The Militant (logo)  
   Vol. 69/No. 49           December 19, 2005  
Communist League in Canada fields candidates
TORONTO—The Communist League in Canada is presenting a working-class alternative to the capitalist parties in the January 23 federal election.

The CL has named three candidates in Toronto-area ridings (electoral districts): Beverly Bernardo, a garment worker, in Parkdale-High Park; Michel Prairie, a meat packer, in Toronto Centre; and John Steele, a retired meat packer, in Eglinton-Lawrence.

Steele recently participated in the picket lines at the 23-day strike of workers at Lakeside Packers in Brooks, Alberta.

“Workers at Lakeside Packers in Alberta recently won union recognition and their first contract after a three-week strike,” says the CL campaign platform. “This summer truckers at the Port of Vancouver won better rates by refusing to move containers for several weeks. Quebec public sector workers are waging a fight for better wages, conditions, and improved services. They have held dozens of rallies and walkouts involving thousands of workers over the last several months.”

Building labor solidarity with 250,000 Quebec public sector workers is at the center of the CL campaign, Bernardo said.  
Organize, mobilize union power
“All these fights and many others are examples of the growing resistance by working people today,” says the CL platform. Support for workers’ struggles to organize trade unions and to use and extend union power to defend themselves and other working people from the bosses’ assaults is the starting point of the Communist League election campaign platform.

The Communist League also calls on working people across Canada to support Quebec independence as part of forging a fighting movement of working people and their allies to take power out of the hands of the ruling billionaire class, establish a workers and farmers government, and join the worldwide struggle for socialism, Prairie said.

Opposition to imperialist wars abroad and threats against Iran, Syria, and north Korea are central to the CL platform.

The CL platform calls for “the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of Canadian, U.S., and other imperialist armed forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. End Ottawa’s complicity with Washington’s cold war against Cuba! Hands off Venezuela! Eliminate all tariffs imposed on products coming into Canada. Cancel the Third World debt. Expose the drive by Washington, Ottawa, and their allies to prevent the nations oppressed by imperialism from developing nuclear power and other sources of energy needed to bring much of humanity out of darkness.”
A new political situation
“We think a new political situation has opened in Canada,” Prairie told the Militant.

“The capitalist rulers’ confidence in their capacity to deal with support for Quebec independence is declining at the same time as they face stiff competition from Washington and other imperialist trading partners, and more intense labor resistance to attacks on wages, job conditions, and social programs working people have won in struggle, like public health care. The Lakeside victory and the widespread public support British Columbia teachers received when they defied an antistrike law for two weeks are examples of this resistance.”

“The resistance today by working people to these assaults points to the road forward: to rely on our collective power and solidarity and organize independently of the capitalists and their parties to advance the common interests of workers and farmers worldwide,” says the CL platform.

In ridings across Canada where it is not running candidates, the Communist League calls for a vote for the New Democratic Party—Canada’s labor party to which most trade unions are formally affiliated.

“In British Columbia, working people and their unions fought antilabor laws, hospital closings, and education cuts in several battles,” Prairie said.

“In last May’s provincial election, the British Columbia NDP doubled its vote. Working people waging militant battles against the employers’ offensive are pushing for their struggles to have a reflection on the political level, in the elections. They are putting it to the NDP, pushing it to defend the interests of the working class and its allies.

“That’s why where the CL is not running we call for a vote for the NDP—even though we oppose its pro-capitalist program—and we are urging working people across the country to campaign with us for the uncompromising working-class platform the Communist League stands and fights for.”
Related article:
New elections called in Canada after gov’t loses confidence vote  
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