THE CANADIAN ELECTION
MORE QUESTIONS TO ASK THE CANDIDATES IN YOUR CONSTITUENCY
What are you prepared to do to address First Nations poverty?
●50% of First Nations people in Canada live in poverty. ●Overcrowding among First Nations families is double the rate of that of other Canadian families. ●40 First Nations reserve communities have no school. ●The average Canadian student receives 2.5 times more in education support than First Nations children. ●100 First Nations communities must boil their water. ●In the meantime, Canada is spending $22 billion on the war in Afghanistan.
When should Canada withdraw from Afghanistan?
56% of Canadians disapprove of Canada’s military role in Afghanistan, according to a recent Environics poll. According to another poll, 60% of Afghans want foreign troops out of Afghanistan. 97 Canadian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan. A minimum of 8,000 to 10,000 Afghan civilians have also been killed since the war began in late 2001. Promised development is not taking place. There is no hope for a military solution in Afghanistan.
What do you think of Canada’s current role as a major military exporter?
Canada is the 6th largest military exporter in the world, just behind China. Over the past 7 years, $3.6 billion of military goods were exported from Canada. This is over 3 times Canada’s 2000 military exports and 10 times 1997’s. Canada’s involvement in the global arms trade may be greater still. Since a 2002 report, Liberal and Conservative governments have not released annual reports to Parliament detailing the full extent of Canada’s arms exports.
Would you speak out against civil rights violations involving Canadian authorities?
●The name Maher Arar is now well-known in Canada. With the complicity of Canadian authorities, a number of other Canadian citizens have also been taken to foreign prisons where they have been abused and tortured. ●Omar Khadr is the last citizen from a western country still to be imprisoned at Guantanamo. Britain, Australia, Germany, and Sweden all intervened successfully on behalf of their citizens, leading to their repatriation. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the conditions at Guantanamo violate “fundamental human rights protected by international law.” ●In the last decade, Canadian authorities have deported individuals with the knowledge that they could be tortured.
Will your party push for a major and designated investment in public transit?
Cars are a major source of air pollution in Canada. Concern for the environment, along with sky-rocketing gas prices, has caused a surge in demand for public transportation. However, over the past five years, financial support for public transportation from all government sources has declined by 25 percent. As a result, public transit systems are starved for funding.