September 30, 2019

Young Communists challenge capitalism in the Federal Elections

Special to RY

Capitalism has no future, but the youth does!

It is increasingly clear that young people have nothing to gain from a system that has nothing else to offer them than crises, exploitation, destruction of the environment and wars. This is why out of the 31 candidates who will defend the Communist Party’s ideas and fight capitalism, almost a third are young communists. Indeed, 9 young people respected in their colleges, universities, workplaces or in their neighbourhood decided that enough is enough, and that now is time to build a new world, one that suits the interests of the majority, not the minority of the exploiting minority.

They all see clearly that a lot is at stake in these elections. Destruction of the environment, wars, austerity, crisis and recessions are all dangers that are already jeopardising their future. They all have it clear also that perhaps the main danger in these elections is the rise of the ultra-right illustrated by Bernier and by Scheer’s Tories. But most importantly, they have it clear that there is no solution to be found within the capitalist system.

Whether they are fighting for free education, for 2SLGBTQI+ rights, on feminist issues, for young workers or for international solidarity, young communists all connect the dots and know that proposing a people’s alternative can’t go through the other parties. From the Tories to the NDP, Bloc and Greens, none of them challenge the power of big corporations, let alone challenging capitalism…

From Vancouver Island to the Maritimes, young communists are committed to put them in front of their contradictions and to make it clear that a vote for change can’t be anything but a vote for the communists. Voting communist is not only about supporting a political party. It is about fighting for fundamental change, building an anti-monopolist, anti-imperialist people's alliance. This is what movements need to be stronger and to be able to efficiently challenge capitalism.

Tyson Strandlund - Esquimalt Saanich Sooke (Victoria)

A lifetime resident of Vancouver Island, Tyson is presently working towards completing his M.A. at UVic in Cultural, Social, & Political Thought, having received his B.A. in history. He has a history of activism in a variety of areas, including the anti-racist, peace, environmental, and student movements, playing an organizing role in student strikes and rallies against tuition hikes. Tyson is Métis, and is a fierce advocate of indigenous sovereignty and decolonization. He co-founded the Olive Tree Group, a local Palestinian human rights organisation dedicated to raising public awareness of the ongoing dispossession and oppression of the Palestinian people, and to support nonviolent direct action in support of the Palestinian cause. Today he is an active member of the Hospital Employees Union, working as a server at a seniors’ home, as well as an entertainer.

To find out more about Tyson's campaign:

James Chumsa Jones - Nanaimo Ladysmith (Nanaimo)

James Chumsa is a recent BA graduate of Vancouver Island University with a Major in Sociology and Minor in History. He is an activist on campus and in the community as a volunteer for Food Not Bombs and organizer of the Young Communist League in Nanaimo. During the May 2019 federal byelection in Nanaimo-Ladysmith, the Conservatives, People’s Party, Progressive Canadians, and openly Islamophobic National Citizen’s Alliance ran candidates. Along with these far-right parties, the Soldiers of Odin have also appeared in town to attack the homeless and their allies. This compelled James to run for a party that is actively anti-racist, ant-fascist, and for a socialist alternative.

James works part time as a journalist reporting on local strikes and protests and has articles published in socialist news outlets such as People’s Voice, Rebel Youth, and

To find out more about James' campaign:

Clara Sorrenti - London North Centre (London)

Clara Sorrenti was born and raised in London, Ontario. She is an activist and organizer of the Young Communist League in her city. She is the only candidate running for Federal office in London, Ontario that identifies as transgender. Clara has been active in the LGBTI community since her teenage years, and is well known in the community as a staunch advocate for the rights of 2SLGBTI people.

To find out more about Clara's campaign:

Dustan Wang - Nepean (Ottawa)

Dustan, a student of politics and economics at University of Ottawa, grew up in Nepean. Dustan has witnessed first hand the many failings of the exploitative capitalist system having to work at precarious jobs, and facing high tuition fees.

To find out more about Dustan's campaign:

Bronwyn Cragg - Toronto Centre (Toronto)

Bronwyn Cragg is a student at the University of Toronto. He currently serves as an executive member of the Toronto club of the YCL-LJC and of the Canadian Network on Cuba, committed to fighting for peace and equality in Canada and abroad.

Engaged in student, LGBT, and anti-war activism, Bronwyn believes in campaigning for a livable wage, disarmament, full equality for women, 2SLGBTQI, and racialized people, and an end to corporate domination of the working class.

To find out more about Bronwyn's Campaign:

Ivan Byard - Toronto Danforth (Toronto) 

Ivan Byard, 21, grew up in Toronto Danforth, and resides in the riding today. He currently attends Centennial College’s Story Arts Centre at Carlaw and Mortimer. As both a young worker and a post-secondary student, Ivan has been active fighting for workers’ rights, including the “Fight for $15 and Fairness” campaign to raise the minimum wage, and around educational, peace, international solidarity and climate justice issues. He also fights for a totally free, quality and democratic post-secondary education.

To find out more about Ivan's campaign:

Drew Garvie - University Rosedale (Toronto)

Former leader of the Young Communist League, Drew is now engaged in the fight against Ontario Conservative Premier Doug Ford’s brutal austerity policies. He was involved in the student movement in Guelph and has experience working in Palestine and Venezuela solidarity. He is campaigning for an independent foreign policy of peace and disarmament. In his riding, he will confront the current Foreign Affairs Minister, Chrystia Freeland, and will oppose her warmongering actions to the benefit of a foreign policy based on peace and disarmament.

To find out more about Drew's campaign:

Michelle Paquette - Ottawa Vanier (Ottawa)

Michelle Paquette is a public library worker, youth organizer, and feminist Canadian art historian (Université du Québec à Montréal). As a fourth-generation bilingual francophone of the Ottawa-Vanier working-class, Michelle understands the historic and daily challenges that face this community. Precarious jobs, child poverty, addiction, as well as insecure food and housing are all deeply rooted in Canadian capitalism. This system disproportionately serves the rich at the cost of safe, empowered and sustainable living conditions for the rest of us, the people who actually create value and produce our country’s wealth.

To find out more about Michelle's campaign:

Adrien Welsh - Laurier Sainte-Marie (Montréal)

General Secretary of the Young Communist League of Canada, Adrien is active in the student struggle and concerned with the issues facing youth and young workers. He works in various struggles against imperialism, for peace and international solidarity; amongst others with Bolivarian Venezuela, which he has visited several times in the context of solidarity missions.

To find out more about Adrien's campaign:

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