September 22, 2008

Register your highschool: Student Vote

Register your highschool into student vote! This is an excellant way
to get into the debate and raise issues in your high school like jobs,
tuition fees, the war in Afghanistan which won't get talked about

Elections Canada and Student Vote
Partner to Engage Young Canadians in the Electoral Process

OTTAWA, Tuesday, September 16, 2008 — Marc Mayrand, the Chief
Electoral Officer of Canada, and Taylor Gunn, Chief Election Officer
of Student Vote, announced today that Elections Canada and Student
Vote are once again working together to engage young Canadians in the
federal electoral process.

Building on the success of previous projects, including for the 2004
and 2006 federal elections, Student Vote helps students who have not
yet reached voting age to learn about Canada's democracy, and lets
them cast practice ballots on official candidates running in the
federal election. Students in elementary and secondary schools across
Canada will vote in parallel elections for candidates in their
schools' electoral districts and act out roles as deputy returning
officers and poll clerks.

"Research has shown that voting habits are established early in life,"
said Mr. Mayrand. "This initiative offers young people a chance to
experience the electoral process first-hand and to better understand
the importance of participating in the democratic life of their
country. Elections Canada is proud to be a partner with Student Vote."

Participating schools will receive free, non-partisan educational
resources, including maps of electoral districts, posters,
instructional guides and a campaign DVD. Elections Canada will also
provide ballot boxes and voting screens to every participating school.
In addition to studying Canada's democratic processes, students are
encouraged to discuss election issues with their friends and families.

"This is our seventh parallel election, and the response from
students, teachers and parents has been phenomenal," said Mr. Gunn.
"More than 1,500 schools registered through our Web site last week � a
record-breaking tally for the start of the campaign. It is a privilege
to receive the support of Elections Canada and our team looks forward
to helping teachers make the best learning experience out of this

Participating students will be responsible for tabulating and
reporting the voting results for their respective schools. National
and regional results are shared with media after the close of polls on
election night (October 14); regional daily newspapers publish the
results on the following day.

Schools are invited to register for this free program through the
Student Vote Web site at or by calling toll-free at


The Young Communist League (Alberta) has launched a blog:

Check it out --

September 18, 2008

Campaign for Peace in Federal Election!

Update from the Canadian Peace Alliance

Federal election materials are ready to be distributed. Please contact
the CPA at or 416-588-5555 to order election postcards. We
do ask for a donation to help cover the costs of the printing and
distribution. If you have already called and requested materials
please resend your request. (we had a bit of computer glitch and have
lost a few e-mails). Window signs and postcards are also available for
download from the CPA website at:

October 18 - Pan Canadian Day of Action Against the War in Afghanistan

The October 18 day of action will be a great opportunity to let the
newly elected government know that the anti-war movement will continue
to campaign for an immediate end to Canada's participation in the war
in Afghanistan. Events are being planned in cities and towns
throughout the country. Please send any events listings to

The Call to action for the October 18 demonstrations can be found at

Call Stephen Harper and Diane Finley

US Iraq war resister Jeremy Hinzman, his wife Nga Nguyen and their two
children face deportation from Canada to the United States. If
deported, Jeremy faces a court-martial and imprisonment for his
refusal to participate in the illegal and immoral Iraq war.

On July 15th, another US war resister – Robin Long – was deported by
the Harper government to the US where he was sentenced to 15 months in
jail. He also received a dishonourable discharge, the equivalent of a
felony conviction.

Canadians have repeatedly expressed their support for Iraq war
resisters. On June 3rd, a motion was adopted in the House of Commons
in favour of allowing resisters to stay in Canada, and calling on the
federal government to cease deportation proceedings. A recent poll by
Angus Reid found that two-thirds of Canadians support letting US war
resisters stay.


Call Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Immigration Diane
Finley to demand:
• that they stop the deportation of Jeremy Hinzman and his family;
• that they respect the democratic will of Parliament and implement
the War Resisters motion.

Stephen Harper:
Campaign office: 1-403-266-4451
Constituency office: 1-403-253-7990

Diane Finley:
Campaign office: 1-519-429-3382
Constituency office: 1-519-426-3400

September 15, 2008

Election time!

