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Ideas for a ecosocialist strategy for the Canadian State Changing from revolutionary socialist to revolutionary ecosocialist – the challenge Susan Caldwell,

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Presentation on theme: "Ideas for a ecosocialist strategy for the Canadian State Changing from revolutionary socialist to revolutionary ecosocialist – the challenge Susan Caldwell,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ideas for a ecosocialist strategy for the Canadian State Changing from revolutionary socialist to revolutionary ecosocialist – the challenge Susan Caldwell, Gauche socialiste, Québec, Canada


3 Categories I use 1.Canadian state 2.Québec 3.English Canada for the Rest of Canada (RoC) 4.First Nations, Inuit and Métisétis_people_(Canada)

4 Background Canada as a ‘prison house of nations’- specifically Québec and the First Nations (indigenous ‘tribes’) o Federal versus 10 provincial governments (plus 3 territories) o Québec independence most likely challenge to federal state o First nations status is based on treaties between these nations and the British government so relations are controlled by Federal level

5 Basic ecological issues: Canada as an energy superpower and mining economy Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Conservative Party) from Alberta = the Tar Sands Quebec and Hydro-Québec – Hydro-Québec is the largest electricity generator in Canada and the world's largest hydroelectric producer. (ébec)ébec So both have plans for “the North”

6 Population Distribution The North


8 Energy Map of Canada



11 So what’s the problem?

12 Treaty map with First Nations


14 A bit more background Federal Government: stable 2 party system – the Liberals and the Conservatives with a small presence of the social democratic labour party – the New Democratic Party Liberals, Conservatives and NDP all present on provincial level in English Canada Liberals and Parti Québeois the 2 party system of Québec – with small anti-capitalist Québec solidaire party – founded in 2006

15 Québec solidaireébec_solidaireébec_solidaire The party advocates sovereignty for Quebec, environmentalism, feminism, social justice, proportional representation and participatory democracy, pacifism, aboriginal rights, and alter-globalism.[7] The party favours aboriginal rights, immigration, and human dignity, and opposes discrimination including racism and homophobia.[7]sovereignty for Quebecenvironmentalism feminismsocial justiceproportional representationparticipatory democracypacifismaboriginal rightsalter-globalism[7]aboriginal rightsimmigrationhuman dignityracismhomophobia[7] The aim of QS is in part to widen the appeal and organizational structure of the Union des forces progressistes (UFP), and to give a formal political voice to altermondialist movements like Option Citoyenne. As such, QS aims to bring together progressive forces across the broad left wing of the Quebec political spectrum.Union des forces progressistesOption Citoyenne QS presents itself as an alternative to the main three parties in Quebec (the Parti Québécois, the Parti libéral du Québec, and the Coalition Avenir Québec), saying that the three are different faces of neoliberalism, which QS considers right-wing.[citation needed] QS also holds that its view of an independent Quebec is a completely different project than that of the Parti Québecois. Rather than working for independence for its own sake, QS works for an internationalist independence - an independence based on principles of social justice. For QS, independence is a means to an end, not an end in itself.[Parti QuébécoisParti libéral du Québec Coalition Avenir Québec neoliberalismright-wingcitation needed

16 Current situation 2011: Last federal Election 2012: Printemps d’erable (Maple spring) student movement in Québec September 2012: Québec elections – Liberals defeated, PQ majority. Qs two MPs November 2012: Idle No More movement

17 2011: Last federal Election The NDP becomes the official opposition - based on the wins in Québec where it went from 1 to 62 MPs - most of them with little or no previous political involvement. Jack Layton died and Thomas Mulcair becomes leader, a man who is actually from the Liberal party, breaking with them on an environment issue.

18 Printemps d’érable Printemps d’erable (Maple spring) Student movement in Quebec reinforcing Quebec nationalism while calling into question the neoliberal agenda of privatising education Call for free education for all through university, implying the continued role of the state as a service provider for the citizens.


20 Idle No More KEY issue is EQUALITY, not assimulation The Idle No More movement started in November 2012 in response to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s introduction of Omnibus Budget Bill C-45 (which, among other things, gutted the Navigable Waters Protection Act) as well as other legislation detrimental to First Nations. Organizers held small rallies and a number of teach-ins throughout November to prepare for a National Day of Action on Amnesty International’s Human Rights Day, December 10. Those protests dovetailed with protests already happening in British Columbia over the Northern Gateway and Pacific Trails pipelines.


22 Idle No More

23 Idle No More

24 Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence announced a hunger strike to demand that Harper and the Governor General meet to discuss treaty rights of indigenous peoples. The Assembly of First Nations then issued an open letter calling for a meeting to discuss the Chief’s demands. However, by that time, Idle No More had ballooned as a grassroots movement with its own leaders, independent of the Assembly of First Nations.


26 Two initial responses Peoples Social Forum for 2014 Gauche socialiste with other currents launch a an ecosocialist network within Quebec solidaire.


28 The Peoples Social Forum Components include radicals from both English Canada and Quebec but the main political focus is against Harper Issue of the 'useful vote' in Ontario in the last elections where progressives were calling on a vote for the Liberals as the only way to 'defeat Harper'. While the Port Elgin Coalition and the PowerShift regroupment (mostly in English Canada) clearly are more radical and many are some form of anti-capitalist, it is still likely that the central project is just to 'defeat Harper' with all the limitations that implies. (Like the defeat of Sarkozy by Hollande in France where he is now acting as an old- fashioned imperialist). Port Elgin Coalition PowerShift All this emphasizes the importance of the Peoples Social Forum and the possibility of developing a more clearly 'ecosocialist = anti-capitalist and environmental protection political perspective. No single organisational outcome, equivalent of Quebec solidaire in Quebec, of this project in English Canada. Issue of 'build a left in the NDP?


30 Gauche socialiste (FI section) initiated and is part of the ecosocialist current regroupment within Qs which is an attempt to attract the activists from the Printemps d’érable and emphasize the ‘party of the street’ activism within Quebec solidaire

31 One last map

32 Women Provincial Premiers in Canada March 2013 Pauline Marois Kathy Dunderdale Eva Aariak Christy Clark Alison Redford Kathleen Wynne Liberal

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