While We’re Celebrating:A Critical Moment for Canada
By the time Labour Day rolls around this year there is no doubt that the writ drop for the October Federal Election will be imminent.
The past four years of Liberal government have been marked by scandals, back-to-work legislation, and heaps of broken promises. Federal workers still aren’t being paid properly, if at all, as a result of the ongoing Phoenix Pay debacle. Climate change, reconciliation, affordability, and many other crucial issues remain the subject of substantial lip service and minimal action.
We were promised real change but received exactly what should have been expected. The Liberal Party has a long history of campaigning from the left and governing from the right. Along with the Conservative Party, they are two sides of the same coin. They depict themselves as the alternative to one another, yet both govern in the interests of the wealthy elite.
We are being fed the same line once again this year. Both the Conservative Party (CPC) and the offshoot extreme-right People’s Party (PPC) are offering themselves up as the solution, looking for that Trump-style right-populist appeal. So far it doesn’t seem to be working too well for either Scheer or Bernier but given the outcome of several recent provincial elections we ought not grow complacent.
The election of either of these parties could spell disaster for working people on a scale that would humble even Stephen Harper’s record. The divisive approach of these parties is not accidental. They aim to drive wedges between us along lines of race, gender, citizenship status, and more. In doing so they hope to clear the way to dismantle hard-fought progressive gains in the interests of profit, not people. Don’t be fooled. A vote for the CPC or PPC is a vote to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.
Instead we need to vote for candidates who will implement universal pharmacare, protect pensions, and tackle climate change while creating good jobs and ensuring a just transition into a new green economy for all workers. We need to vote for the candidates who will uphold the right to strike and collectively bargain. And we need to vote for the candidates who will unite with us against racism and bigotry.
So, while we’re celebrating Labour Day, let’s take a moment to talk politics. This is a critical moment for Canada, and its up to all of us to decide.
Stephen von Sychowski
The Vancouver and District Labour Council acknowledges that its offices reside on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations.