By Joe Grogan/Retired OPSEU Member
Instead of accepting what the politicians and their corporate backers are promoting, let us dedicate ourselves to a more humanistic and positive agenda. Let us value each other for what we are, rather than what we can produce for profit.
Let us value human life and see people not as commodities – warehoused in for-profit retirement homes, as one such horrible example in an Ontario retirement facility where 52 seniors died during the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s put resources into protecting human life, not lining the profits of wealthy employers.
Let’s honour the rights of our Indigenous Peoples and promote their need for safe drinking water and proper housing and learn from what happened at Grassy Narrows in Northern Ontario – a disgraceful example of neglect and government inaction resulting in a tragedy produced by corporate greed in the 1970s.
Let’s remember the destructive consequences that our economic and political system has had on the environment, the results of which have been catastrophic. Let us not ignore scientific research which has proven that we are changing the climate to such an extent that we may no longer have a habitable planet to live on.
Let’s establish controls over our financial institutions that wish to use the digital revolution to enhance its hold over the lives of millions of people by encouraging us to buy more consumer products we do not need, while increasing our dependence on debit and credit cards as we continue our march towards a cashless society. Let us reflect on what this means for employment.
Let’s respect the dedication and contribution of all workers and push for working conditions that promote health and safety as well as fair financial compensation based on collective bargaining.
Let’s never forget the value of our unions. Let’s fight alongside them to achieve the social change we want to see, rather than sit back and promote the status quo.
“What we desire for ourselves, we also desire for others,” J. S. Woodsworth, Socialist Political Advocate and Co-Founder, C.C.F. (Co-operative, Commonwealth Federation-Calgary, 1932)