Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

ELECTION SPECIAL: 6 KEY QUESTIONS FOR CANDIDATES

Posted by strattof on October 14, 2015

  1. Will the leader of your party be a Prime Minister for peace?
  • Canada has been endlessly at war since 2003: Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine, Iraq, Syria ‒ Canada has been or is there making war.
  • Today Canada is directly involved in two international wars ‒ Iraq-Syria and Ukraine ‒ and indirectly in at least one other ‒ Palestine-Israel.
  • Today, Canada is the 12th largest military exporter in the world.

Canada should:

  1. Work to curb the arms trade and war economy.
  2. Seek a non-violent negotiated settlement, including all parties involved in the conflict, to the wars now raging in Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, and Israel-Palestine.

“It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.”—Einstein

  1. Will your party welcome refugees?
  • Today there are more than 50 million refugees in the world, the majority of them fleeing wars that have been caused, directly or indirectly, by western foreign policy.
  • Many of those desperate people are fleeing the brutal civil war in Syria ‒ a war that has killed over 200,000 and caused the displacement of 12 million people, half of Syria’s population.
  • Canada’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis is to drop more bombs. War is the cause of this refugee crisis, not the solution.

Canada should:

►Work actively for a diplomatic resolution to the world’s wars.

►Welcome as many refugees as Germany. A much smaller country than Canada, Germany has committed to taking 500,000 Syrian refugees a year.

All Canadians should:

►Read Lawrence Hill’s The Illegal, a new novel about refugees.

Refugees need “arms that welcome, not arms that kill.”—Amy Goodman

  1. How does your party intend to implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission?

Residential schools were ‘part of a coherent policy to eliminate Aboriginal people as distinct peoples.’—TRC Report

The legacy of the schools remains, including:

  • The racism many Canadians hold against Indigenous peoples.
  • On-going systemic racism evident in ●33% – 50% less funding for First Nations schools ●22% less funding for First Nations child welfare services ●housing shortages and substandard over-crowded living conditions on First Nations ●139 Drinking Water Advisories in effect in 94 First Nations communities.

Canada must carry out all the recommendations of the TRC report.

“Without truth, justice, and healing, there can be no genuine reconciliation.”—TRC report

  1. Will your party work to stop anti-Muslim racism?
    • When did religion become a suitable basis for refugee selection?
    • When will men stop telling women what to wear?
    • Is a beard a face covering?
    • Why are so many Canadian women who claim to be feminists disturbed by the niqab? Does it threaten “our freedom”? But our freedom to do what? Wear tank tops and microskirts?
    • Speaking of “barbaric cultural practices,” do you think women should be allowed to wear high heels at Canadian citizenship ceremonies? High heels can cause a wide range of health problems and hence place a burden on our healthcare system.
    • When did promoting fear and hatred become an acceptable political practice in Canada?

“The Holocaust illustrates the consequences of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping on a society.”—Tim Holden

  1. What will your party do to address income inequality in Canada?

Since the 1980s, income inequality has been increasing in Canada, reversing the trend since the 1930s that saw increasing equality.

Today in Canada

  • The richest 1% earn 13% of total income, up from 7% in 1982.
  • The highest paid 100 CEOs earn 195 times more than the average worker, up from a ratio of 105 to 1 in 1998.
  • 850,000 people use food banks every month.
  • 1 in 6 children live in poverty. 

The Canadian government should act to reduce income inequality by taking the following measures:

  1. Introduce a new top income tax rate of 35%, up from 29%, on those with incomes over $250,000: the richest 1%.
  2. Increase the corporate income tax rate from 15% to 22%, which is still well below the 29% it was 15 year ago.
  3. Invest in social housing.
  4. Introduce high quality universal early childhood education.

6. What action will your party take on climate change?

Since climate change first became an issue in the 1990s, the Canadian government has repeatedly placed corporate profits and economic growth before the health of people and the planet. As a result, Canada has one of the worst records in the world when it comes to taking action on climate change, ranking 58 out of 61 on the 2014 Climate Change Performance Index.

To avoid catastrophic consequences for human, animal, and plant life, a global rise in average temperature of 2°C must be avoided. Average global temperature has already risen by .85° C.

What can our government do to help avert the worst consequences of climate change?

  • Implement strong carbon taxes.
  • Develop a national renewable energy plan. 

“The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all.”—Pope Francis

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