Laura Chesnik, independent candidate in Windsor-Tecumseh, discusses why she is running in the Ontario election

My name is Laura Chesnik. I’m an independent candidate in the June 2 provincial election in the riding of Windsor-Tecumseh.

I’m running so that my fellow citizens can put an MPP in the Legislature who represents themselves and what they need and are struggling to achieve. I’m a teacher who for years has been in the thick of battles to affirm the rights of all.

In every economic sector workers are engaged in demanding their rights and claims on the value they produce. They want a say on their wages and working conditions. With concrete actions they are laying claim to what belongs to them by right.

During this pandemic, health care workers, teachers, education workers, ambulance drivers and others have insisted their rights be recognized yet most have hit a brick wall of authorities who refuse to listen. Now the scourge of price inflation has thrown another punch at us forcing construction and other workers to go on strike for higher wages just to maintain our standard of living.

In launching the election, Premier Doug Ford said his government needs a mandate for the post-COVID economy. His mandate means handing out money from the public treasury to narrow private interests in the name of greening it. These words are meant to greenwash the direction of the economy, which has long been integrated into the very dirty U.S. war economy. In fact, whatever cartel party forms the next government after winning the most seats, it will claim a mandate to do whatever it wants, not a people’s mandate of what they want and have been demanding with their actions but a mandate that has already been set by the global oligarchs.

With decades of experience, the people are well aware that the electoral system does not allow them to express their own views and demands. It opens a floodgate of propaganda from the cartel parties. The people on the front lines of fighting for their rights and claims are silenced with the electoral noise of the cartel parties and mass media. The people are supposed to abandon their unity in the fight for their demands and claims, split their ranks and take sides in the factional infighting for power of the cartel parties. This drowns out the people’s voices from being heard and blocks them from representing themselves. The working people are supposed to give up their demands and abilities to run their sectors of the economy and beg and hope that this or that cartel party will represent them and after voting hope that the winners will keep their word. We are left powerless for four years reduced to pressuring and lobbying the elected MPPs to please fight for us and not abandon us.

Why should workers keep doing this when they themselves have solutions and are quite capable to carry them out? Healthcare and long-term care workers have long detailed their proposals to reverse the consequences of the wrecking privatization has done in their sectors. Injured and migrant workers and not least Indigenous peoples know what is needed but they are blocked by the cartel parties and those who pull the strings. Industrial, agricultural, transportation, communication, energy, media, cultural and all manner of service workers throughout the economy know from direct experience what has to be done to humanize their sector. The people who do the work must have a role in deciding and setting the direction of the economy. That is empowerment. Working people should be at Queen’s Park in government, not cartel parties serving the narrow private interests of the rich.

I call on you to join this campaign and use the election to empower yourselves. Get in touch with me at empoweryourselfnow.ca to discuss these issues. A vote for me shows you do not want the self-serving private interests represented by cartel parties to seize power for themselves and their rich patrons.

Empower Yourself Now!
Join In!
Visit: empoweryourselfnow.ca

(Ontario Political Forum, posted May 20, 2022)

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