More than 75 people attended a public meeting in South Surrey hosted by the Centre for Socialist Education to discuss the political and financial issues affecting Canadians and countries around the world.
Miguel Figueroa, leader of the Communist Party of Canada, was the guest speaker for the Nov. 15 event as part of his Canada-wide speaking tour.
During the public meeting, Figueroa touched on a number of issues affecting Metro Vancouver – specifically the Occupy Vancouver movement.
“Part of this tour is to express our solidarity with the Occupy movement. Even though it is spontaneous, it’s important and it’s touched a nerve, revealing the deepening social cleavage and contradictions that are prevalent in Canada, the United States and Europe.”
The meeting, which was held at the Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society, 7566 120A Ave, also included discussion on problems that directly affect residents all over the Lower Mainland.
“There needs to be an improvement in living standards, minimum wage, workers’ rights and pensions,” Figueroa said. “Anyone who has contributed to this economy has a right to security.”
In order to get to that stage, Figueroa said Canada needs to shift the power from big corporations back to regular Canadians by nationalizing banks and oil companies.
“It really has to do with the distribution of wealth and power in society. People are feeling more and more disempowered,” Figueroa said. “Decisions are not made at the ballot box anymore.
According to Figueroa, many of the people who attended the event were from mixed backgrounds and included a younger demographic – a group he said has been hit hard by the global shift in money and power.
“Young people everywhere have the most at stake – their whole future. The cost of education has gone through the roof and the prospect of young people being able to own a home and have a family is more and more remote,” Figueroa said.
“Young people are fighting for a future.”
Figureroa also spoke in North Vancouver and Vancouver earlier in the week.