1. YCL in Action - Election
2. What will be coming...
3. End the war in Afghanistan, NOW!


The Federal election is on us! YCL clubs across the country are
mobilizing into campaigns. Already, we are working to register four
YCL candidates who will be running under the banner of the Communist
Party in this election:

Ontario - Drew Garvie
Ontario - Johan Boyden
Quebec - Marianne Breton Fontaine
Quebec - Samie Archambault


The YCL will be circulating a series of statements about what is at
stake this election, our message, and our politics. Stay tuned!


Not in 2009, not in 2011
End the war in Afghanistan, NOW!

Stephen Harper said today that Canadian soldiers will be withdrawn
from Afghanistan by 2011. This contradicts previous statements by the
Harper government that have alluded to another possible extension past
2011. Harper claims that Canadians will have lost the appetite for war
in three years from now. The reality is that Canadians lost the
appetite for war a long time ago. Just weeks after Harper last
extended Canada's mission on March 13, 2008, an Angus Reid poll showed
that 58 per cent of Canadians believed it was the wrong decision.

That sentiment is still growing. A clear majority of Canadians want
the war to end, now – not in three years. At current rates, thousands
more Afghan civilians will be killed, and many more will be detained
and tortured. Nearly 100 Canadian soldiers have been killed in combat
so far. That number could more than double if we wait three more years
to leave Afghanistan.

How many more Afghan detainees will be transferred to torture? How
many more massacres – like the recent air strike at Azizabad – must
Afghan civilians suffer? And how many more Canadian families will bury
their sons and daughters before Stephen Harper stops playing politics
with other people's lives?

Harper's claim to withdraw troops in 2011 is an attempt to stifle
debate about the war during the election campaign. The Conservatives
and the Liberals are worried about the growing death toll of Canadian
troops in Afghanistan, and the growing anger among Canadians. Neither
party wants to take responsibility for sending troops into harm's way,
in a war that we cannot win.

Stephen Harper promised a "fixed date" for federal elections – then
abandoned this commitment at his convenience. How can Canadians
believe his promise of a fixed date to bring our troops home. Harper
has now twice extended the Canadian mission in Afghanistan past
so-called "fixed dates". He has committed to spend a $490 billion on
the military budget over the next 20 years - a huge financial burden
Canadian taxpayers will shoulder long after Harpers "guaranteed"
withdrawal date.

On October 14, cast your ballot for candidates that will end the war
in Afghanistan, and bring the troops home now – not in another three
years. And on October 18, join us in the streets to send the same
message to whichever party forms the government.

We can't afford another three years of war. Tell that to Stephen
Harper: end the war in Afghanistan, and bring the troops home now!



In this issue:



Way to go Durham YCL, who distributed over 200 Peoples Voice newspapers and
Rebel Youth magazines at their Labour Day parade yesterday. Comrades were
able to sell seven $2.00 subscriptions to marchers. They also were asked by
OPSEU Local 311 to cover in People's Voice a struggle they are fighting
about nurses shortages and closing down a mental health hospital.

YCLers in Toronto joined student leaders in staging an action outside a
military recruitment center this weekend. Protesters dropped to the ground
in the hot sun, in front of a recruitment table, shouting "Support our
Troops, Bring them Home!" The demo lasted for about ten minutes until they
were ordered to leave. The campaign "Operation Objection" has released a new
color flyer about counter-recruitment. Write to order some
for your club.

Members of the Central Committee of the YCL met last weekend to discuss the
way forward for the YCL in the current conditions, and with the prospect of
an looming federal election. A full report will follow. After the CC
meeting, seven YCLers from Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec joined in
a week-long Central School organized by the Communist Party. The school
covered Marxist Philosophy, Political Economy, the National Question, and
Strategy and Tactics. Participants had a great week!

Two delegates from the YCL attended the Canadian Network on Cuba convention
on Saturday and Sunday. The convention presented a new approach for the Che
Guevara work brigade, including discussion about the length, prices, and
organization of the brigade. An action report will follow up in October.

YCL BC helped organize a public forum on organizing young workers last week.
Two members of the YCL BC spoke at the forum, which was held by the
Vancouver Labour Council youth committee. A good crowd of young workers
attended and the discussion got out a message about the importance of
organizing the unorganized.


