Darrell Rankin, Communist — Winnipeg Centre

Manitoba Communist Leader Darrell Rankin hopes to increase his party's proportion of the popular vote this election.

'I want to be in a position to help mobilize people for their rights, improve conditions for workers'

Manitoba Communist Party Leader Darrell Rankin wants to improve his party's showing in the 2015 federal election. (Courtesy Darrell Rankin)

Why do you want the job?

I want to be in a position to help mobilize people for their rights, improve conditions for workers and try to help everyone in need.

What is the biggest issue for the country, and in your riding?

In Winnipeg Centre the biggest issues are poverty, racism and a pro-war government.

What would you do with the Senate?

I would scrap the existing Senate and replace it with a house of nations in Canada.

Winnipeg was described as the most racist city in Canada. What would you do to combat racism?

I would include aboriginal people who live on reserves as part of the labour force survey. Secondly, I would implement affirmative action hiring laws. Thirdly, real job creation measures such as a shorter work week.

What role should the federal government play in dealing with climate change?

I want to implement a carbon tax and legislated reductions in carbon for industries that need it.

If there was one government policy you think is done better in another country, what is it?

I would say it's curbing the power of corporations such as in Cuba, for example. Their efforts to eliminate the power of corporations is done well.

Under what circumstances is deficit spending a good choice?

It's too narrow a framework to discuss the economy, but we're not wedded to the idea of balancing the budget.

It is important in the long term to balance the budget, but it depends who pays for the budget. Some people aren't paying their fair share, particularly the wealthy and the corporations.

What do you believe is the single most effective way to fight crime?

I think full employment economy, where everyone receives according to need.

What should be done about homegrown terrorism?

We shouldn't panic. We shouldn't be stampeded into restricting everybody's rights.

If there were a gay pride parade in your riding, would you go? Why or why not?

I would go because it's a human rights issue. I'm against discrimination of any kind.

Have either you or your family had a frustrating experience with the health-care system, and what would you do to fix the problem?

A lot of people are experiencing long waits in emergency rooms. The answer is more physicians, more funding for medicare.

What would you do to get more people to vote?

I've been calling for a paid holiday on election day. If you don't vote, the wealthy and the corporations are going to continue to hold sway over politics in Canada.

What's a better use of federal dollars: fixing roads or building rapid transit infrastructure?

There needs to be a proper balance. It's not either or, but I think it's important to prioritize rapid transit between these two issues.

Would you support legalizing a small amount of marijuana? Have you ever tried it?

No one should be asked if they've used, or committed illegal activities, unless they've been charged. It's not a fair question for any candidate to be asked.

Yes, I'm in favour of decriminalization of possession of marijuana. 

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