Art by Yousef Amairi

Art by Yousef Amairi
the struggle continues

April 10, 2016

Andrew Taylor brief Autobiog: Minto Candidate - Communist Party of Canada - Manitoba

Andrew Taylor

Minto - Communist Party of Canada - Manitoba

Age: 60
I was raised in a working-class Newfoundlander, Scottish family in south-eastern Ontario. My Scottish granny had been a Suffragette in Scotland, as well as in Brantford and Toronto Canada when she arrived after the First World War. In high school I was involved in social issues of the community and in Gr. 13 co-authored a Social history of my town 1890-1930. My parents sponsored a Vietnam war evader when I was a teen, and this impressed upon me the reality of America's succession of dirty wars in small nations, and the need to fight for World peace. While I was a grad student at McGill, I read Historical Theology and Early Modern Thought, and was attracted by Marxism. This was the time of the global Peace Movement and the struggle against South Africa's Apartheid regime. I became involved in these solidarity movements including the Montreal African National Congress (ANC) formation group. I took a year off a couple times during university to earn money and participated in a successful union membership drive in my workplace. IN 1987 I applied for membership in the Communist Party in Montreal. I have since taught over the years at McGill, Queen's, Bluffton University, Ohio Northern University, as well as at the University of Winnipeg.

Why did you decide to run in this election?

Manitoba is facing a crisis part of the general global economic crisis. Since the 1970's neoliberalism has been clawing back chunks of the ordinary worker's paycheque and social benefits. We see this clearly in Minto where the Aboriginal people are struggling with generations of institutionalised racism. Radical times of crisis require radical answers. My family now includes my elderly mother who requires Home Care. Although there are some modest policy bandaids by the NDP government, I don't trust any of the mainline parties to maintain a commitment to the People's Health. Brian Sinclair's death by neglect is a symptom of a profoundly racist dysfunctional society. We have to take real measures of popular education and affirmative action to raise awareness of the roots of the Aboriginal people's cause, and on the national level to recognise the dignity of the Aboriginal nations within Confederation. I am concerned by the student loans of my own children and the burden of unsupportable debt that will confront them as they enter the workforce. The Communist Party is the only party that is fighting to eliminate tuition fees, to create Full Employment, to end poverty and struggle for socialism.

Why did you choose this party?

The other parties, including the NDP, subordinate the interests of the workers to the Corporations, the super-rich. The "mainstream" parties act as management committees for Capital. This is bad politics for humans and nature. The Communist Party fights for the ordinary citizen, the worker. We struggle against special interests, against the 1 per cent and corruption. We will never give up the fight for a system that puts people's needs before corporate greed- for socialism.

What qualities do you admire most about your party leader?

Darrell Rankin, like our other CP leadership members, has worked tirelessly not for place or profit, but for the interests of the working class. Everyone who knows him will realise this is no exaggeration.

What are the biggest issues facing your riding?

The minimum wage in Manitoba is $11/hour, but in today's money indexed to the cost of living, the minimum wage is $1.25 lower than in 1976. We are not going forward, we are going backward. Inability to afford a monthly rent: If an individual citizen is earning $11/hour they cannot afford to live independently. Grown children in their 20's and 30's live with aging parents, putting pressure on the middle aged to scramble for more cash. Many residents of Minto live in even worse conditions, forced by poverty into living situations without privacy or security. The threat of sexual violence against women is increased in such housing conditions. The Communist Party has a comprehensive program with real solutions to tackle poverty and unemployment,. Child and Family Services is not trusted by the Aboriginal citizens of Minto. The actions of CFS in apprehending children are disproportionately found within Aboriginal families. This crisis must stop.

Why are you the best candidate representing your riding?

I am not a careerist or a career politician. I have worked over the years as everything from a carpenter's assistant and orderly before university days, to a university lecturer at Mcgill and Queen's. I have a deep commitment to public service which I have demonstrated in volunteering in Ontario and Winnipeg in palliative care to the dying, in hospital visiting, and volunteering with aphasia patients at St-Boniface Hospital.

If elected what would be the first thing you would do?

The first thing I will do is thank the electorate and convene a public constituency meeting bringing in activists from our communities on the housing crisis and the public health. I will actively consult my constituents from day one, not representing Big business interests but putting forward the people's needs.

Tell us something about yourself that voters may find surprising.

I love to sing: old Gospel songs, labour, protest and blues songs, and old-school hymns!

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