January 8, 2010
January 7, 2010
For Immediate Release
The decision of Stephen Harper’s minority Tory government to prorogue Parliament for the second time in twelve months demonstrates profound contempt and loathing for both Parliament and the millions of Canadians who are demanding genuine action to end the economic crisis and the occupation of Afghanistan. Harper is escalating his attack on democracy to a new and dangerous level.
The Communist Party of Canada condemns this action, and urges all Canadians to take part in the January 23 protest rallies across the country. With the strong participation of the labour movement and all progressive forces, this movement to “get Parliament back to work” can help spark a powerful campaign to block and defeat the Harper Tories. Such a movement can lead the fight policies to defend the interests of working people and move Canada in a fundamentally new direction.
Imposed during the holiday season, the prorogation of Parliament until March is a machination to escape further public scrutiny of Canada’s complicity in the torture of Afghan detainees, and more broadly the disastrous failure of the imperialist war and occupation in Afghanistan. The fabricated pretext of a “breathing space” to craft updated economic and social policies is absurd; the Conservatives intend to slash social spending, leaving millions of Canadian workers and their families facing another desperate year during the worst capitalist crisis in decades. Instead of “working,” the Tories will be posing for the cameras at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, which have taken over $6 billion from people’s needs to host this massive party for the rich on stolen native land.
Carried out by a far-right government – one rejected by nearly two-thirds of voters – the prorogation is a direct attack on Parliament itself, wiping out the work of an entire session and halting the work of parliamentary committees.
Even more significant, this is not an isolated step. It is part of a deliberate, conscious strategy by the Harper Tories to impose the deeply unpopular corporate agenda by undemocratic means. Their goal is to transform the Canadian state, using every possible measure to wipe out the achievements of past struggles by working people, and instead to transfer ever more wealth into the coffers of the corporate rich and to strengthen the oppressive state apparatus: the military, prisons, police and spy agencies.
Democracy in Canada has already been gravely weakened by ‘free trade’, capitalist ‘globalisation’ and the erosion of Canadian sovereignty, by the tight corporate grip on the mass media, and by an electoral system which restricts any serious debate of progressive alternatives to the neoliberal agenda.
In pursuit of this agenda, the Harper Conservatives are using the levers of power to stack the Senate, the courts and public service with their supporters. They have stifled dissent within the civil service, violated laws, ignored resolutions adopted by the majority of MPs, gutted accountability laws and promises, and further concentrated power in the Prime Minister’s office. At every stage, they hurl McCarthy-style accusations to vilify and terrorize critics. It is no exaggeration to warn that these demagogic, dictatorial tactics are designed to block any possibility of eventually reversing their right-wing policies.
Unless the Harper Tories are defeated by a powerful movement of opposition, they pose a real and present danger to the future of Canada. The duty of all Canadians who support civil rights, democratic liberties, universal social programs, equality, peace, sovereignty and environmental sustainability is to join the struggle to drive this government out of office, the sooner the better.
All out on January 23rd! Bring the troops home from Afghanistan NOW! Drive out the pro-corporate Harper Conservatives, and step up the fight for a People’s Alternative!
Issued by the Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada. For more information, contact Miguel Figueroa, Communist Party leader, at 416-469-2446 or Figueroa@cpc-pcc.ca.
January 5, 2010
CCPA National Office | Update
Projects & Initiatives: Growing Gap
January 4, 2010
Canadians may have been hit hard by a worldwide economic recession, but it appears Canada’s 100 highest paid CEOs are enjoying a soft landing.
Hugh Mackenzie's latest report on executive compensation shows the total average compensation for Canada's 100 highest paid CEOs was $7,352,895 in 2008—a stark contrast from the total average Canadian income of $42,305. They pocketed what takes Canadians earning an average income an entire year to make by 1:01 pm January 4—the first working day of the year.
Click here to read more and download the full report. Click here to use our CEO pay calculator to find out how quickly a top CEO will earn your salary.
January 7, 2010, 7pm - 8:30pm
2757 Kipling Avenue
Buses leave 252 Bloor St. West at 5:15 sharp.
RSVP by Noon, Jan 6, email@example.com
Four construction workers with precarious immigration status fell to their
deaths on Christmas Eve in one of the worst workplace disasters that
Toronto has seen in decades. The swing stage scaffolding they were working
on broke into two pieces, plummeting the four workers over 13 stories to
the concrete below at 2757 Kipling Avenue. A fifth man is in critical
condition and will need medical attention for the rest of his life.
We mourn the deaths of these workers. We are enraged that such injustice
can take place. Migrant workers take care of children, feed communities,
construct housing, clean offices, and take up many other occupations in
almost all industries but are treated like second-class workers and denied
even the most basic protections.
The workers who died were provided insufficient safety harnesses and
forced to work on a site where a cease and desist order had been issued.
Workers without full status work the most dangerous jobs in the country
and are systemically prevented from being able to assert their rights.
These workers died because Canada denied them full status.
Fifty years ago, five Italian construction workers including Pasquale
Allegrezza, Giovanni Correglio, Giovanni Fusillo, and Alessandro and Guido
Mantella, died while working in a dangerous tunnel near Yonge Street in
Toronto, remembered as the Hoggs Hallow disaster. Knowing that workers
without full status were facing flagrant workplace violations, negligent
employers and little legislative protection from occupational hazards,
workers across the city rose up, and carried out a series of actions and
strikes in a fight to organize the building trades.
Today, fifty years later, racialized communities, immigrants, migrants and
undocumented people continue to work in dangerous and sometimes murderous
conditions. Not having full status means lax enforcement of health and
safety legislation, absence of meaningful laws to protect workers, and
negligent employers and recruiters who sacrifice health and safety of
workers to gain further profit for themselves. This long-term negligence
reveals the lack of social and political will in Canada to ensure justice
and protection of all workers.
Workers without full status are often denied just compensation when they
get injured or ill due to their labour. They are prevented from access to
healthcare and translation services. They get deported because they are
considered a burden on the health care system, and their injury is named a
"breached employment contract." They are unable to access full care in
countries they are deported to. Like all injured workers, compensation by
Workplace Safety and Insurance (WSIB) is inadequate.
Four men died on Christmas Eve, but every day, countless workers are
killed or maimed on the job, while those responsible, employers,
recruiters and government officials, do not face media or public scrutiny.
In 2008, 488 workers were reported killed because of their labour in
Ontario alone. Many more deaths went unreported. Thousands more workers
were injured, many of whom have to learn to live with their injuries
permanently. How many will have to die or be injured before this
government ensures that our communities are meaningfully protected?
Government officials, recruiters and employers need to be persecuted while
those precariously employed need to be protected at work! While we
commemorate and celebrate the lives of these workers, we also demand
justice for the workers, their families and all migrant workers across
this province. Broad and far reaching changes are needed.
Dilshod Mamurov, Aleksey Blumberg, Fayzulla, Vladimir Korostin, and all
injured and killed workers demand this.
This is the first in a series of actions, please keep checking:
www.justicia4migrantworkers.org for updates.
This article is part of an seven-part series of short quotes Rebel Youth is issuing about class struggle, revolution, civil-war, and pa...
Letter of Condolences to the Victims of Natural Disaster in Japan World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) would like to express its...
Antoine SteMarie, Guest commentary A recent discussion with friends over facebook had me thinking about why we should consider theory i...