CPC Central Convention
Check out the latest documents of the Communist Party of Canada's Central Convention, held in Toronto in February 2010. Includes the Keynote Address by Miguel Figueroa, the main political resolution, plan of work and more!
Members of the newly expanded provincial committee, comrades,
The outgoing provincial executive wishes to welcome you to the committee at a time when there is an urgent need for a strong and dedicated leadership in the province of Ontario. We are confident that the incoming members of the committee will provide this. We would also like to thank Jeff T. and Shone B. for their work on this committee. Jeff who has been on the committee since 2008 and Shone who has been on the committee since 2004. We will continue to build on these comrades’ past hard work.
This meeting is being convened at a time when our class and the youth are being attacked and our rights and past gains rolled back, not least here in Ontario. While the recent economic crisis has led many young people to understand that capitalism is not a humane, sustainable or realistic long-term economic system, the ruling class has attempted to use the crisis to their advantage. In the initial stages of the economic crisis they denied its existence. Now they say we’re on the road to recovery, but contradicting themselves they also say it is time for the state to tighten its belt and reduce essential and already inadequate social spending. The hypocrisy of the "jobless recovery” combined with their insistence that the working-class must bear the burden is what young workers and students in Ontario must immediately fight, in our workplaces, on our campuses and in our communities.
We are coming into a very intense year of struggle for the youth in Ontario, which is why we decided to expand the committee. The federal Conservative government's hold on power is unstable, and its budget will be a direct assault on the vast majority of Canadians. The Harper government continues to support imperialist occupations and wars in Palestine, Haiti and Afghanistan. Now Afghan families are being displaced and vaporised during a major offensive at the same time as the so-called “Olympic truce.” The sooner the Tories are out of office the better.
Provincially the McGuinty government is floating dangerous ideas like "Dalton Days" and continues to erode our socialized medical care system through the backdoor through P3’s and a manufactured crisis of underfunding. Ontario tuition is now the highest in Canada and will increase again this year. The pitiful increase in the minimum wage still leaves many young workers under the poverty line, even if they are lucky enough to get fulltime hours. This year in June, Toronto, like Vancouver over the past month, will be turned into a police and military occupied city while the capitalists descend for the G20. The provincial legislature officially condemned Israeli Apartheid Week, which is an attempt to brand anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist views as “hate speech” and anti-semitism. The municipal elections coming up in the fall are another arena where this committee can, working with the Ontario Committee of the Communist Party of Canada, present real alternatives to young workers and students, who do not see their interests reflected in any of the big parties or elected officials.
We need to help bring the youth and student movement onto the front lines of the labour movement with several important strikes courageously being fought in Ontario such as the strike of Inco workers in Sudbury and Port Colbourne. Federally, Employment Insurance is inaccessible to the vast majority of workers our age. The YCL-O has started to become more active in workers’ struggles; doing strike support during the drive-test strike, at supporting the Inco workers in Port Colbourne, hosting the Hamilton “young workers’ conference” and the beginnings of an unemployed workers union. We will continue to build our efforts in this area of struggle.
On campuses we have seen an increasingly active right-wing, which receives support from its puppeteers in the Conservative Party. These tiny-Tories have led an attack on progressive movements on campus such as looking to infiltrate and defund Public Interest Research Groups, forming alliances with Zionists to stamp out free speech around Palestinian rights and most recently the dangerous move to defederate from the Canadian Federation of Students, which is the only mass progressive student organization which unites student unions from across English-speaking Canada. The young worker and struggles are part of the same parcel and are all tied into the people's struggle in Ontario. All members of the YCL, be they young workers or students, should be concerned with all struggles that concern our class.
The YCL also has other important things on its agenda that will help to expand, strengthen and unify the league. This May delegates from across Canada will come together for the YCL’s convention where we will have a vigorous debate on our analysis of the international and cross-Canada situation, set the plan of action for the next few years and elect our leadership. The Convention is the highest decision making body in the league, and it is this committee’s responsibility to ensure that the necessary fundraising is carried out by the clubs, that the discussion documents are thoroughly circulated and reviewed by clubs and allies, that submissions are solicited from Ontario and that Toronto is a successful host for the convention. We also need to grapple with the discussion documents ourselves as a committee, and there will be a proposal coming from the outgoing executive on how to best do this.
