In the News May 13
Ontario Election 2022
The Need to Empower the People of Northern Ontario
There are many issues facing the people of northern Ontario, the working people and the Indigenous people first of all. We can enumerate some of these issues but they all have one thing in common, and that is that the workers, the Indigenous people and the people of northern Ontario are not the decision makers on these issues. The decisions are in the hands of the private monopolies and their governments.
This situation must change: the working and Indigenous people must make the decisions affecting their lives if those problems affecting their lives are to be resolved.
Many of the issues facing the people of the north are the same as those facing the people of the south, especially in things like education and health care. The Indigenous peoples of northern Ontario are faced with many issues affecting their lives: lack of clean drinking water on many reserves, substandard housing, lack of employment, police and racist violence, opioid addiction and related social problems, amongst others.
We have the issue of extraction of natural resources. The economy of northern Ontario is largely based on the extraction of minerals and forest products and the ancillary enterprises that serve that. All the decisions that involve the extraction of natural resources are taken by the monopolies who run them. They are trying to develop the Ring of Fire in northwestern Ontario to serve their own interest of making maximum profit from the extraction of raw materials with minimal regard for the interests of the Native peoples and workers. There are a number of new mines being developed in northeastern Ontario to extract lithium, cobalt and nickel geared to the development of batteries for electric vehicles, cell phones and things like that.
Another major issue facing the people of northern Ontario is the situation at Laurentian University, which has now been under bankruptcy protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) for about 15 months.
The problem facing the people with all these issues is how to empower themselves to be the decision makers in all the affairs that affect their lives.
The most important thing is for workers and people to engage in politics on their own behalf and to figure things out for themselves. There is no solution that is going to come from the parliamentary system and its parties because the system serves the monopolies and the oligarchs, in opposition to the interests and rights of the people including the people of northern Ontario. The issue is not to choose amongst the political offerings of the parliamentary political parties but to provide our own solutions based on our own thinking and analysis.
The workers and people of northern Ontario are fully capable of solving the problems facing them if they reject the politics of the rich and their monopolies and bring forth solutions based on their own thinking.
Ontario Political Forum, posted May 13, 2022.