Our 38th Central Convention meets at a moment of escalating danger, from increasing war, environmental crisis and economic decay. As the systemic crisis of capitalism continues to deepen, and the effects of the 2008 economic meltdown continue to be felt, imperialist states and organizations are becoming increasingly aggressive. The standoff between nuclear armed states in Ukraine and the expanding war in Syria are powderkegs that threaten disaster. Millions upon millions of people in all parts of the world are being forced into poverty, hunger, homelessness and displacement.
But this is also a moment of rising working class and popular resistance. In all countries, albeit unevenly and with different characteristics, we see increased unity and mobilization. From online campaigns to mass demonstrations, general strikes, and political actions, people are using many different vehicles to advance these struggles. This is also expressed by the rising popularity of so-called democratic socialism, with all its contradictions, which is examined in detail in this report.
In Canada, the electoral defeat of the Conservatives in October 2015 represents a significant victory for the working class, Indigenous peoples, racialized communities, women, LGBTiQ communities, youth and students. While the victory of the Liberal party does not represent a break from the reactionary policies that are characteristic of the Canadian state, through a united, conscious political and organizational struggle we can open new space and possibilities in the fight for peace and disarmament, for immediate action to combat climate change, and for social equity and social justice. These advances can be realized – and can become concrete steps toward more fundamental change.
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.
Labour Day 2016 statement from the Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada
Coming almost a year after the defeat of one of the most dangerously reactionary governments in Canadian history, Labour Day 2016 is an important point for the organized trade union movement to respond to challenges facing the working class in the changed political environment – and most importantly, to mobilize against the continued neoliberal austerity policies of governments and corporations.
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.
Le Partenariat Trans-Pacifique (PTP) a été signé au début de février par 12 pays, dont le Canada. Négocié derrière des portes closes, cet accord garantit les «droits» des investisseurs, au détriment des travailleuses et des travailleurs. Les politicien-e-s et les grands médias affirment que les accords commerciaux « crée des emplois» et stimule les recettes fiscales. Mais sous le capitalisme, les compagnies (canadiennes et étrangères) augmentent les profits en réduisant les emplois, en évitant la surveillance environnementale et en exigeant des baisses d’impôt. Le PTP doit être ratifié par les législatures de tous les pays signataires. Mobilisons-nous maintenant pour dire au Parlement de rejeter le PTP!