Niki Ashton represents the electoral district of Churchill in Manitoba in the Canadian parliament
What happens in our communities is no accident.
One year ago today, Vale announced that it was closing down the refinery and smelter in Thompson.
Our community decided to fight back. We joined with the Steelworkers, the City of Thompson and our NDP provincial government to fight for value added jobs in our community.
There have been some significant developments since then. Most notably the provincial government has passed legislation creating a fund from resource revenues for economic development. There may be further developments in the next weeks and months on jobs and economic development arising out of this.
What is clear is that what had happened to our community was not an isolated development. Throughout Canada and throughout the world communities have increasingly been faced with decisions made by corporations that have had devastating impacts on them.
It was also clear that politics was a key element. In Canada, Stephen Harper's Conservatives allowed the foreign takeover of Inco by Vale and then proceeded to give them millions of dollars in low interest loans to take the jobs out of our community.
What was also very obvious is the degree to which this is a part of the growing inequality in Canada and many countries throughout the world. The loss of well paid unionized jobs, the elimination of defined benefit pensions even the erosion of collective bargaining rights itself is a major contributing factor to this inequality.
This is very much the underlying agenda of the Harper Conservatives. They represent the old politics of division. An old politics that sees poverty and inequality as facts of life. They seek to erode rights that have been developed over decades and to dismantle public services.
What we need is a new politics. That rejects this divisive agenda. That sees greater equality as being key to our future. That recognizes the key role that the labour movement plays in improving the quality of life of our citizens. That believes that we need to have greater control over our economic destiny. A new politics that recognizes that political action, both electoral and through social movements is vital.
The need for new politics was one of the key reasons I recently announced that I am running for the leadership of the New Democratic Party of Canada. I believe that now is the time for all progressive Canadians to work together to put forward a vision of new politics for Canada.
I will be taking our story and the story of many communities to Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
It is time to think new politics. It is time to act.
January 28th, 2014
In the State of the Union address tonight, President Obama is going to call for a national minimum wage of $10.10. Then in their response ...
January 21st, 2014
My New Year's Day op-ed in the New York Times seems to have kickstarted a discussion about how to make Obamacare better. I hope you ...
December 18th, 2013
This morning it was announced by the Library of Congress and the National Film Preservation Board that my first film, 'Roger & Me', has been ...
December 14th, 2013
[View the story "Michael Moore Tweets on Eve of Newtown Anniversay" on Storify]
November 9th, 2013
Click here for this week's full schedule for the State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City, Michigan. The day has arrived. For ...
September 10th, 2013
[View the story "John Kerry's Accidental Diplomacy" on Storify]
July 30th, 2013
Today Bradley Manning was convicted on 20 of 22 counts, including violating the Espionage Act, releasing classified information and disobeying orders. That's the bad news. ...
September 11th, 2010
OpenMike 9/11/10 Michael Moore's daily blog I am opposed to the building of the "mosque" two blocks from Ground Zero. I want it built on ...
December 14th, 2010
Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that ...
May 12th, 2011
"The Nazis killed tens of MILLIONS. They got a trial. Why? Because we're not like them. We're Americans. We roll different." – Michael Moore in ...
November 22nd, 2011
This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and ...
September 22nd, 2011
I encourage everyone I know to never travel to Georgia, never buy anything made in Georgia, to never do business in Georgia. I will ask ...
December 16th, 2010
Dear Swedish Government: Hi there -- or as you all say, Hallå! You know, all of us here in the U.S. love your country. Your ...
November 2nd, 2010
This letter contains (almost) no criticisms of how the Democrats have brought this day of reckoning upon themselves. That -- and where to go from ...