Monday, 31 October 2011

Canadian Peace Alliance to Campaign for "Peace and Prosperity"

By Saleh Waziruddin, co‑convenor of Niagara Coalition for Peace, and a member of the Canadian Peace Congress executive council
     The Canadian Peace Alliance held its bi‑annual convention Oct. 14‑16 in Toronto, with over 23 member groups participating from across Canada, stretching from Halifax to Vancouver and up to Yellowknife. Formed in 1985, the CPA is the umbrella group for anti-war movements. About 60 people participated, including observers from non‑member organizations.
     At the convention, the Alliance launched a signature campaign, on the theme of "Peace and Prosperity not War and Austerity," to agitate for shifting public money from militarism and war into public services, jobs, and the environment. Postcards can be signed on‑line atwww.acp‑
     The convention kicked off with a discussion panel including a video address by Afghan MP Malalai Joya, who declared that Barack Obama is even worse than George Bush, as well as speeches by Judith LeBlanc of the U.S. network Peace Action, Suraia Sahar of Afghans for Peace, and CPA co‑chair Derrick O'Keefe of Vancouver StopWar.
     Several resolutions were passed, including support for the campaign to let US War Resisters stay in Canada, helping students counter military recruitment, and participating in elections by encouraging peace candidates and clear anti‑war positions. A resolution proposed by the Canadian Peace Congress was adopted, committing the CPA to annual cross‑Canada Days of Action against the war in Afghanistan.
     The convention elected a steering committee that includes new member organizations represented by young leaders, such as Afghans for Peace, Afghan Canadian Student Association, National Council of Canadian Tamils, and Alternatives North in the Northwest Territories.
     The delegates and observers marched to St. James Park to join in Occupy Toronto, and attended workshops addressing topics such as Canada's role in Afghanistan, war and the environment, First Nations sovereignty, and wars in Africa, Palestine, Haiti, Libya, Sri Lanka, and Kashmir.
     For more information, visit the CPA website,

Niagara News Bulletin

Niagara News Bulletin
by PV Niagara Bureau

* An 82-year old woman visiting her husband in the hospital was told to call an ambulance when she broke her hip near the entrance.  Ontario appointed a supervisor to take over the Niagara Health System (NHS) just before the provincial election to improve its management, and earlier cases resulted in one death.  Because of emergency room cuts in other hospitals (to be moved further away in favor of a P3 public-private-partnership i.e. for profit hospital) patients suffering from an in-hospital heart attack are told to call 911.
* Six weeks after the NHS declared a hospital-acquired infection outbreak over, another outbreak has been declared with 3 patients testings positive.  The earlier outbreak saw 36 patient deaths, and at the 35th death during the provincial election the Communist Party candidate Saleh Waziruddin  predicted more would die unless beds, staff, and services are restored to pre-cuts levels.
* The Regional Municipality of Niagara is considering privatizing its eight long-term care homes, where health care money would be diverted to private profits combined with possible cuts.  At least one councilor pointed out that  public homes are more accountable in reporting.
* A Welland food bank says it is getting above daily average pleas from both the “working poor” and “newly poor”, and many don't even apply because of the stigma of charity.
* Port Colborne residents suing Vale Inco for contamination of their lands are going to the Supreme Court of Canada after the Ontario appeals court reversed a $36 million judgment. The Ministry of Environment ordered Inco to re-mediate 25 properties because of high nickel levels, but the court ruled for the company because they didn't violate any regulations while polluting the land.
* The Council of Canadians has warned about the Niagara Falls Water Board across the border in New York offering to treat polluted water from hydrofracking (using high pressure water to break rocks and release gas) to raise money.  The group says companies don't report what's in the water and Canadians across the river, as well as US residents, will be paying with their health for the pollution.  The International Joint Commission found fracking chemicals in the Great Lakes recently, where Canada spends even less than the US on protecting one of the world's largest fresh water supplies.

Letter to the Editor (Peoples Voice): Facts on Tamils

Dear Editor,

I am gravely concerned about the Labour Day issue’s article “Indian Communists
Debate Tamil Issue”
in the People's Voice which states “Sri Lanka's Tamils were
largely brought from Tamil Nadu by the British as labourers.” Even the
chauvinist Sri Lankan government’s own census shows this is simply not true, the
last complete census (1989) shows Tamils who had been in Sri Lanka since ancient
times outnumbered Tamils brought by the British from India by over 2 to 1 (2.1
million vs under 1 million). As the CPI(M)’s Ramdass discussed in his article
“Developments in Sri Lanka” in the theoretical journal The Marxist (Vol. 3, No.
2, April-June 1985) “The Jaffna Tamils had emigrated to Sri Lanka, then Ceylon,
about 2000 years ago…. The root of the problem is that the Sinhalese consider
Sri Lanka to be their country where the Tamils have no business to be.”
Unfortunately the People’s Voice article not only suggests a misrepresentation
of the position of the Indian Communist Parties, let alone facts on the ground,
but does so in a way that plays right into the hands of the most reactionary

As Ramdass explains, “What is generally referred to as the ‘ethnic problem’ is
in fact the problem of a minority nationality – the Sri Lanka Tamil people –
whose aspirations and legitimate demands have been denied by the ruling
classes.” Although the Indian communists are against Tamil separation, Ramdass
explains who has true responsibility for this demand: “But it should not be
forgotten that it is the refusal of successive bourgeois-landlord governments to
concede autonomy to the Tamil majority areas, the breaking or scuttling and
again of agreements arrived at that finally brought the separatist slogan to the

Two years ago thousands of Tamils, some waving LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Elaam) flags, blockaded highways in Toronto to bring attention to the genocidal
war (CPI Tamil Nadu state secretary D. Pandian called it that in the party’s New
Age Weekly Jul. 9, 2011 “CPI for Solidarity with Sri Lankan Tamils”),
concentration-camp roundups of the Tamil people and, whether one agrees with
them or not, the leading force for their national liberation which is the LTTE.
The Canadian government targets for deportation Tamils who have ties to the LTTE
and the struggle for national liberation. We must refrain from any dodges on
the facts of nationhood and the principle of self-determination, whether abroad
or in Canada.

Asad Ali
Niagara Falls, Ontario

Letter to the editor (Peoples Voice) on Exploitation article

Dear Editor,

While Clarence Torcoran's “Who's  exploited, and does it matter?” in the July issue's Marxist  Theory section makes a good point that exploitation is about the  relationship to accumulating capital and not the physical working conditions or pay, his claim that if some workers are exploited and  others are not then this would mean capitalism can be reformed misses  a major point of Marx's analysis.  While the working class is  exploited as a class, only workers who produce surplus value (anything commodified, including services) are exploited in the  Marxist sense, and this matters because it shows us both the relationship between, for example, public sector and retail workers with manufacturing and service workers, and also  helps us realize  the true magnitude of the exploitation of the whole class.  Marx  observed in Theories of Surplus Value “What a convenient arrangement it is that makes a factory girl to sweat twelve hours in a factory, so that the factory proprietor, with  a part of her unpaid labour, can take into his personal service her  sister as maid, her brother as groom and her cousin as soldier or  policeman!”  The insight that some workers are exploited and their  exploitation pays for the non-commodified services of other workers  has nothing to do with one group of workers being  more important or  needing more reforms, but helps us to understand where the  wealth that we produce as a class comes from so that we can take it back  from  the capitalists.  Torocoran said as much in his People's Voice article "Wages  facing downward pressure" five years ago ("Workers at the 'point of production'  ... have the power to choke off the generation of profits")

S.  Saleh Waziruddin
Niagara  Falls, Ontario

Friday, 7 October 2011

Thank you to voters, supporters, and comrades; Communist comes in 2nd at Eden High School

Dear voters, supporters, and comrades:

Thank you very much for your support this election, you have helped raise solutions that put peoples needs before corporate greed on the issues of health care, jobs, taxation, and in Niagara and Ontario politics in general which the big business parties and even some of the smaller parties will not put forward.

The Communist Vote was strong in the student vote, 10% or 374 St. Catharines students voted Communist in the parallel provincial elections:

In particular Eden High School voted Communist into 2nd place! This is 139 votes for 24%  Special thanks to YCL comrades.

In St. Francis High School's student vote, where we got 20% in the 2007 provincial election thanks to the YCL and have been doing strong ever since, students voted Communist into 3rd place at 17% with 96 votes.

But the vote goal was never the immediate objective, the Eric Blair Club is very happy with what we've achieved in terms of contacts with voters and raising the Communist solutions to Ontario's problems, and I said as much to the press:

"NDP and Greens Proud of Campaigns"

(and Communists too!) by Erica Bajer of the St. Catharines Standard, some quotes:

St. Catharines Communist Party candidate Saleh Waziruddin said his campaign was successful because he managed to raise his party's profile in the community.

He said he didn't have a goal in terms of number of votes but instead a target of gaining ground in contacts and awareness.

"People are definitely looking for solutions that are beyond what the big parties are putting forward," he said.
Waziruddin said he's proud that he was able to add to the debate on important issues including health care, the economy and the HST.

"The Communist Party campaign has been farther ahead on the issues," he said. "I feel very happy."
"Bradley found students a tougher sell than adult voters"

by Jeff Bolichowski of the St. Catharines Standard, lists the 10% Communist Party vote in the St. Catharines Student Vote elections.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Why you should vote Communist today - election message

If you have not already voted and I have the pleasure of having you as a constituent in the St. Catharines Riding, please consider that I am the only candidate who has pledged to restore ALL of the beds, staff, and services that were cut from the hospitals and also to repeal ALL of the HST as the voters in BC did this summer. If you agree with these demands then voting Communist today is the loudest way to make your vote count. The only wasted vote is for a candidate you don't agree with, who either won't win anyway or even if they do (and may not have needed your vote) won't deliver what you want. If you believe in *fully* funding people's needs instead of a perverse welfare for corporate greed, then make your vote truly count by voting Communist.

The fight for putting peoples' needs first of course will not end with the election today. There are three events coming up in St. Catharines that I also want to encourage you to attend and bring people to:

1) Palestine Up Close and Personal: eyewitness accounts of Gaza under Israeli attacks, by Ontario journalist Eva Bartlet; also information from the Mennonite Central Committee on two Palestinian refugees who have just arrived here from Iraq. The event is Saturday October 8, 1 pm in the Mills Room of the St Catharines Public Library on 54 Church St.

2) Voices from the Other Side: a book launch by Keith Bolender about terrorist attacks against Cuba, some of which have killed Canadian citizens and a Canadian airplane was blown up by counter-revolutionaries based in the US. This is on this coming Wednesday October 12th, 7 pm, in the Rotary room of the St Catharines Public Library on 54 Church St.

3) A Cuban doctor reports first-hand on Haiti: Dr. Balseiro Estevez was on a Cuban medical aid mission in Haiti before the earthquake hit and then was there during the earthquake and helped in the relief that followed. It was not reported to us in the media (blacked out) but the majority of medical aid to Haiti after the earthquake came from Cuban doctors (more than any other country). He will be telling us first hand about his experiences on Wednesday, November 2nd, at 7 pm at Brock University's Thistle Hall complex, Room 241.

Here is some last moments election coverage:
"Bradley has solid lead, survey says"

by Grant LaFleche of the St. Catharines Standard.  The article has a quote from me about the Communist Party position on the HST.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Coverage of Ontario Communist Party Leader Liz Rowley's visit to St. Catharines

Ontario Communist Party Leader Liz Rowley visited St. Catharines on Saturday, October 1st, the same day as Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak's vist to the region.  Tim Hudak left St. Catharines pretty early in the morning, he probably did not want to stick around for when Liz arrived.
"View from the Left in Niagara Region"

A nice write-up of the visit by Dave Thomas Sr., a designated blogger for the Toronto Star's Speak Your Mind provincial election series.  Some of the quotes in the article were tweeted by audience members.
"Striving to be Heard"

Scott Rosts of Niagara This Week did this nice write-up including an interview with Liz Rowley

St Catharines Standard election videos

The St. Catharines Standard published its series of candidate videos, here are mine:
Why are you running for office?

Health care