This is the blog of the Eric Blair Club of the Communist Party of Canada in the Niagara Region and the Saleh Waziruddin election campaign for MPP St. Catharines in the 2018 Ontario general election. Authorized by CPC(O).
I missed the deadline for the profile but here are my answers:
Name: Saleh Waziruddin
Party: Communist Party of Canada
Occupation: Call centre worker
Family: parents and two sisters
Lives: Niagara Falls, work in St. Catharines and in the
process of moving
Political experience: two years experience as manager of two
departments in a municipal government, past federal and provincial candidate
and campaign manager, Canada-wide executive committee member of Canadian Peace
Congress and Canadian Network on Cuba
Rick Dykstra doesn't have anything real to show for the last
decade he has been in office.He brings
in grants but they don't lead to any sustainable jobs.Last election he touted millions of dollars
for Silicon Knights which we were told was going to be the next GM, but after
the election it went bust and laid off staff.One grant he brought in did create jobs, which was for BUILT (Bulding Up
Individuals through Learning and Teamwork) which found work for people
suffering from mental health problems. But even though it was more than paying
for itself Dykstra couldn't save it from the Conversative government's chopping
block because there wasn't enough money to cover needs.We needed him then but he failed us.
Instead of trying get corporations to invest, which they
won't do in a recession because they can't profit, through giving away tax
breaks by cutting public services we need, we use the lost revenue for public
investment.This is the only way to get
sustainable good jobs.I am the only
candidate offering this solution.
Instead of letting companies pack up because workers won't
take 50% pay cuts, like in London, we should use state power to prevent
closures of viable plants and run them ourselves if the corporations won't.
Instead of voting for something you don't want just to block
someone else, vote for what you want.Voting Communist puts everyone else on notice that you want fundamental
change from today's destructive policies.
NIAGARA - Bullet News asked our local federal election candidates to complete a questionnaire. In no specific order, we present the candidates' answers for you here. Today’s profile: Saleh Waziruddin, Communist Party candidate for St. Catharines riding. * Name: Saleh Waziruddin * Age: 37 * Occupation: Call centre worker, I fix cable boxes over the phone so people can watch TV.
* Federal Riding: St. Catharines * Political Party: Communist Party of Canada * Political Experience: Party activist for over a decade including on provincial and federal leading committees. Two years municipal government experience at the department head-level in a small town. On the Canada-level executive committees of the Canadian Peace Congress and the Canadian Network on Cuba. * Why do you want to serve as an MP for your riding? All our MP Rick Dykstra has to show after 10 years of representing us is superficial grants that haven't created sustainable quality jobs. In the last election he touted a $4 million dollar grant for the video game company Silicon Knights, which we were told was going to be the next GM, to make a video game, but after the election it laid off most of the staff and went bankrupt. In this election Dykstra's told us GM is making a big announcement, which has turned out to be investment in the plant but again without any jobs to show for it. Instead, I want to use the power of an MP to bring public investment which will bring good jobs for the foreseeable future, and to use legislation to stop profitable plants from closing just because the workers won't take 50% pay cuts or have two-tiered pensions. * What personal attributes will help you in serving as an MP? I don't accept glib answers at face value and dig inquisitively until I find the truth. When our MP Rick Dykstra defended cuts to refugee applicants' health care as fair because, he told us, it is more than what Canadian citizens get, I found out that many refugee applicants don't have the right to work so it's not a fair comparison. The Supreme Court agreed and called these cuts cruel and unusual and forced the government to restore some of the health care. * What led you to join your political party as opposed to any other party? At my first party meeting I saw that the Communist Party is where working class people who believe in revolution and organization are. I realized right away I was “home” and decided to join that day. * Why should voters trust your party leader and party to deliver on its promises? Despite many opportunities to back down from fighting for the working class over many years the Communist Party and Miguel Figueroa have not given in or given up. When the government de-registered us and other smaller parties to prevent us from running in elections our Party under Miguel Figueroa didn't back down, but went all the way to the Supreme Court, and the Communist Party's victory there makes it possible for you and I to have more choices in our elections, to vote for and run for what we believe in. * What about your party’s leader do you admire most? Miguel Figueroa has a talent for finding simple, straight-forward ways to debunk the spin of pro-rich politicians. Check out some of his talks on Youtube! * Name three specific issues affecting voters at the Niagara level and say what you and your party would do to address these issues. 1. Lack of and loss of good jobs: corporations don't invest when the economy is in recession so public investment is needed to create good jobs which will last. This can be funded by taxing corporations their fair share instead of giving them tax breaks they are just sitting on and not investing. Don't let corporations shut down profitable plants just because workers won't take 50 per cent pay cuts or take quality pensions away from younger/newer workers. If the companies don't want to run the plans, then we will. 2. Poverty: Enact a guaranteed minimum income above the poverty line and implement a Canada-wide housing strategy funded by 1 per cent of the budget going to public and social housing. Instead of holding back the EI fund and forcing the unemployed to take the first job they find even if it's far away from home, fund all job-seekers at 90 per cent of previous or average earnings for the duration of unemployment. In addition, there should be full pay equity for women so all can enjoy access