No. 26September 18, 2021
– Pierre Chénier –
The nonsense which the leaders of the parties that form the cartel party system speak “on the campaign trail” is mind-boggling. They concoct “issues” according to what their expensive campaign handlers think will get them votes, as if the real world and real people do not exist. This underscores once again the importance of the contribution the working people make when they speak in their own name to make sure things are turned around in their favour in the coming period.
Workers in this country advance the struggle for the rights of all and for people’s empowerment by speaking about their real living and working conditions and how they are sorting out the problems that they and society face. They contribute to developing an agenda that truly represents the people’s concerns and opens a way to have them addressed.
Day in, day out, workers across Canada stand up for the rights and well-being of all, but when an election rolls around they are cajoled to entrust their fate to the parties that form the cartel party system in a parliament which never addresses their concerns in a manner which favours them. It is indeed absurd and outmoded to think that global private interests bring prosperity or care about people, communities, societies or the natural environment. But this is what fills the airwaves day in and day out.
Successive governments in Canada, the provinces, Quebec and the territories all implement decisions which favour and are made by global private interests in every field of the economy, with detrimental results. On the campaign trail, they tell us that this is a success story and they offer slight corrections here and there. They have nothing to offer but more of the same, only “better” —- more fiscally responsible, more socially responsible, more environmentally responsible, more transparent, less corrupt, genuinely consultative, and so on.
The electoral process reduces the working people, who form the majority, to spectators of electoral shenanigans. Their role, said to be a “duty,” is to “pick a side” and vote for it.
It is indeed absurd and outmoded.
The Marxist-Leninist Party calls on Canada’s working people to speak out against the anti-social, anti-worker, anti-national and pro-war decisions which are imposed and the charade maintained that the decisions are democratic because, through the election, the government receives a mandate from the people. This notion that an election campaign confers a mandate is absurd and outmoded.
The nonsense spewed by the leaders of the parties which form a cartel party system to keep the people out of power reveals the need for the working people to place themselves at the centre of political activity and discourse.
Oppose the suffocating and stultifying anti-people, irrational discourse by voting Marxist-Leninist for political renewal. Cast a vote in a manner which defends the work to discuss our concerns, the real conditions that exist and the solutions to the problems we face.
Vote Housing is a national non-partisan campaign with thousands of people and organizations across the country who are pledging to vote for candidates who support investing in affordable housing and ending homelessness.
In Canada, 1.7 million households live in a home that is either unaffordable, overcrowded and/or needs major repairs, while 35,000 Canadians experience homelessness on any given night. Further, 36 per cent of Canadians have been homeless themselves or know someone who has been homeless.
And according to a very recent Nanos Research poll, right now at least five million people across the country are worried about how they’ll be able to pay for their housing in September. This is unacceptable.
Homelessness and housing need have not always existed on the scale we see today. The rise of homelessness and so many living in unaffordable, unsafe housing is the direct result of federal withdrawal from investment in affordable housing and social services starting in the 1980s. Homelessness and a dire lack of affordable housing are linked. This situation was created by policy.
About eight in 10 Canadians say they support investing in new affordable housing and would be more supportive of a political party proposing action to end homelessness and build affordable housing.
Vote Housing’s 2021 federal election platform calls on all parties to:
1) Implement an urban, rural, and northern Indigenous housing strategy containing both dedicated investments and an Indigenous-led governance structure.
2) Commit to the prevention and elimination of homelessness.
3) Invest in the construction and operation of a minimum of 50,000 units of supportive housing over a decade.
4) Build and acquire a minimum of 300,000 units of deeply affordable non-market, co-op and non-profit housing over a decade.
5) Commit to the progressive realization of the right to housing, including measures to curtail the impact of financialization of rental housing markets.
6) Expand rental assistance for low-income households to reduce core housing need and prevent a wave of new homelessness resulting from the pandemic.
As this past hot, dry, and smoky summer has made abundantly clear —- the devastating impacts of climate change are already here, and we need representatives in Ottawa that are going to take the climate crisis seriously, the organization stand.earth says. It argues:
Real climate leadership means understanding that we need to phase out our dependency on oil, not deepen it. And that has to start with cancelling the Trans Mountain pipeline.
It’s not too late to put cancelling this pipeline back on the political agenda —- in fact, doing so would free up billions of dollars that could be spent accelerating a just transition for workers and communities in the fossil fuel industry. There are an abundance of reasons it should be cancelled.
Building another fossil fuel pipeline in a climate emergency is like pouring gasoline on a wildfire. The Trans Mountain pipeline also does not have the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent of all impacted communities along the route.
Moreover, the cost of construction for the Trans Mountain pipeline has more than doubled since it was first announced, now reaching over $12 billion. Even the Parliamentary Budget Office has called into question whether the pipeline will be profitable —- especially given mounting debts, rising construction costs, and ongoing delays.
If Canada takes the necessary action on climate change, this pipeline will also not be needed to meet forecasted energy demands, according to both the International Energy Agency and the Canadian Energy Regulator.
No candidate who claims to take the climate crisis seriously can support this toxic pipeline.
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One of the calls in this federal election is to increase the taxes of the super wealthy. The letter sent to candidates across the country argues:
As our nation takes stock of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no returning to the way things were. Too many have gotten sick and died. At the pandemic’s peak, 5.5 million lost jobs, or had their hours cut, putting their homes, livelihoods and futures at stake. What is clear is the pandemic has been made much worse by the entrenched crises preceding it. Deep inequality has meant the virus hurt those who were already struggling economically most, while those at the top continued to grow their wealth. Longstanding gender disparities have left women to face both high unemployment and increased responsibility to provide care for other family members. The continuing harms of systemic racism are reflected in the disproportionate share of the disease among Black, Brown and Indigenous people. It will take years to recover from the pandemic, and we will have to do so under the threat of cataclysmic climate change.
It’s time to strike a very different path than the one we were on when the pandemic began. We need a recovery that takes bold steps to address these crises, and invests in building a better future for everyone.
It’s time for those who have amassed incredible wealth to contribute to our collective future. And the fair and democratic way to do so is through taxes.
I am asking you to take action and commit to the following tax reforms:
1. Create a wealth tax so that the fiscal burden of the crisis is fairly shared. The top one percent of Canadians hold a quarter of the wealth. Their share of the wealth has grown over the last decade while everyone else’s has shrunk or stayed the same.
2. Institute an excess profit tax targeted at companies and individuals profiteering off of the COVID-19 pandemic. The wealth of Canada’s top 47 billionaires grew by more than $78 billion, a windfall largely fueled by large companies profiting off of a health crisis.
3. Close tax loopholes that drain money out of the public purse. There are too many loopholes and tax avoidance schemes that allow individuals and corporations to collect and hoard wealth, which harms our economy and deepens inequality.
With these critical changes to the tax system, we can start to make long-term investments in better healthcare, including universal pharmacare; taking profit out of long-term care; better access to education for everyone; a speedy transition to a just and clean economy with decent jobs and workers’ rights for all; an end to systemic racism and colonialism; and making sure everyone has a safe place to live. It’s time to build a future for the many, not just the few.
I am calling on my local federal candidate to do the right thing.
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