January 26 marks the opening of Parliament in a critical year for the resistance of the Canadian people and their fight to renew the democracy. 2014 saw the Harper government scrambling to put its finishing touches on the destruction of public authority and the takeover of the state by private interests.
Canadians now have eight years of experience of the anti-people, anti-worker, anti-First Nations, anti-immigrant, anti-science Harper war government. Since winning a majority in Parliament in 2011 the Harper Conservatives have attacked the public interest and the rights of all with more arrogance and abandon. Canadians did not vote for this agenda which is nonetheless imposed with impunity. There is no doubt that in 2015 the Harper Conservatives will cynically use and abuse the Parliament via the dictatorship of the Prime Minister’s Office in whatever manner they feel sets them up to capture another majority. So too they will use their self-serving reforms to the Canada Elections Act to stage yet another electoral coup so as to return to power.
The Conservative Party is expected to spend record levels of money on stealing the 2015 election. Speculation abounds about how the Harperites intend to use the timing of the election and their method of micro-targeting to raise money and votes and perhaps even run an extended campaign to outperform the other parties that make up the cartel party system.
The last sitting of Parliament in December 2014 ended with the Harper government ramming through yet another omnibus budget bill, Bill C-43 the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2, affecting anti-social changes to the Investment Canada Act, Maritime Act the Employment Insurance Act and the Public Service Labour Relations Act. The omnibus bill ran roughshod over more than 50 pieces of legislation in one fell swoop.
As Parliament opens, new legislation to restrict civil liberties under the guise of combating terrorism is in the process of being adopted and more has been promised. Conservative Private Members’ Bill C-639, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (protection of critical infrastructures) aims to criminalize people’s growing opposition to environmentally destructive oil and gas projects.
A matter of greatest concern
One of the matters of greatest concern raised by Canadians in 2015 is how to be effective in the upcoming federal election. People neither want Harper or a Conservative government returned to office, nor do they want any party or combination of parties which impose a neo-liberal anti-social agenda. With the Conservatives doing everything they can to set the stage to block the desire for change, how are the people going to make sure the crisis of the democracy is resolved in their favour?
Renewal Update is of the opinion that how to renew the democracy and empower the people, so that private interests can no longer usurp the public authority, is the main problem which requires a solution at this time.
Working out a stand in this election that favours the people and defends the rights of all is an arena in which everyone has a role to play. Renewal Update, the online bulletin of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, will play its part by informing its readers about the concerns of the people and keeping them up to date on matters of interest. Our aim is to assist Canadians to empower themselves.
On behalf of the technical and editorial staff of Renewal Update, we welcome you on board and invite you to join in!
Political Pickets at the Opening of Parliament
Political pickets calling for the defeat of Harper and his government in 2015 have been announced to coincide with the opening of Parliament. The 2nd session of the 41st Parliament of Canada is scheduled to reopen at 11 a.m. on Monday, January 26. This provides Canadians with a good start to deal with the Harper government’s 2015 legislative agenda and sets the tone for the upcoming electoral fight.
In Ottawa, a picket is organized by people active on various fronts, including the workers’ resistance to Harper’s anti-worker agenda, the fight for First Nations’ rights and the fights for social justice and for democratic renewal. It will take place on Wellington Street in front of Parliament Hill during the opening session, ensuring that the beginning of the neo-liberal, nation-wrecking agenda of the Harper government for 2015 will not go unmet.
In Toronto, a picket is being held downtown by the Marxist-Leninist Party to make a statement against the stated aim of the Conservative Party to “capture Toronto” in the upcoming election. To bring about both Harper’s defeat and ensure that the workers’ movement is not split along sectarian party lines are important for Toronto. Political activists need to work out how to make sure the crisis of the party system is not used to further disempower the working people. This is a serious concern for the entire Ontario working class.
Ontario will once again be an important battleground in the efforts of Canadians to block not just another Harper government but also a majority government which can be used to disempower the people and push the anti-social agenda, as already seen in the manner Harper uses his majority in the federal government and the Wynne and Couillard Liberals use their majorities in Quebec and Ontario. Pickets on the day Parliament opens are also called in Mississauga and in Toronto Lakeshore.
Calgarians Against Harper Dictatorship (CAHD) have called for an action during the afternoon rush hour at the federal building in downtown Calgary. “Parliament is not being used to discuss matters and settle how they should be dealt with. Decisions are made in the PMO. This government’s contempt of parliament, the new anti-democratic Elections Act passed last year in spite of massive opposition, its anti-worker, anti-social offensive and its pro-war and suppression of rightsagenda escalate every day,” the activist organization points out.
CAHD brings together people from different walks of life and political opinion, united in action to empower the people.
In Edmonton, the Edmonton Coalition Against War and Racism has organized a picket at 4:30 p.m. on 109 Street just south of the High Level Bridge. ECAWAR points out that “the Harper government is once again sowing fear and hysteria in order to attack the rights of all” and that ECAWAR is taking a stand against the use of arbitrary measures to criminalize people on the basis of opinion.
Actions are also being held in Vancouver and Comox/Courtney, British Columbia.
Join in the political pickets to defeat Harper in 2015 and organize them in your community, school, college or university!
Defeat Harper in 2015!
12:00 – 1:00pm, Wellington Street, Gates to Parliament
Bring your signs, banners, words and spirit of resistance. Join in!
For further information:
Walter Escobar: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam Heaton: email@example.com A’tugwewinu
“Gabriel” Castilloux: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christian Legeais: email@example.com
Greater Toronto Area
Downtown Toronto: 7:30 – 8:30am, Spadina Subway Station
Etobicoke: 12:00 – 1:00pm, Lakeshore Blvd & Kipling
Mississauga: 5:30 – 6:30pm, Dundas and Hurontario
Everyone welcome! Bring your own banners, signs and voices!
For further information: Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada – Toronto@mlpc.ca
4:00 – 6:00 pm, Harry Hays Building, 4th Avenue and 1 St. SE
Bring your co-workers, friends and family, signs and banners
For further information: Calgarians Against Harper Dictatorship
Telephone: Peggy Askin 403-923-7054; Robert Scobel 403-921-9279.
4:30 – 5:30 pm, High Level Bridge – South Side
We will gather with our banners on the concrete island just south of the High Level Bridge on 109 Street at 4:30 p.m.
Edmonton Coalition Against War and Racism http://www.ecawar.org/
3:45 – 5:15 pm, Broadway and Commercial Drive
(By the North and South Sky Train Stations)
Bring your banners, flags, placards, information to urge our fellow Vancouverites to defeat Harper in 2015.
For further information: Vancouver2015@mail.com
4:00 – 5:00pm, 5th and Cliffe in Courtenay
For further information: Comox Valley Peace Group, 250-338-4067
Source: Renewal Update, January 23, 2015 • No. 1