Also on the not so distant horizon is the World Festival of Youth and Students coming up in December 2010 in South Africa. Tens of thousands of progressive and anti-imperialist youth from around the world will be in a country which saw one of the most brutal, racist, fascist regimes and one of the most courageous and dynamic resistance movements of the 20th century. We need to work with our friends and allies, like the Canadian Federation of Students, the Student Christian Movement, youth from the Canadian Postal Workers, Six Nations and other Aboriginal youth, as well as anti-war activists, and other student and young worker militants in Haiti and Palestine solidarity, culture and activist music, progressive artists to make a delegation from Ontario that is part of a cross-Canada delegation, and truly reflective of the youth and student movement in this province. While fundraising for this seems like a daunting task, we will not be alone. Building for the youth festival is a unique opportunity that will help to build the League across Ontario. We will forge new ties with local allies, renew the YCL’s commitment to internationalism, popularize WFDY and strengthen connections with sister organizations within WFDY.
The YCL is a small organization with big ideas that strike a chord with the victims of capitalist savagery and have a disproportionate positive impact on the youth and student's struggles. As the Ontario YCL provincial leadership it is our job to coordinate this involvement, unite the clubs, formulate a province-wide fightback and help to grow the League, so that the League as a whole can provide leadership to youth and student struggles.
United with the Communist Party of Ontario, we have demands that we bring to the youth movement. Demands like the $16 minimum wage; the reduction then elimination of tuition fees; public, quality, accessible childcare; nationalization of energy; and a Canadian foreign policy based on peace and disarmament. People are not going to hear very many of these ideas outside of the YCL. It is up to us to put forward these demands so that the youth can use them as a weapon against the capitalists and their government, similarly we support the Communist Party in bringing these ideas to the working class of Ontario.
We look forward to the incoming committee’s work with these goals in mind and hope to have a discussion on this report in order to kick off the meeting.
Let history remember the real legacy of the 2010 Games! No Olympics on stolen native land! Resist the 2010 corporate circus!
Statement issued jointly by the YCL-LJC CEC and BC Provincial Committee
The YCL-LJC re-affirms its opposition to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games being held in Vancouver and Whistler starting this February, and expresses solidarity with the cross-Canada youth resistance to the Games. The Games are a massive party for the wealthy on the backs of the poor. They should be opposed by all progressive youth and students.
The 2010 Olympics are not just a bad decision by a bad government. They are part of the continued corporate offensive, led by the BC Gordon Campbell’s Liberal government on behalf of the capitalist class, against the working class, the youth, and the students. The Harper Conservatives use of the Olympics as an excuse to prorogue federal parliament further exposes this corporate circus.
These governments have no mandate to host a sports event claiming to be about peace and friendship. The Harper Conservatives are at war in Afghanistan. The preparations for the Games have left thousands of BC resident’s homeless and many criminalized by various bylaws and Olympic "security." The goal is to untruthful present Canada as a society without poverty. To the contrary, working class families, including unionized workers, are under attack.
Bill 21 forced striking Paramedics back to work without a negotiated collective agreement, attempting to legislate "labour peace" before the Olympics. Many Olympic projects are P3 privatization scandals. Workers must now pay billions of dollars for money wasted on the Games while public services suffer further cuts. The Games are too expensive for most workers to even attend.
The tokenism in Olympic advertising (such as the Inuit inuksuk mascot) fails to obscure the anti-First Nations nature of the Games. The Games will be held on unsurrendered Aboriginal land, where no Treaties have been signed. Olympic security costs are reportedly over $1 billion, while one in two off-reserve Aboriginal children live in poverty. Aboriginal nations, including First Nations and the Métis people, face a racist colonial legacy, including the highest rates of poverty and unemployment in British Columbia, not addressed by the Games.
While global warming is causing international alarm, the Olympics have destroyed forests, fish and wildlife habitats. The Eagle Ridge Bluffs was ruined for an unnecessary highway. We salute those who opposed this injustice, particularly sister Harriet Nahannee who died from pneumonia caught while unjustly jailed for protesting.
Any opposition to the Olympics is being met with harassment, intimidation, threats of violence and arrests. The Vancouver/Whistler area has been transformed into a militarized police zone, including 4,000 US and Canadian troops, to suspend the people’s democratic rights to protest, freedom of speech, expression, and association.
The Olympic Games have transferred billions of dollars from the working people of BC to corporate coffers. The immense public debt generated by the Olympics represents money that should have been spent on people’s needs, like job creation, more accessible education, housing, health care, libraries, child care, and affordable transit.
The YCL-LJC calls for participation in demonstrations being planned in the lead up to, and during the Olympic Games. Provincial infrastructure development must honour aboriginal nation’s right to sovereignty and self-determination. We demand that recreation, leisure time and a democratic culture including sports is a right – not a privilege. Women’s participation in sports should be encouraged, not excluded. Sports should cherish human qualities of fair-play and cooperation and promote peace, internationalism, solidarity – not militarism, elitism and consumerism. We fight for this better future and call for all like-minded youth to join the struggle!
