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Miguel Figueroa, leader of the Communist Party, was in Kitchener today talking to working people and campaigning with candidate Marty Suter, a former truck driver.
The Kitchener Record reported as follows:
While here, he laid out the party’s socialist platform (…) That includes a proposal to get out of Canada’s free trade agreements, nationalize our oil, auto and mining industries and double corporate taxes up to 30 per cent.
“Are they ready yet for a radical new system? Probably not. But a lot of people are starting to reconsider the socialist alternative, because they see how capitalism is working, and it’s not working in their interest,” he said. “Capitalism is not eternal. At some point that bubble has to burst.”
Figueroa’s party says doubling corporate taxes would add another $187 billion to federal coffers — enough to cover the deficit, drop tuition fees, create national daycare programs, build affordable housing and fund other social programs.
And they shrug off the suggestion higher corporate taxes would send companies packing to cheaper locales. They say resource-based industries would have no choice but to remain operating in Canada.
The party says it would make life better for workers by limiting foreign corporate ownership, create more government-run companies and raising the minimum wage to $16 an hour.
That’s a plan Suter, a former truck driver now on disability pension, said should resonate with Kitchener’s displaced factory workers, who’ve watched plant after plant shut down.
“Kitchener is almost a classic example of why we need socialism,” he said.
The party’s members know they have their work cut out for them, Figueroa said. They’re running a campaign on a shoestring budget, with little money for political ads (…) there’s the first-past-the-post voting system, which makes the chance of electing a Communist MP all but impossible. The party’s candidates combined for a total of just 3,572 votes in the last federal election.
But eventually, Figueroa is convinced more people’s frustration over poorly-paid jobs and their quality of life will lead them to consider the communist alternative.
“We’re becoming less and less prosperous every day. People’s living standards are steadily eroding,” he said. “As the crisis in capitalism deepens, people will be more willing to support what we’re offering.”