NDP leader Thomas Mulcair’s support for the Tory government’s anti-communist monument in Ottawa is a contemptible attack on the working class’s most staunch and militant fighters and on anyone who shares the aim of achieving a socialist society.
As the environmental movement matures, it must embrace the socialist option. It must stand resolutely against militarism and its threat to the environment. No other stance will deflect “civilization” from its determined march toward self destruction. Authentic, militant environmentalism comes with partisanship for socialism and anti-imperialism.
Both the Arab League and the United Nations have fully transformed themselves into the ill-fated League of Nations that more than 70 years ago disgraced itself into oblivion when it failed to condemn foreign aggressions that eventually led to the cataclysm of World War Two.
As delegates gathered in Egypt’s resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh for the Arab League on the March 28-29 weekend, nearly half of its member states were at the same time openly engaged in an aerial blitz on one of the League’s weakest countries – Yemen.
The Communist Party of Canada condemns the Harper government’s one-year extension of Canada’s participation in the latest imperialist war in Iraq, which will expand this military mission into neighbouring Syria without the agreement of the elected government of that sovereign country. This is a clear violation of international law and the UN Charter. As with previous military actions in Korea, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Libya, this move is yet another undeclared war.
Growing public pressure has compelled the Harper Conservative government to make a handful of minor amendments to Bill C-51, while rejecting all changes proposed by the opposition parties in Parliament. This tactical retreat shows that further mass opposition outside Parliament can help slow the anti-democratic and pro-war “security state” agenda of this government. The Communist Party of Canada maintains that these amendments are completely inadequate, and that Bill C-51 remains fundamentally flawed and must be scrapped.
Metrolinx, the Ontario provincial transit agency, has unveiled the new Union-Pearson Express (UPE) train, which will run from Pearson International Airport to Union Station in Toronto. Service will start in May, a month before the Toronto 2015 Pan-Am Games, which are already controversial for overspending problems and the lack of proper infrastructure.
The Canadian Labour Congress says that Bill C-51“threatens to undermine the very freedoms the government claims it wants to protect.”
“Canadians agree that terrorism is a threat and the government has a responsibility to safeguard public safety, but it has not justified why it cannot do that using the existing criminal code,” said CLC president Hassan Yussuff in a statement prior to his March 25 appearance before the House of Commons Public Safety Committee. “This bill appears to be more about political posturing ahead of a political election than it is about better protecting public safety and our democracy.”
As opposition builds against the Harper government’s Bill C-51, supporters of this police state legislation increasingly fall back on a few tattered lines from the PM’s message box. Perhaps the most common tired justification is that CSIS needs to break the shackles of “red tape” and “bureaucratic oversight.” It’s an argument straight out of reactionary U.S. movie and TV dramas, where highly-principled federal agents make sad but necessary decisions to torture and murder suspects for the greater good.
World public opinion increasingly condemns President Barack Obama’s March 9th Executive Order declaring Venezuela “an unusual and extraordinary threat to U.S. national security.” In Venezuela itself, a huge campaign is underway to collect 10 million names urging repeal of this Order, and people in other countries (including Canada) are signing this appeal in solidarity.
After the Conservatives’ proposed amendments, the Communist Party campaign against Bill C-51 is continuing with mobilizations for the second round of cross-Canada demonstrations on April 18, and a Stop C-51 speaking tour in British Columbia.
The BC tour will feature CPC central organizer Johan Boyden at events in Surrey, Kamloops, Kelowna and North Vancouver, together with People’s Voice editor Kimball Cariou in Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo. Local community organizers will speak at some of the events. (Readers can phone the PV office at 604-255-2041 for details.)
Alberta politics are heating up this spring, with a May 5 provincial election now underway. While pundits differ in their readings of the past year, it has been something of a rollercoaster ride for the two big right-wing parties, the Conservatives and Wildrose, allowing new space for the Liberals and especially the New Democrats. On the left, the Communist Party-Alberta is also gearing up to run two candidates asking the main social and ecological question facing the province: who owns and controls the oil and gas sector of Alberta’s economy?
On March 20, about 1600 strikers from U of T voted by a narrow 50-vote majority to put the administration’s latest offer to a ratification vote. The offer was not recommended because the negotiating committee was not unanimous. Over the weekend of voting on March 21-22, the offer was turned down by a narrow majority of 112 votes. Clearly the struggle was polarizing not only the negotiators, but the membership as well. The next offer of accepting binding arbitration was recommended by the negotiating committee, and accepted by a healthy majority on March 26. The strike was over, but not the struggle. You might safely say that the militant members of CUPE Local 3902 had fought the U of T to a dead heat, a significant accomplishment.
Mobilizations to stop the austerity measures of Philippe Couillard’s Quebec Liberal government got a boost in late March, after a meeting of the Front Commun, the Common Front of Quebec public sector trade unions. Then the student movement brought over 70,000 protesters into the streets on April 2, its largest mobilization since the 2012 strike.
Quebec students are in action again. In late March, 30,000 students voted to go on strike for access to education, as well as against anti-austerity measures, climate change and gender inequality. The strike will last for one or two weeks, but may be extended.