arresting a dozen senior officials, including the Minister of Finance, under the pretext of “disobedience”, “prevarication” and “misappropriation of funds” in connection with the organisation of the referendum. Again, thousands went into the streets of Barcelona to protest the arrests.

When the central government announced its intention to use force to prevent voting, thousands of people occupied the voting places. Although opinion polls initially did not give the majority of votes to the independence option, ironically, the authoritarian acts of the central government eventually seem to have rallied more and more people.

Following the vote, the Catalan authorities considered that a majority had clearly expressed themselves in favour of secession. They met behind closed doors to discuss the next steps in their plan to declare independence and separation from Spain, defying the Rajoy government. Forty-four Catalan organisations, including the main Catalan trade unions and two pro-independence associations, called for a one-day general strike and mobilisation on Tuesday October 3.

The authoritarian drift of the Spanish government, according to the Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain, is a qualitative leap in the process of liquidating freedoms during recent years. Today, this attack by the Rajoy government is launched against the right of the people of Catalonia, and imposes the de facto liquidation of the Generalitat (the political organization of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia). Tomorrow, it will be the rights of assembly and protest, and thus step by step, to the right to collective bargaining, the right to strike, etc., always justified by “defence of the law”.

The Communist Party of Spain (PCE) also supported the mobilizations to defend democratic freedoms and the right of national self-determination, calling for steps to restore normal democratic life, and for “an agreement between the [Spanish and Catalan] administrations that gives the Catalan people the right to vote peacefully with the full guarantee of being able to decide on the different ways of organizing themselves as a nation”, and to guarantee the social and labour rights that the two governments have undermined since 2010. Following the repression of Oct. 1, the PCE called for the resignation of President Rajoy, and for mobilization of the social and democratic forces of the whole country to find a way out of the crisis and avoid any unilateral action that would deepen it.

Silence of foreign governments

The European Commission considers the referendum illegal, and therefore supports the Spanish Government, declaring that this is an internal matter which must be settled in accordance with the constitutional order of Spain. The Commission says that “in today’s times we need unity and stability, not division and fragmentation.”

Most countries in Europe have also avoided pronouncing on this crisis. The French and U.S. presidents openly supported the Rajoy government, urging a united Spain.

Amnesty International has been content to deplore the use of excessive force employed by some police officers in the performance of their duties. According to AI, “the tensions are very strong, it is essential that Spanish legislation such as international human rights law be respected.”

The Canadian government said that “the question of [Catalonia] is a matter for the internal affairs of Spain.” Canada wants “a solution to the country’s internal debates to be found in harmony and respect for its constitutional framework,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Strangely, that is not what the Canadian government has said in the case of Venezuela. Minister Freeland has happily interfered in the internal affairs of that country, especially when she openly attacked the Constituent Assembly election, which is provided for in the the Venezuelan Constitution, and by adopting economic sanctions against its political leaders.

On the other hand, in the Quebec National Assembly, the Couillard government first observed the same silence and invoked non-interference in the affairs of Spain. Premier Couillard has even maliciously tried to oppose the right to self-determination of Aboriginal nations to that of Quebec. But on October 4, fearing the public opinion very sensitive to the violence committed by the Spanish government at one year of the next election in Quebec, a motion was unanimously adopted denouncing that violence and calling for a recovery of the political dialogue between Catalonia and Spain with international mediation if both parties consented.

The real reason for this silence is that the Canadian state does not recognize the right of self-determination for the nations that make up this country, up to and including the right to secede. By not criticising the force used by Spain against Catalonia, it actually reserves the possibility of doing the same thing here.

While the Canadian state tolerated the holding of referendums in Quebec in 1980 and 1995, it subsequently passed the “Clarity Act”, which gives the federal government authority over the question, and the interpretation of the voting result. This is a complete denial of the right to self-determination, and it is imperative that the Canadian working class reject this form of national oppression.

Among the various components of the working class in this country, the Communist Party of Canada defends the idea of mutual recognition of the right to national self-determination, up to and including secession. Our aim is to promote unity and solidarity of the multinational working class in its struggle for socialism, and to reduce distrust and barriers which can divide workers along national lines, under the leadership of their respective bourgeoisies.

Central Executive Committee, CPC

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