The 38th Central Convention of our Party follows a major political upheaval in the recent federal election, and a new escalation of the global economic crisis which emerged in 2007-08. Initially, the Canadian economy was buffered to some degree by exports of fossil fuels and other natural resources, and because Canada’s megabanks were somewhat less exposed to the collapse in value of leveraged (re-packaged) debt. Now, the dramatic collapse in energy prices and the Canadian dollar are causing new job losses and rapid increases in the cost of imported products. The working class is paying a heavy cost for the turmoil of the capitalist system.
The suicide crisis among youth in the northern Ontario community of Attawapiskat is a scathing indictment of centuries of capitalist colonialism imposed on indigenous peoples within the Canadian state, from the theft of the traditional territories of aboriginal peoples, to the residential schools and other forms of assimilation which followed. Despite the federal government’s commitment to implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and its recent endorsation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, there was very little in the 2016-17 federal budget for concrete action to seriously address this genocidal legacy.