SALEH WAZIRUDDIN - NIAGARA COALITION FOR PEACE, CANADIAN PEACE CONGRESS, COMMUNIST CANDIDATE FOR ST. CATHARINES
by Sofia Vuorinen for Vapaa Sana
I first encountered Saleh Waziruddin at a luncheon meeting of the Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association. I took particular note of him because he was carrying an armful of People's Voice. He is the co-convenor of Niagara Coalition for Peace and a member of the Canadian Peace Congress executive council. There are occasional Niagara News Bulletins in People's Voice. In the November 1-15, 2011, Saleh wrote an article titled in the paper entitled "Canadian Peace Alliance campaign for "Peace and Prosperity, not War and Austerity."
The Canadian Peace Alliance held its bi-annual convention in Toronto on October 14-16 this year. The theme of the convention was on "Peace and Prosperity not War and Austerity." They were agitating for shifting public money from militarism and war into public services, jobs, and the environment. Postcards can be signed on-line at www.acp-cpa.ca/en/Peace and Prosperity.html.
Several resolutions were passed, including support for the campaign to let U.S. War Resisters stay in Canada, helping students counter military recruitment, and participating in elections by encouraging peace candidates and clear anti-war positions.
I was particularly interested in getting in touch with Saleh when I was informed that he was going to run as a Communist candidate in St. Catharines in our October provincial election. He had been campaign manager in 2008 in the federal election and in 2007 in the provincial election. He also ran as a candidate in both the federal and provincial elections this year.
Saleh was born in Montreal to an Indian father and a Pakastani mother. He lived in the U.S. for 12 years and has now returned to reside in Niagara Falls, Canada. I wanted to know how he was received in the election as a Communist candidate. He gave me some very interesting information. He was approached by different people before the debates who had recognized him from his previous federal candidacy. After the debate, one individual who was actually working for the Progressive Conservative party told Saleh that he made the most sense of all the candidates!
One of the major issues that he addressed was about the situations in local hospitals in the Niagara area. The Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) has been cutting emergency rooms in favour of P3 (public-private partnership) hospitals and mismanaging a bacteria outbreak linked to over 30 deaths.
Niagara Falls residents have protested three bacterial outbreaks including C-Difficile with several deaths where the outbreak was declared late. The Health Minister Andrews denies that the cause is funding cuts but adds that they will have to find money to deal with the outbreaks and added housekeeping staff.
Saleh felt he did very well in certain high schools. In one, he had the second most votes of any party. Keep up the great work you are doing in many aspects of your life. Further details of "A People's Agenda for Ontario" is available at www.votecommunist.ca.