I’m running as the Communist Party candidate in the Burrows riding in Winnipeg, MB this election.
A Political Message from Manitoba’s Communist Party
The notable lack of enthusiasm for the main parties in the Manitoba election is best explained by looking at the federal scene, where the federal Tory vote held firm (eg, in rural Manitoba) and where the mood for change boosted the anti-Tory vote, notably in Winnipeg which went Liberal.
The federal election is a study of contrasts.
In the Manitoba election there is the spark of energy in the Communist Party’s campaign, yet most people are still voting for the devil they know or for the less evil devil, the only choice capitalist parties can offer, and that includes the NDP.
The Manitoba NDP can’t escape the fact that its federal counterpart bombed in the federal election. The federal NDP bombed because it bows down to the same corporate establishment who were behind the Harper Tories.
This is not lost on working people in Manitoba who are struggling to keep a roof over their head and grapple with which party will help them the most.
Compared to the ‘sunny way’ Liberals, the federal NDP was closer to Harper on fiscal policy (balanced budgets, meaning more cuts), the $200 billion F-35 warplane purchase, the Saudi arms deal, bombing Syria, hiring 5,000 new RCMP officers and so on.
These were and are the priorities of the federal NDP.
As Marxists, the Communist Party understands perfectly well that the federal NDP and Liberals both are in the pockets of Canada’s big business establishment on matters like free trade agreements (except recently the TPP), tar sands development, propping up Ukraine’s fascist regime, sending troops to confront Russia, etc.
The Communist Party understands that the federal Liberal campaign was a giant deception from start to finish, and Aboriginal peoples, women, youth and especially workers can expect nothing but grief for the next four years from Ottawa.
Unless they unite and fight, they will lose and fall behind even more.
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In Manitoba, the NDP has merely imposed a different set of neo-liberal capitalist policies, like:
- a two year wage freeze in the public sector (attacking the public sector ideologically, softening it up for privatization),
- balancing budgets in most years (ignoring the fact it is not the size of government, but which class government supports that matters),
- raising the sales tax (a policy birthed and advanced by Manitoba’s big business establishment), and
- supporting a Winnipeg mayoral campaign in 2014 based on the idea that workers wanted to pay higher property taxes.
There are more reasons why seventeen years of NDP governance has led to acute and dangerous levels of impoverishment and a general worsening of the condition of all sections of the working class, which is on the edge of a precipice waiting for the next earthquake in the capitalist system.
This has much to do with the inability of any capitalist government to alter the system’s general laws of development, reflected in problems like enormous personal and home debt burdens.
In fact, the 2008 recession which hit Manitoba very hard is only the tremor before the earthquake.
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But it must be said, a pro-peoples’ government in Manitoba could have built a far bigger life raft, it could have reduced poverty, created fair taxes, built more access to education, fought racism, addressed the child apprehension crisis with resources for families, and mobilized against war, rather than put a sign ‘support the troops’ on the front of the Legislature.
Never has a reduction in the work week hurt capitalism, never has a big hike in the minimum wage hurt the economy and home market.
The Communist Party is not campaigning to save capitalism, but we are campaigning for the working class, with policies that will improve their conditions and soften the blows of the catastrophes that lie ahead.
All the big parties are campaigning on policy planks that will take Manitoba over a very high cliff.
All the main parties in this election are campaigning to annoint themselves with more neoliberal oil.
A day after the election was called in Manitoba, former NDP premier Gary Doer was appointed to the boards of two of western Canada’s largest financial groups, based in Winnipeg: Great West Life and Investor’s Group, after explaining he had a cozy relationship with them when he was premier.
There is nothing but silence from the NDP about this picture.
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When the inevitable large economic crash comes (and it is coming!), we will need strong forces to fight for working people and the oppressed.
It is time to build and vote for a working class party with the goal of socialism, a party that has never betrayed its class and has developed ideas and struggles that have led to major achievements for the working class: the Communist Party of Canada.
It is time to strengthen and brace the diverse peoples’ movements in their entirety, especially trade unions and Aboriginal rights movements who each contribute or can aid the overall struggle like no other.
They are strategic and essential.
It is time to head off the impending corporate destruction of Manitoba.
In this election, help or send a contribution to the Communist Party of Canada – Manitoba.
In this election, vote Communist.
Darrell Rankin, Leader, Communist Party of Canada – Manitoba.
PS Send a contribution today; we need to pay for our leaflet and we need bus tickets to campaign! Any amount will help.
Authorized by the CFO, CPC-MB
The Communist Party of Canada condemns the February 22 vote in Parliament, in which the Liberals and Conservatives joined forces to pass a shameful motion denouncing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel’s apartheid policies. The motion also condemns anyone in Canada who supports or promotes BDS. The Communist Party reaffirms its longstanding and unwavering solidarity with the people of Palestine, its condemnation of Israeli apartheid, and its support for the BDS campaign in Canada and internationally.
The BDS campaign began in 2005, in response to a call from 171 Palestinian groups for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel. A similar campaign emerged in the 1980s, as a way to isolate and pressure apartheid South Africa. Both campaigns cited violations of United Nations’ resolutions and international law as part of their legal and moral justification.
The objectives of the BDS campaign are straightforward, just and entirely based on international law:
• Ending Israel’s occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the separation Wall;
• Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
• Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.
Just as Parliament’s motion condemns BDS activists, people who acted in solidarity with opponents of the racist South African regime were denounced as “terrorist supporters” by right-wing politicians. Parliament’s vote is a disgraceful attempt to silence the growing BDS movement through slander and political intimidation. It is an act of desperation that will fail, just the racist attempts to derail the struggle against South African apartheid failed.