to good jobs. 3. Immigration, specifically migrant labour and refugees: Farm workers who have been coming to Niagara seasonally and have worked here for more years than I have are being forcibly deported under the Conservative government's 4-in-4-out rule, where workers who have worked for more than four years must wait four more years before trying to work in Canada again. There should be a path to permanent residency and citizenship for everyone, if you are good enough to work here you are good enough to stay here. Niagara residents want to sponsor refugees, but are prevented by catch-22 style barriers the Conservative government has placed like the ones which prevented the Kurdi family from being here today instead of being almost wiped out by drowning, as shown in a letter sent by their aunt to Citizenship and Immigration Canada about why they couldn't fulfil impossible requirements. Refugees should be welcome and the government should do everything it can to fulfil its international treaty obligations to be a safe haven for people fleeing for their lives, instead of demonizing refugees as security threats or freeloaders. * Name three federal issues affecting the nation and say how you and your party would address these issues. 1. Post-secondary tuition fees: Increase funding to provinces and territories to make post-secondary education free with living-cost stipends for students. Many capitalist countries, including poor ones, already do this. Lift the cap on funding for Aboriginal post-secondary education. 2. Health Care: Re-establish the Canada Health Accord which was allowed to lapse by the Conservative government so provinces, territories, and the federal government can work towards fully meeting our health care needs. Enforce the Canada Health Act to stop the creeping privatization of our health care. Nationalize the pharmaceutical industry so drug prices fund research and not profits. 3. Climate change: Instead of withdrawing from global climate change agreements we need emergency legislation to slash greenhouse emissions and we need a massive expansion of public transit including high-speed rail. We need to provide reparations to countries suffering from climate change we have caused. * Name one issue you feel is important, but has been overlooked by the media during the campaign and discuss why this issue needs more attention. The wars. The world is marching closer and closer to World War III, and the Conservative government's latest reckless adventures in the Middle East, North Africa, and Ukraine are entangling us further and further. In Ukraine we are giving military equipment to a government less popular than fascists. In Syria, we aren't told what Canadian ground troops are doing or how they die, and in Iraq our airstrikes have killed at least 27 civilians including children, but the government says there is no duty to investigate. By being entangled in NATO we are signed-on to a reckless nuclear-first-strike policy. The government has pursued basing rights in several countries. A secret base in the United Arab Emirates was only exposed because of a business disagreement. We need to get out of this track taking us all straight to world-scale death and destruction. World Wars I and II should have been a lesson enough, if our interventions in Afghanistan and Libya haven't taught us anything. * Transparency in government has been cited by voters as an issue at all levels of government in recent years. What measures would you and your party do to make government open, accessible and transparent? All proposed laws changing our rights should be preceded by public hearings and meetings in both large and small urban and rural locations. No hiding laws in Omnibus bills to avoid debate or rushing laws like Bill C51 with only minimal hearings. All negotiations, including trade negotiations, should have the text released to the public at the earliest possible opportunity and at every stage of negotiation. Canadians got the text of the CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) trade deal text only from a German television station! Abolish secret detention without trials, secret trials, and “security certificates” so that defendants have transparency on why they are being detained and can hold law enforcement accountable. Remove the immunities granted to CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) immediately, then abolish CSIS and CSE (Communications Security Establishment) which are political police that operate in secret. Have parliamentary control over the armed forces. The Conservative government won't even tell parliament how a Canadian soldier died in Syria or even what exactly the ground troops are doing there. Place direct civilian control with enforcement powers, or “teeth,” over the RCMP. Defend and expand online privacy rights. Don't allow telecommunications companies to voluntary turn over customer records to the government. * Should Members of Parliament be allowed more power to vote against party lines, introduce private members legislation, etc.? Explain. Members of Parliament should vote their conscience but should be held accountable to the voters at all times, not just on election day and even then only as part of a limited choice. This can be done by the right to recall MP's, a right Canadians outside British Columbia do not have, but despite stereotypes we've been told about Communist governments, exists in Cuba and North Korea, and existed in the Soviet Union, where voters used it often to recall deputies right from meetings at their workplaces (over 500 elected officials recalled in 1984 alone!). This tradition dates back to the Paris Commune in France and even before then to ancient Greece. The right to recall will make MP's more responsive and responsible with the power we invest in them. Proportional representation will also make parliament more reflective of the choices of the voters. * What additional message would you like to share with voters? Instead of voting for something you don't want and getting it because of “strategic” (tactical) voting to block this or that party, vote for something you want and you might get it. If you agree that the Communist Party's policies put the broader interests of the working class ahead of the few who own the country's wealth but have been acting in their own narrow interests, vote Communist. Your vote will get noticed and is part of announcing fundamental change is coming to Canada. Put the capitalists, who are driving us to disaster, on notice.