... the count-down is on! It look like the Federal election will be held in
FORTY TWO DAYS! Stay tuned for more information, as the situation



In my last reflection of Tuesday afternoon, August 29, when hurricane Gustav
unexpectedly formed and started to threaten our country on the same day when
our Olympic delegation returned, I wrote: "We are lucky to have a
Revolution! It is a fact that nobody will be neglected…Our strong, forceful
and farsighted Civil Defense protects our people…The growing frequency and
intensity of these natural phenomena show that the climate is changing due
to the action of man. The current times demand ever increasing dedication,
steadiness and conscience. We don't mind if the opportunists and traitors
also benefit even if they do not make any contribution to the safety and
wellbeing of our people."

I know of the colossal efforts that the Revolution has to make after the
national territory is hit by a hurricane. I could add that Cuba counts with
keen and persevering scientists such as José Rubiera.

Hundreds of millions of working hours are lost in a brief period of time
when the wind gusts beat directly against economic and social centers in
broad areas of the national territory. Endless rains accompany these
natural phenomena. Rivers overflow and sweep away with anything they find
in their path and flood extensive areas. Thousands of facilities that
produce vegetables, milk, eggs, poultry meat and pork, as well as
sophisticated irrigation systems, are seriously damaged; tens of thousands
of hectares of sugarcane, food grains, cereals and fruit trees ready for
harvest are lost; schools, polyclinics, entertainment and cultural centers,
private housing, roofs, factories, warehouses, highways and bridges are all
damaged by the winds and the rain. This time those winds and rains affected
all provinces in a greater or lesser degree, since the hurricane made its
way through the seas nearby the southern part of the country and moved
across the westernmost province. Its eye's radius was 30 kilometers in
length, and strong winds blew over a diameter of more than 450 kilometers.

Nothing is as devastating as the damage and destruction left behind by a
hurricane. Hundreds of thousands of compatriots mobilize and work very hard
during the passing of the hurricane and afterwards during the recovery
stage. Reserves are reduced or depleted. Today, more than ever, the
damages caused on food supplies are costly and significant. But this is our
country; this is our rightful place in this planet, and we have to develop
and defend it.

The task we have ahead requires time and expertise. The true Cuba and its
noble people, which have been ready to share with others its knowledge and
even part of its resources including its own blood, were not built
overnight. That is why it has been an invincible adversary in confronting
the powerful empire that has tried all of its weapons against our country.

But there is hardly any information to the world about Cuba's merits and its
extraordinary struggle.

Two days ago, on Friday 29, none of the eleven cables published by the
international press on Cuba referred to the hurricane that was approaching
our island or the intensive efforts made by our Civil Defense, with the
generous support of millions of Cuban families led by a courageous political

One of the cables published by the German news agency DPA read:

"Popular Cuban Actor Arrives in Miami: 'I left because I grew tired.'"

Then it adds that a well-known Cuban television actor, Yamil Jaled, had left
Cuba for Miami to reunite with his Cuban American wife, according to a local

It also adds that Jaled featured in very popular TV series, theatre plays
and movies, including some blockbusters produced in France and Italy. Jaled
graduated as a performing actor at the Highest Art Institute (ISA) in 1997
and started to work as a professional actor in the Rita Montaner theatre
group, but one year later he started to work in television.

Afterwards the cable goes on to explain that he is 31 years old and
profusely describes his artistic qualities and his triumphant journey
through television, thus echoing a Yankee newspaper destined to launch a
media warfare and campaigns against Cuba. We, Cubans, could add: What
patriot! What democratic! What brilliant example is this prototype that they
presenting to us! This is the way in which they disseminate throughout the
world information about a guy far less known and important than hurricane

They want to turn him into a sacred cow. The deepest convictions, which
have successfully resisted the trials of time and the upheavals of life, can
not be acquired on a single day. Before that, it is necessary to surmount
many trends that we all bear in our inner self.

I do not hate other human beings, but I hate vanity, egocentricity,
selfishness, arrogance, smugness, the absence of ethics and other tendencies
human beings are born with. Only education and the example set by those who
excel in their battle to be better, will succeed and influence all of us. It
is necessary to make a minimal philosophical approach on the need to be

There are sacred cows who intend to put our Five Heroes, who were brutally
separated from their homeland and their closest relatives, on a level with
the mercenaries who have been justly punished for committing treachery and
were never submitted to personal and inhuman outrage.

What I explain in this reflection reaffirms one conviction that I would like
to convey to my compatriots, that only the just ideas defended with courage,
dignity and firmness will prevail.

Fidel Castro Ruz

August 31, 2008

7:32 p.m.