The fact that most Liberal MPs supported this Tory motion proves that the Trudeau government cannot be judged on the basis of its progressive campaign promises. The working class and people of Canada must hold the Liberals to account as they “govern from the right.”
This includes international issues such as the expanding war in Iraq and Syria, the sale of weaponized vehicles to Saudi Arabia, and support for regimes in Ukraine and Israel which trample on human rights. It is encouraging that the NDP and Bloc Quebecois caucuses voted against the motion, on the basis that it violates the rights to free speech and expression. However, it is shameful that NDP MPs also attacked the BDS movement during the Commons debate, revealing yet again that party’s racist opposition to criticism of apartheid Israel.
The Communist Party rejects the right-wing charge that the BDS campaign is a form of antisemitism. Opposition to Israeli apartheid is focused firmly and solely on the policies of the Israeli government, not on the ethnicity or nationality of those who perpetrate those policies. The Communist Party condemns antisemitism, racism, national chauvinism and all forms of oppression. It is our ongoing commitments to ending oppression and achieving national equality that guide our solidarity with Palestine and our support for the BDS campaign.
The strongest response is to build the BDS campaign across Canada. We congratulate the students at McGill University who also voted on February 22, to support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel’s apartheid policies. The February 22 vote was preceded by heavy criticism and opposition from peace, human rights, labour and progressive activists across the country. These groups organized several campaigns that included petitions, letter writing, online actions, and joint statements. In Quebec, a coalition including BDS Quebec, Independent Jewish Voices Canada, the FTQ (QFL) and CSN (CNTU) unions publicly called for the Liberal government to reject the Tory motion.
These and other acts of solidarity, in defiance of Parliament’s racist motion, are the basis for a more powerful BDS movement, capable of winning more victories in Canada and internationally.
Palestine will be free!
Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada
March 1, 2016
For the first time in its 95-year history, the Communist Party of Canada has a woman as its central leader. Liz Rowley was elected to the position by the CPC’s Central Committee, at a meeting in Toronto on the Jan. 30-31 weekend. The change of leadership follows the resignation of Miguel Figueroa, who stepped down for health reasons after serving in this office for 23 years.
Liz Rowley is well-known across Canada for her many years of activity in the Communist Party and in a wide range of people’s movements. Born in British Columbia in 1949, she joined the CPC in 1967. As a student at the University of Alberta, she was the Party’s youngest candidate in the 1972 federal election, speaking out strongly for women’s reproductive rights and an end to the Vietnam War while running in the riding of Edmonton Strathcona.
She has been a Party organizer in Ontario since 1973, apprenticing as a typesetter in Windsor before becoming Provincial Organizer in 1975, International Women’s Year. She has been a member of the Central Executive Committee since 1978. Living in Hamilton during the 1980s, she was deeply involved in many labour struggles to defend jobs, living standards, labour rights, women’s equality, social programs and Canadian sovereignty. While campaigning to ban the Ku Klux Klan, Rowley’s apartment was destroyed by arson. During the year long Stelco strike in 1981 she married a steelworker. She is now the proud mother of two adult children.
Moving to Toronto after being elected as Ontario leader of the Party in 1988, Rowley became a powerful grassroots spokesperson in the “Days of Action” fightback against brutal cutbacks imposed by the Mike Harris Tories, and was elected a Public School Trustee in East York. She has been an outspoken participant in many battles for the rights and interests of working people in Ontario, around such issues as defence of public education, for public auto insurance, the fight against plant closures, for peace and anti-racism, proportional representation, and much more. Along with Miguel Figueroa, she was instrumental in the membership struggle to block attempts to dissolve the CPC during the early 1990s.
Born in Montreal in 1952, Miguel Figueroa joined the CPC in 1977 a national field organizer for National Union of Students. In 1978, he became the party’s Greater Vancouver organizer, and from 1986 to 1992 he was the Party’s Atlantic region leader. Starting in the late 1980s, he and Rowley were key figures in the struggle to save the CPC. At the Party’s 30th Central Convention in December 1992, Figueroa was elected as its new leader. Over the last 23 years, Miguel Figueroa led the Communist Party through the landmark Figueroa case, eight federal election campaigns, and speaking across the country. He was also a prominent figure at the annual International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties, representing the CPC many times.
The 38th Central Convention of the CPC will be held May 21-23 in Toronto. The Convention will feature a tribute to Miguel Figueroa as a highlight of the weekend’s agenda.
Over the coming months, Liz Rowley will meet with CPC members and supporters across the country. She will also speak at a series of public forums and events as party of the CPC’s campaign to block ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the 12-country corporate pact signed by Canada last week in Auckland, New Zealand.
From People’s Voice
Across Ontario, clubs and activists are organizing to build the Communist Party in their cities, on campuses, in workplaces. In fact, Communists are fighting to change the world, and to build a strong revolutionary party, and a powerful labour and people’s movement.
According to the CPC’s Ontario Committee, change is in the air. There is an urgent demand for jobs, rising wages and living standards, affordable housing, strong universal and comprehensive social programs including Medicare, childcare, accessible post-secondary education, and a Canada Pension Plan that kicks in at age 60 and delivers benefits equivalent to a living wage.
People want action now on climate change. They want action on Aboriginal rights and land claims, and an inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.
They want more democracy, not less, and more say over Canada’s energy policy (penned by Big Oil), on our foreign policy (dictated by the US State Department, Big Oil and Harper), and national sovereignty (rapidly down the tube thanks to Harper, Big Oil, and free trade deals).
Unemployed workers and youth are tired of waiting for the good jobs, prosperity and opportunities promised by the Big Business parties during elections. The policies of austerity, unemployment, falling living standards and disappearing social and political rights, are universal to the Big Business parties ‑ and to those like the New Labour NDP who would like to join that exclusive club.