Contribution of CP of Canada [En]
November 2014, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Presented by Drew Garvie,
Central Committee Member of CPC and
Leader of the Young Communist League of Canada
Warm revolutionary greetings to all, from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Canada. We express our deep appreciation to the Communist Party of Ecuador for hosting this important meeting which takes place as US imperialism, NATO and now Canada launch a new war on the people of Iraq and the Middle East.
Our Party continues to stand in full solidarity with the Communist, progressive and anti-imperialist forces and governments throughout Latin America and the Caribbean struggling to defend their national sovereignty, and to advance the class and social interests of their peoples!
At the beginning of October, Canada’s Conservative government joined the United States in its horrific war on Iraq. This new war is a continuation of the US and NATO’s attempts to seize control of the Middle East’s resources and to exert strategic control over the region.
Growing numbers of Canadians are opposed to Canada’s participation in this war, despite the opposition parties’ feeble opposition in Parliament. The CPC calls on the government to immediately end Canada’s involvement in the US war on Iraq, withdraw from NATO, and adopt an independent Canadian foreign policy of peace and disarmament.
The Islamic State is being used as a pretext to intervene once again in line with the US plan for a “Greater Middle East”, which includes weakened client states based on ethnic divisions, the removal of the Syrian government, and other governments not fully compliant to US imperialism.
Earlier this year, Canada’s Conservative government lent very vocal support to the ultra-right coup regime in Kiev and to this summer’s massacre in Gaza. Canada has become US imperialism’s most vocal advocate, most notably by supporting the Israeli occupation of Palestine with its policies of Apartheid and genocide.
Despite this, there is growing popular support across Canada to end the occupation of Palestine, for a genuine sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, respecting the 1967 green-line boundaries, the right of return for refugees, and the release of all Palestinian prisoners. The Conservative government is using the imperialist doctrine of “responsibility to protect” as its justification for militarization and war abroad. But in fact it is imperialism that is the biggest menace to peace, regionally and globally.
The drive to war is the real reason for a new assault on civil liberties and democratic rights. This October, the killing of two Canadian soldiers in Ottawa and Quebec by isolated individuals has been used to foment widespread fears of “terrorism”.
These events have been used by the government to push ahead with their existing plans to expand the powers of Canada’s political police (CSIS) and other security agencies to spy on Canadians and arrest people that have not engaged in any illegal activity. These developments demonstrate the increasingly anti-democratic character of the Canada’s right-wing government and its increasing use of the repressive state apparatus, which is being used against labour and democratic movements at home, as well as abroad. The CPC is fighting to protect and expand civil and democratic rights as well as labour and social rights, to put police under strict public control, and to stop the criminalization of dissent.
The attack on labour and democratic rights is developing in the context of the consolidation of monopoly capital’s “austerity” offensive in Canada. While there has been some recovery for profits, there is no recovery for people. Real unemployment is rising with youth employment figures at 50% in major cities, wages and living standards are falling, inequality is growing, pensions are under attack, and unionized, full-time, employment is being replaced by precarious, part-time work.
An abundance of Free Trade deals are being negotiated including the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement between the European Union and Canada, set to be finalized next year. Canadian sovereignty over water, healthcare and public procurement are to be opened up to the dictates of trans-national corporate control. Our Party will make the defeat of CETA a centre-piece of the 2015 federal election campaign. Mass privatization of public services is underway, with a struggle currently growing over the attempted privatization of the postal service.
Labour rights are also under attack with US-style “right-to-work” laws, aimed at destroying Canada’s trade union movement. Governments and the courts are increasingly ordering public sector workers back to work and eliminating the legal right to strike, picket and organize. These are fundamental rights that our Party demands should be protected in a Labour Bill of Rights.
Reactionary changes in Canada’s immigration and refugee system and the major increase in the use of temporary foreign workers are fundamentally racist and designed to channel cheap labour to corporate employers.
The capitalist's goal is to increase the rate of profit and accelerate the accumulation of capital through every conceivable means.
The fightback in Canada is starting to mature and consolidate in the face of this all-sided attack. There have been dynamic struggles, including the Quebec student strike against tuition fee hikes, which lasted for several months in 2012, generating some of the largest protests in Canadian history under the slogan “student strike, people’s struggle”.
Shortly after the Quebec students demonstrated that it was possible to win victories against the austerity onslaught, the Idle No More movement erupted against Canada’s ongoing oppression of Indigenous peoples and their right to self-determination. Protests and blockades occurred across Canada, with many non-Indigenous people taking part in solidarity actions. Many of these Indigenous struggles are still simmering across the country, and in some places have merged with the numerous struggles against corporate pipeline projects and the expansion of the “Alberta Tar Sands”. The Tar Sands are a stark example of capitalism’s anarchic destruction of nature.
In the labour movement a sharp struggle has opened up over the direction of the trade unions, between forces advocating for tripartism and class collaboration and those advocating for class struggle policies and mass independent labour political action. At the 2014 convention of the Canadian Labour Congress, the cross-Canada trade union federation, there was a shift in leadership propelled by the delegates’ demand for policies of mobilization and struggle.
Communists in the labour and people’s movements are fighting for escalating mass independent political action that would mobilize the working class and its allies in the streets against the austerity agenda. Our objective is to build a broad-based People’s Coalition which, with labour at its core, is an alliance that can launch a counter-offensive against monopoly capital and its governments in Canada. This is an essential ingredient to real and fundamental social and political change in Canada today.
With an expression in parliament, such a coalition can curb corporate power and open the door to socialism. Though we are a relatively small revolutionary political party in non-revolutionary conditions in Canada, we recognize that we have a leading role to play in a rapidly shifting political situation.
Socialism is the only future for a Canada without war, poverty, unemployment, the degradation of our environment, oppression and exploitation.
We recognize the urgent need for the closest unity and cooperation of the International Communist Movement and the global working class if we are going to overcome crises and war. As such, we look forward to the rest of this important meeting and further developing this unity in action.