On January 27th 2010 the Communist Youth Union (KSM) of the Czech Republic was tried again at the Municipality Court of Prague regarding the issue of illegalization of KSM. The Municipality Court of Prague, based on KSM’s extraordinary appeal and decision of the Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic, cancelled the judgment at law from 2008, which rejected the administrative protest delivered by the KSM against the decision of the Ministry of Interior of Czech Republic on the dissolution of the KSM. This is very important decision for KSM, because it legalises KSM again. KSM now can again work openly as legal organisation.The official reason of the illegalization of the KSM by Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic in 2007 was declared a programmatic goal of the KSM is to replace private ownership of means of production with a collective ownership of means of production. Also the reason for the dissolution of KSM was the convincement of the young people about the necessity to struggle for another society not based on the capitalist principles.
This step of the Ministry of Interior caused a fundamental disagreement of the majority of the Czech people. The petition supporting the KSM has been signed by thousands of the citizens of the Czech Republic so far. Against the decision of the Ministry of Interior protested, for example, also the organisations of the former fighters against fascism and guerrilla resistance movement members. The petition of the civic associations has come out from an initiative of the student activists that denounce the steps of the Ministry of Interior against KSM. The support for KSM has been expressed also by a number of the Czech political parties. Thanks to initiative of the MPs of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM) proceedings of the Ministry of Interior were discussed in a Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic.
The initiative of the Ministry of Interior was reflected with a big consideration also abroad. Hundreds of the youth, student and trade organisations have expressed their protests. Thousands of the people addressed their indignation to the Ministry of Interior and embassies of the Czech Republic abroad, among others a number of members of national parliaments, European parliament, university professors, and former fighters against fascism. A number of protest activities took place in front of the embassies of the Czech Republic in a number of countries.
The judgment of the Municipality Court of Prague on KSM’s means legalisation of the KSM. It is very important victory in the struggle against anticommunism and anti-democratic development in the Czech Republic.
The World Federation of Democratic Youth has geared itself to roll out the programme of action for the year 2010. As a start, the General Council Meeting is scheduled to take place in the city of Beirut, Lebanon from 5-8 February 2010.
The International Consultative Meeting will also convene simultaneously to come up with the final decision of the host for the much awaited 17th World Festival of Youth and Students.
It is important to reassure all anti-imperialist forces to unite in support of the momentum and there are also events taking place within your regions as way of reigniting the flames of the festival movement. This seeks to further strengthen our struggle through creating new possibilities and opportunities of the youth to vigorously fight and denounce imperialism, neocolonialism, illegal occupations and all forms of threats imposed to the world by the so called militarily powerful nations.
We will be rolling up our sleeves and we will get back to the basics and united we will defeat imperialism.
REPORT TO THE YCL-LJC CENTRAL COMMITTEE BY J. BOYDEN, G.S.
Members of the Central Committee, comrades,
We’d like to begin by warmly welcoming everyone to Toronto, a city with a long militant working class history!
Our meeting comes a few days from Labour Day. Around the world, militants – trade unionists, socialists, communists, and other progressives – mark May 1st as the workers day, commemorating the 1886 massacre of workers fighting in Chicago for the eight hour day. But Labour Day’s history, goes back to struggles over a decade before – 1872 battle for the nine hour work day.
Since March of that year, a youthful local of the printers union had been on strike, part of the Nine Hours Movement. Trade unions were still illegal in Canada. While laws against "criminal conspiracy" to disrupt trade had already been abolished in Britain, there were still on the books here. When the printers called for strike support, police arrested 24 union leaders.
In response, the people rose up – the first mass workers protests in Canada were organized with 10,000 protesting in the streets of Toronto. Despite more than 160 Toronto employers uniting under George Brown’s leadership to denounce the workers unity, the Canadian Parliament passed the Trade Union Act legalizing unions on June 14th the following year.
The striking workers published a magazine. It is noteworthy that in the same year, they published an except on the length of the working day from a book that had yet to be published in English translation: Karl Marx’s Capital. So much for the claim that Marxism is foreign to working people in Canada.
THE CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE AND THE WORK OF THE YCL-LJC
REPORT TO YCL-LJC CENTRAL COMMITTEE, J. BOYDEN GENERAL SEC.
Our March Central Convention’s political report noted that “The most urgent challenge facing our League is to help mobilize and strengthen resistance on the broadest possible basis, and forge together a united combative fight back of youth and students, together with the working class and the people, against the current offensive of the ruling class and its governments, beginning with the Harper Tories.”
