The Ontario Committee has elected Dave McKee as the new leader of the CPC (Ontario) following the release of Liz Rowley, who was elected CPC leader in January. McKee is a long time activist in the peace movement and current president of the Canadian Peace Congress. He has been part of the CPC’s Ontario leadership for more than a decade. He has worked for the Ontario Party organization during two election campaigns, and has twice stood as a candidate for provincial office. He is also a member of the CPC Central Committee, and since 2013 a member of its Executive. A printer by trade, McKee was a union steward and a member of the negotiating committee at a large printing operation in the Toronto area. He is married with two school-age daughters.
2016: HARPER’S GONE, BUT THE FIGHT FOR EQUALITY CONTINUES!
This March 8, International Women’s Day, is time to celebrate our history of struggle for equality, and to unite in action for a better and more just world.
In Canada we celebrate the defeat of the anti-women Harper Tories, who shut down virtually every federal agency or service which supported women’s equality, closed Status of Women Canada offices, eliminated funding of women’s organizations which engage in advocacy, passed Bill C-36 (which endangers the lives of sex workers) and blocked legal avenues to fight for pay equity.
The unequal status of women has been condemned by virtually every United Nations body that reviews Canada’s human rights performance, including the CEDAW Committee, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Human Rights Committee, and the Human Rights Council. The new Liberal government must be pressed to take real action for full equality.
The privatization of Hydro One has begun. In the first week of November, the first public offering of Hydro stocks resulted in the sale of about 10% of the public utility, generating great excitement on the TSX where the RBC Capital Markets and ScotiaBank led the pack in scooping up the largest parts of this and future offerings.
The Hydro One firesale is an out and out gift to the banks and corporations, in exchange for some quick money to fund the government’s unfunded $30 billion infrastructure program – one of two key promises that won them the June 2014 Ontario election.
The government says the main objective of the sale is funding for the infrastructure program. But only $4.6 billion will be realized by the sale – less than one-sixth of what’s needed – and at a huge cost to the public.
Instead, this $30 billion could be generated by reversing an estimated $15 billion in corporate tax cuts and by increasing the corporate tax rate to 22% for an additional $10.5 billion annually. That would raise the funds for the infrastructure program, and maintain Hydro One as a public utility. It would also generate a much larger, and stable revenue stream for other public projects, like public hospitals, the long promised (but never delivered) needs-based funding formula for education, or a provincial system of affordable public childcare, urban and inter-urban public transit.
In response to the Ontario Government’s plan to sell 60% of Hydro One, the Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) has announced a campaign to inform and energize the public against the privatization scheme.
The Liberals intend to sell Hydro One, the distribution network of Ontario’s public electric power system, to private companies, despite growing opposition within the Ontario legislature and in the population at large. The proposal was part of the omnibus budget bill that passed the legislature on the last day before the summer recess. Part of the budget removed most of the regulatory measures which governed Hydro One as a public utility.
The Government’s excuse for selling off one of the most important public assets owned by the people of Ontario was to provide capital to finance its $30 billion public infrastructure project, the key proposal in its election campaign. It did not campaign on privatizing Ontario Hydro, however.
This privatization plan, the continuation of the corporate austerity campaign, has many aspects that attack the living standard and the democratic rights of the people of Ontario: