The acquittal of Gerald Stanley, who fired the shot that killed Colten Boushie, is a stinging indictment of the systemic racism which permeates the entire policing and legal system. The Communist Party of Canada stands in full solidarity with the demands of the Boushie/Baptiste family for genuine reforms to the institutions which continue to systematically deny justice to Indigenous peoples and racialized communities.
On National Aboriginal Day, June 21, the Communist Party of Canada sends our warmest greetings to all First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We take this important occasion to renew our solidarity with the resistance against the expansion of resource extraction industries on traditional indigenous territories, and with all those who stand for an end to racist oppression of indigenous peoples in this country.
Just ten days after June 21, hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent by the federal government to mark “Canada 150”. This year’s July 1 holiday is not a day of celebration for millions of working people who suffer from growing economic insecurity, and especially for indigenous peoples who face the highest rates of unemployment, poverty, health crises, incarceration, police violence, and countless other measures of inequality. For indigenous peoples, being forced to pay for this “party” with their own tax dollars is a bitter insult, especially since these events are being held by the Liberal Party government of Justin Trudeau, who won the electoral support of many indigenous voters two years ago, when he campaigned as a leader who would heal the damage inflicted by Stephen Harper’s Tories.
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.