2009 Labour Day Statement of Canadians for Peace and Socialism


Labour Day 2009 confronts organized labour and the left with difficult struggles for full employment and peace. The need to defeat the right wing agenda of the Harper Conservatives for more capitalist market economics, more militarism and war and more energy sell-out cannot be avoided.
The claim of Prime Minister Harper that the current depression was unforeseen is a cynical lie. Likewise the claim of Defence Minister Peter Mackay that there is no alternative to supporting the US NATO war in Afghanistan is also a lie. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty demands that Canadians only consider capitalist solutions arrived at by the G7 and foisted on the G20. The people and even Parliament are excluded by power elites from the major decisions affecting the economy and peace. Democracy is at a low point in Canada. A struggle must be waged to return the country to its people.
Prime Minister Harper is responsible for what has happened to Canada. The economic crisis was fully predictable because it is the result of well known recurring boom and bust cycles of capitalism. Prime Minister Harper, an economist knows this. He knew it was coming and opted to protect the banks and big investors as his first priority. It was a deliberate and conscious decision of his government for which he bears direct and personal responsibility.
Prime Minister Harper will go to any lengths to avoid a real discussion of the obvious solution to the misery brought on by mass unemployment and war, which is to get rid of capitalism itself. As loyal defenders of the profit system he has the full support of the Liberals and the NDP to evade that urgent and fundamental public discussion.
The path out of imperialist war and capitalist economic crisis is not the path offered by Harper, Mackay and Flaherty. The way out demands a simple first step, a crushing defeat of the right wing agenda of the Conservative Government and its pro-war pro-big business program that has led the country into the worst economic and political crisis since the Dirty Thirties.
The media is spreading the lie that Canadians would rather continue to suffer high unemployment and a costly war, the underfunding of the health and social support system of the country than to have another federal election. The media pundits are deliberately engaged in confusing the real issue of the disastrous result of five years of Conservative Government misrule.
A federal election presents the opportunity to the electorate to rid the country of right wing dominance and consider an entirely new direction for Canada and its people. The Ignatieff Liberals offer a slightly revised Conservative plan to the overall crisis confronting the country. They present no fundamental answers or change.
The discredited Harper policy of pouring billions of public dollars to maintain bank profits, to assist wealthy investors and to fund a pork barrel stimulus budget designed for their own re-election is not a solution that a majority of working Canadians support now or have supported in the past.
Prime Minister Harper continues to lead a minority government, elected to uphold a consensus of corporate wealth and privilege and nothing else. They continue to do so. The Liberals and the Conservatives have been cooperating for years on that fundamental premise. The parties of the profit system have no fundamental differences.
Something entirely new is required. What is required is a government of the majority, those millions of Canadians who rely on wages to live. Organized labour and the peace movement are called upon to do what no other progressive political force in the country can do, to speak forthrightly for the deep desire of a majority of Canadians for a sovereign Canada, at peace and undertaking the inspiring task of a planned and lasting economic renewal of the country based on the public ownership of the major industries and resources of the nation. It is possible and will take a struggle to win.
The policy of the Harper Conservatives of neglecting the overall economy development of the country and promoting a single energy resource export economy is proving to be disastrous for Canada and its future. The single resource based economy is distorting and destroying whole economic sectors placing the economic ownership and control of the country�s future in the hands of foreign investors having no allegiance to, or regard for, Canadians and their vital interests.
The result is that workers are left on their own to struggle to defend industries that provide jobs. Workers and their unions have been abandoned by senior governments. Governments have made it plain that when there is class interest to defend it will be the rights of and prerogatives of monopoly power over all other rights. A government that upholds first the interests of those who must work to live is urgently needed if Canada is to survive as an independent country.
The response of the NDP to the crisis is inadequate, tepid and lacks the necessary partisanship for labour that is required. The NDP persists in playing the Parliamentary game instead of mobilizing the progressive and democratic electorate to administer a crushing defeat to the right wing extremism as represented by the Harper government and its corporate supporters.
On this Labour Day 2009 the organized labour movement confronts the task of stepping up the fight back to place the economic needs of wage earners at the top of the political agenda of the country. There is no one else to do it.
There is no sign that the capitalist economic depression is over. The illusion that it will self correct in the interests of all is enthusiastically promoted by the private media and it�s well paid propagandists. To bank on that happening is the worse type of self deception.
Nothing can change for working people without a struggle. Without the defeat of the Harper Conservatives the crisis will deepen. Only a fight back that is based on putting Canada back to work with nation building projects, low cost housing, massive infrastructure projects and guaranteed income for all will make things better for working people. The old line parties won�t do it.
An entirely new approach is required. Working people are the source of all of the wealth in the country and demand a better deal for the results of their labour. There is justifiable anger among the unemployed and the youth that they have not created the crisis and it is unjust that they should be its victims.
An end must be put to the coddling of the rich and powerful. Arms spending is wasteful and depleting the federal treasury. Canada must get out of the war in Afghanistan the arms budget cut and spend on health care, senior�s needs, child care and education increased.
There is need for a new type of �People�s Budget of Peace and Prosperity for All�. That can happen by placing foreign and domestic monopolies under public ownership and control. The energy sector must be nationalized and used for the east west economic development. The country can then embark on an entirely new direction of peaceful growth and prosperity for workers and farmers.
Canada has everything it requires to rebuild the economy of the country and permanently rid it of periodic capitalist economic depression. But it cannot be done on the old prescriptions of capitalism of imperialist war, sell-out of energy resources and the schemes of big private investors. The right wing extremism and special interest politics of the Harper Conservatives can be defeated.
It takes a united fight around a common program to win. That is the challenge confronting the organized labour movement, the non-sectarian militant left, the left social democrats and honest liberals on this Labour Day 2009.
Left Turn Canada!