Jennifer Moxon, Communist Party candidate for Beaches-East York, answers four questions from Beach Metro Community News regarding this month’s federal election.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Candidates were instructed to keep their answers to approximately 150 words, and some of the responses have been edited to keep them as close as possible to the agreed word count.)
QUESTION 1: Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself and why you decided to run in this election?
I am deeply committed to ensuring we have a voice and come together to be heard in Ottawa. This is why I am a candidate for election in Beaches East York.
I’ve worked fulltime in the social service and housing sector over the past 18 years. This, along with my family’s own struggle with poverty, have given me a window into the growing inequality and heightening poverty in our Canada. Over the past year and a half we have all seen just how relentlessly brutal the pandemic has been for so many people. Particularly for our community’s most marginalized.
During the pandemic, we have watched a serious crisis develop for big business, and capitalism more broadly. Interestingly, right across Toronto inequality and poverty have increased. Particularly for low-income communities, seniors, women and racialized people. Personally I have been working flat out on housing and tenant rights; and with the labour movement for better wages and jobs. I firmly believe that what we need as we emerge from this pandemic is a “people’s recovery” that can place the needs of regular folks before the drive for profits. This is really what we must press for.
QUESTION 2: What will you and your party do to reach justice with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples regarding the past abuses of the Residential School system, and will you commit to fulfilling the calls to action made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015?
The Communist Party of Canada is calling for the end of the continuing genocide of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. We will ensure that reparations are paid for survivors of residential schools. We also are committed to enact each of the recommendations of Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
We will put an end to the government’s wasting of millions of dollars for court cases against residential school survivors. We will immediately reallocate these funds to build the infrastructure required for clean drinking water on the 70 per cent of reserves that are currently under water advisories. We intend to guarantee the rights of Indigenous Peoples over all development on their lands, including resource extraction and pipelines. We will place their rights ahead of profit-making and greed.
We will comply with Canada’s treaty commitments under the UNDRIP (Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People) and ensure good sustainable jobs and safe healthy housing. We will defund the RCMP and abolish CSIS (both of whom are tools of state aggression toward land and water defenders). We will redeploy these budgets to ensure UNDRIP and TRC recommendations are implemented. I firmly believe that to vote Communist is to vote for a new Canadian constitution that will endorse an equal and voluntary partnership among all nations that populate Canada and guarantee their right to self-determination up to and including separation.
QUESTION 3: Given the high numbers of seniors who died in long-term care facilities from COVID-19 and the deplorable conditions many of them were found to be living in by Canadian Forces personnel called in to help, what steps will you and your party be taking to help protect seniors in the future?
As a first step my party will place long term care within an expanded and universal medicare system.
We will put the health and quality of life for our elders first and ensure the end to the private ownership and delivery of senior’s health care. It’s now time terminate the practice of corporations making profits off our seniors by overseeing our end of life. Not only will a public system be better for the people receiving care, it will mean better pay and better jobs for the workers providing the care.
QUESTION 4: What do you think is the issue in your riding that you can have the most impact on if you are elected MP?
I will immediately turn my attention to the issue of housing security in Beaches East York. The rising cost of living is extremely serious for regular folks and rent affordability is a component. The report on evictions by Beaches Metro Community News earlier this year is just the tip of the iceberg in the crisis of housing security in too many areas of our riding.
Of course people’s fundamental human needs like housing, income, jobs and health don’t happen in isolation from each other. This is why Canada’s housing plan must address all of these components concurrently.
Our housing crisis will only begin to be addressed by building one million units of public housing over five years. We must also set federal policy on provincial rent caps and making evictions illegal for folks who are disabled or have lost their jobs. Further, rents must be fixed at no more than 20 per cent of income. A “people’s recovery” plan around housing also means that after paying rent everyone must be able to afford to live. A guaranteed livable income for folks depending on pensions or employment insurance, the elimination of student debt along with universal free daycare are also essential.