The 38th Central Convention of our Party follows a major political upheaval in the recent federal election, and a new escalation of the global economic crisis which emerged in 2007-08. Initially, the Canadian economy was buffered to some degree by exports of fossil fuels and other natural resources, and because Canada’s megabanks were somewhat less exposed to the collapse in value of leveraged (re-packaged) debt. Now, the dramatic collapse in energy prices and the Canadian dollar are causing new job losses and rapid increases in the cost of imported products. The working class is paying a heavy cost for the turmoil of the capitalist system.
As the economic crisis continues, more progressive people are drawing partisan conclusions and deciding they need to take action, get organized and involve themselves in resistance. Some are becoming active in their unions and mass organizations. The most advanced are being won to the struggle for socialism, and some are joining our ranks.
The urgent question today is to forge a plan of united class action linking the struggle for reforms with the revolutionary struggle for socialism.
Neither social reformism nor ultra-leftism can forge such a way forward. Socialist theory and practice will not arise spontaneously. Only the work of the Communist Party, as our programme says, Afuses scientific socialism with the class struggle and by so doing spreads political and socialist consciousness among the workers B an awareness of their historic mission as a class,@ to lead the peoples of Canada from capitalism to socialism and ultimately communism.
Keynote address delivered by Elizabeth Rowley, leader of the Communist Party of Canada at the occasion of the Parties 38th Central Convention in Toronto.
Comrade Chair and Comrades:
We open this convention with a warm welcome to all of the Delegates and Alternates who have traveled from all over Canada to attend this 38th Convention of our Party, which takes place just one week short of the 95th anniversary of our Party’s birth on May 28, 1921.