|Description||The Communist Party of Canada arose out of the struggles of working people for decent living conditions, social justice and peace. Inspired by the 1917 Revolution in Russia, delegates from socialist and workers groups met secretly in a barn in Guelph, Ontario to form the CPC in May 1921. Defying a legal ban, the revolutionary new party immediately began organizing workers, farmers, women and other oppressed sections of the people. |
The "Hungry Thirties" inflicted tremendous hardship and suffering. Despite mass unemployment and poverty there was no welfare or unemployment insurance. "Relief" was doled out under the most humiliating conditions.
The CPC fought back, organizing militant trade unions and unemployed movements to fight for better wages and working conditions. The State responded with bloody repression, using the RCMP to punish workers on strike, killing and injuring hundreds. In 1935 the Communist-led "On To Ottawa Trek" of the unemployed was stopped in Regina by more RCMP violence. These struggles led to gains such as unemployment insurance and welfare.
The Communist Party was the first to recognize the danger of fascism. Together with other democratic forces, Communists organized the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion of the International Brigades fighting fascism in the Spanish civil war. Many communists were among the 600 Canadians who died in Spain. Norman Bethune, the renowned doctor and CPC member who distinguished himself in Spain, died in 1939 while assisting the Chinese Communists in their liberation struggle.
Following the victory over Hitler fascism, the CPC was a strong political force, electing members to parliament and provincial legislatures. But the Cold War attacks by the ruling class led to many setbacks for the left-wing movement.
The Communist Party survived the Cold War and holds true to our goal of uniting the working class and its allies in a movement for socialism. We remain in the forefront of the people's struggles : for labour rights, social justice and the environment; defending the rights of minorities, women, gays and lesbians; fighting for youth and students. While numerically still small in Canada, we are a proud part of the largest international movement the world has ever seen.
The CPC presents a real alternative to the pro-corporate agendas of the Liberal, Conservative and Alliance parties, and to the racist terror of the ultra-right. Refusing to be satisfied with a few reforms to make capitalism "nicer," we differ widely with the NDP who are moving ever further and quicker to the right. We offer a clear and consistent vision of a Socialist Canada, where the priority is people's needs, not corporate greed.