This is still very true today – more true.
This meeting comes at time when, as an entire League, we really need to get down, get our hands dirty, and get to work contributing in the actual, living, dynamic struggles of young people across Canada today – above all, fighting to get our troops out of Afghanistan, and booting out the dangerous Harper Conservatives.
The World Federation of Democratic Youth strongly condemns the abduction of Noriel Rodriguez in Cagayan by the suspected extra-orbiter elements of the deceitful Arroyo regime. We think it is severe attack against the freedom of progressive individual that he gets for his decent opinion for justice, equity and people’s welfare.
The whereabouts of Mr. Norial is not yet confirmed since a week. According to the ANAKBAYAN confirmation a gang of four armed men in civilian clothes abducted him on 7th of September, 2009 are the suspected of Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army stationed at San Jose, Gonzalo. We demand the government in our strongest term the immediate release of Mr. Noriel and to bear the accountability to punish the culprits behind this atrocity.
We strongly denounce such extra judicial act of the regime that flagrantly violates the human rights and it own law. We appeal to all youth and student organizations around the globe to support the cause raised by our member organization ANAKBAYAN, Philippines by extending the solidarity campaign for immediate release of Mr. Noriel.
Democratic rights for Bahraini students and youth!
Last week witnessed a sad moment for the Bahraini youth and students as the University of Bahrain took an aggressive decision against a student activist Noor Hussain, member of Shabeeba Society of Bahrain, our member organization of WFDY.Comrade Noor Hussain was leading the Student List inside the university and working for the rights of the students for public free education. Continuous Harassments from the administration lead to escalating confrontation that resulted in the expulsion of comrade Noor from her course of study and considering her failing in her classes.
Once again we witness an aggression against the basic rights of public action and student activism in a country that has declared previously that it guarantees the rights of expression of its entire people since the reconciliation in the mid nineties. This aggressive decision is a critical drawback in the countries record and is one more form of oppression and exploitation of the Bahraini people. We call the University of Bahrain to immediately restore the rights of comrade Noor and letting her back successfully to her classes.
We also call the authorities in Bahrain to take their responsibilities in guaranteeing the basic democratic rights of their youth and students.
WFDY asks all its member organizations to express their solidarity with the democratic rights in Bahrain and around the world
Solidarity towards the Jordanian communists!
In the month of Ramadan, celebrated now by Muslims around the world, the clerics of several mosques in Jordan oriented their speeches against communism and against the struggles of our comrades in Jordan. A campaign of hatred and illusion was launched by the clerics against the secular and democratic forces in Jordan, particularly the communists there in an organized aggression.
The role of the authorities remains suspicious especially that it prevents the clerics from saying any political comment when it comes to criticizing the government policies and loyal parties, while it remains silent despite strong statements and calls of division, sectarian intolerance and hatred against the progressive forces.
WFDY expresses its solidarity with the democratic movement in Jordan and with the Jordanian communists who face now an aggression to destroy their image as a progressive and democratic secular party struggling for the interests of all the Jordanian people.
WFDY calls the Jordanian government to take action and prevent the clerics from interfering in politics, particularly stopping the waves of aggression and hatred against the democratic movement.
WFDY asks its members to show support and condemn the sectarian practices against the democratic movement in Jordan and the Arab world, and also condemn the suspicious silence of the Jordanian government towards those attacks.
On the occasion of Labour Day the Young Communist League of Canada greets the young workers with solidarity and militancy. Canada is one of the few countries in the world that does not celebrate the workers holiday on May 1, but every holiday we have fought for and deserve.
On Labour Day 2009 we view the situation of the young workers as very dire. Across our country minimum wages are poverty wages, youth unemployment is the highest since figures began to be recorded, tuition is on the rise, and social services and union contracts are under attack. This is taking place in the context of the sellout of our jobs and our countries sovereignty through de-industrialization, free trade pacts, and deep integration with the United States.
All of this is part of the offensive of capital aimed at making the working people, including young workers, pay for the deepening global economic crisis that they created. This economic crash, which is the worst of its kind since the Great Depression of the 1930’s, is merely a symptom of a system in crisis.
Today the ruling class and its governments and political parties in Canada and around the world are scrambling to find new ways to patch up their crisis ridden system. This Labour Day, while we celebrate the struggles and the victories of Canada’s working class movement, we should do so with a consciousness of the need to continue that movement in a united and militant way today.
Together, the working class, youth, and students, could defeat the anti-worker Harper Tories. Together, we could put an end to this capitalist system and to the exploitation, poverty and misery that is breeds.
We won’t pay for their crisis! Let’s unite a fight back!