Wednesday, July 4, 2007

CPC leader's view of Canada

3 July, 2007

CPC is the Communist Party of Canada. Of course it also the Conservative Party of Canada! The leader of this CPC is Miguel Figueroa not quite as well known as Stephen Harper but anyway here is an article on Canada I discovered at a Cuban website.Canada: Alignment and Contradiction


Miguel Figueroa, general secretary of the Canadian Communist Party, defines his country’s current foreign policy as "greater alignment with the United States," but with "contradictions between the big Canadian corporations and those of its neighbor."

In an interview with Granma, Figueroa said his party considers the situation a sort of antagonism among associates; a unity and contradiction at the same time.

But it affects Canada?

The Canadian government handed over part of the country’s sovereignty to the United States in exchange for access to its market.

This is quite evident in the North American Free Trade Agreement signed between the two countries and Mexico.

Besides, it is a mechanism that has to do with security, with energy, with water. It also touches on matters of defense, as conceived in the 2005 accords between the three governments.

Military and also energy security?

This integration involves resources of Canada and Mexico, like oil, petrochemicals and others. Water is a very important issue, because we are the world’s largest reservoir in hydraulic resources and the United States is amid a water crisis, which will get worse in the near future with the impact of global warming.

What does your country represent in as far as the energy security of the United States?

We export oil, coal and natural gas to our neighbor and at present a gas pipeline is being built to the US. It should be noted that presently Canada is the most important energy source of the United States. It’s an important relationship.

And what about the environment?

We signed the Kyoto protocol, but now the conservatives in power argue that it is impossible to meet the accord’s objectives and in that way are supporting Washington’s stance.

Other consequences?

For many decades [Canadian] workers fought to obtain job security, free health care, which is very different from what exists in the United States, just as is shown in the new film by Michael Moore, where he talks very favorably about the Canadian health system.

However there are forces, including some specialists of the medical elite, the insurance companies, the private pharmaceutical monopolies and other big businesses in general, that are pressuring to privatize the health system.

Of course they can’t do it openly because a recent poll shows that 90 percent of the population opposes a privatization of those services.

Nonetheless, in the province of Ontario it was decided that eye exams were no longer considered essential for life, so people have to pay up to 100 dollars or more for that service. Vision is no longer a right, but instead a privilege for those that have money.

In that same way there is an effort to create a climate of crisis in the hospital emergency services, to reduce people’s confidence in the public health system. In Toronto, the reduction in the state budget for emergency services has created a crisis in beds, doctors and nurses.

Regarding employment, official statistics talk of 6 percent unemployment, that’s to say 1.5 million persons. For example, in one year alone 250,000 factory jobs were lost, highly skilled and unionized workers; while the jobs created are temporary and low pay.

What impression of Cuba do you take with you?

Relations with Cuba have been guided by a foreign policy different from that of the United States. Currently, some 600,000 Canadians visit the island each year and there is business and other sectors that function well.

During this visit we have seen the tenacity of the Cuban people to defend their social achievements.

I was very impressed with the visit to the Latin American School of Medicine, a unique and outstanding testimony to internationalism.

The governments of the rich countries should feel ashamed, because while they export bombs and troops, Cuba, a small country, sends doctors and nurses to save lives in other nations.

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