The federal Liberal government’s $4.5 billion purchase of the TransMountain pipeline expansion project is a bonanza for Kinder Morgan shareholders, but a disaster for Indigenous peoples, the environment, and communities along the pipeline route. The Communist Party of Canada calls on Parliament to reject this dangerous sellout, and instead to move away from reliance on extraction and export of raw materials, towards energy and resource policies that protect the interests of people and the environment, and respect Canada’s commitments to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Paris Agreement.
The Federal Liberals’ support for the Trans Mountain pipeline makes a mockery of any promise to give Indigenous peoples the veto on developments affecting them, and to recognize Indigenous sovereignty while also trashing commitments on climate change. The difference between Tory all-out support for all pipelines, up to and including climate change denial, and Liberal support for some pipelines, despite their intended reform of the environmental review process, is at best stylistic. There is no difference of substance.
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.
Keynote address delivered by Elizabeth Rowley, leader of the Communist Party of Canada at the occasion of the Parties 38th Central Convention in Toronto.
Comrade Chair and Comrades:
We open this convention with a warm welcome to all of the Delegates and Alternates who have traveled from all over Canada to attend this 38th Convention of our Party, which takes place just one week short of the 95th anniversary of our Party’s birth on May 28, 1921.
The Fort McMurray fire, which broke out May 2nd during an unprecedented spring heat wave in northern Alberta, now covers 423,000 hectares of boreal forest as of May 18th. The plight of more than 80,000 Fort McMurray residents, frantically trying to evacuate amidst fire and smoke, knowing they might not have homes to return to, has touched the hearts of Canadians. Most are still unable to return to their homes, and the fire has also had a devastating impact on First Nations and other communities in the area. The delegates at the 38th Central Convention of the Communist Party send our solidarity to all those who are victims of this terrible disaster.
Commentary by Naomi Rankin, Communist Party-Alberta leader
If anyone in Alberta thought that electing an NDP government was all they needed to do to fix the economy, they had a rude awakening in the royalty review report finally issued by the NDP appointed committee. This is a document that could have been accepted by any Tory government in the last 40 years, or the Socreds before that, making no challenges to illogical economic assumptions that have guaranteed oil and gas corporate profits at our expense – except that the Tories might have felt obliged to engage in more window dressing of the blatant surrender to the big oil and gas operators.