149th Anniversary of Confederation
All Out to Give Canada a Modern Constitution and Definition of Rights
July 1 marks the 149th anniversary of Confederation, the date on which the British North America Act, 1867 went into effect and united four separate colonies of the British Empire in North America into the Dominion of Canada. This included the all-unsurrendered Quebec nation and the Indigenous nations on the territory, which have been subject to the worst attacks and Divide and Rule from the Anglo-Canadian state to this day.
The British North America Act, 1867 remains the constitutional framework for Canada despite all the changes which have come about in life since that time, be it Canada gaining its formal independence, the extension of the franchise and other privileges from white men of property to other citizens, the development of a socialized industrial base, and a powerful, educated working class hailing from every corner of the world taking its place across the land.
This itself requires serious thought. After nearly 150 years, two world wars and the end of the bipolar division of the world, the Constitution and the definition of rights flowing from it need to be brought on par with the needs of the times. Far from recognizing this, the Trudeau Liberal government has launched a program for the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017 to “celebrate our common values, our achievements, our majestic environment and our place in the world.” The official themes declared by the government are “diversity and inclusion, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, environment and youth.” A private group called Celebrations Ottawa Inc. has been given $210 million in government funding and responsibility for organizing the official events. Through this organization the government will “invest strategically in activities that support the vision for the 150th anniversary and encourage the direct participation of Canadians,” the government says. In other words, those who support “the vision” as espoused by the state institutions of 1867 will receive official support.
Who decided this vision? What about the activities of those who have another vision? Are they not entitled to receive government support? The government has decided that those who share the vision it espouses uphold “Canadian values.” This suggests that those who espouse a different vision do not share Canadians’ “common values.” It is nonsense. If there is a common value Canadians share it is the right of all human persons to their conscience, to the vision of Canada they see fit to espouse. The government says that our strength lies in our diversity, by which it singles out various characteristics based on appearance, language, religion, skin colour, race, ethnic origin, ability, etc. In all of this, the right to conscience — the very thing that distinguishes us as human beings — is not considered a “common value.” If this is the case, what does it tell us about the basis on which citizenship rights are being conferred today? The right of human beings to be must be the very basis of the definition of rights in the 21st century, but the government pays this no heed.
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) has begun a year-long program to involve Canadians, Quebeckers, citizens and residents from all walks of life in the work for democratic renewal, and to modernize the Constitution based on the principle that rights belong to us by virtue of being human and the need for a free and equal union between Quebec, the Indigenous nations and the rest of Canada.
CPC(M-L) emphasizes that this is an historic task, not a matter of a policy choice. It is required so that the working people who produce all the wealth can take the centre stage of history and carry out the changes required to overcome the problems facing the society in the sphere of the economy and the natural and social environment.
To be kept informed about the activities and writings of CPC(M-L) in the coming year, email email@example.com.
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