The Program of the Labor-Progressive Party was adopted unanimously at the Fifth National Convention of the Party in Toronto on March 28, 1954. For two years prior to then, since February, 1952, the Program had been publicly discussed as a printed Draft. As the result of this discussion and the many suggestions for its improvement the Program was adopted in its final form.
The achievements of the Canadian people in the struggle to build up our country out of the wilderness and their hardwon victories in the battle for Canadian independence, are now imperiled by the drive of United States imperialism to dominate the world.
Our people are called upon to unite to restore the sovereignty of our country, to keep Canada out of war and defend democracy – in other words, to Put Canada First. Our democratic peace-loving people can and must save Canada by electing a people’s parliamentary majority and a people’s government. This will open the road to the realization of the dream of the full development of our country and unlimited social progress – through the advance to a Socialist society in which the people are the collective possessors of our country’s wealth.
1 The Struggle for National Freedom
Canada has reached its present high level of production in industry and agriculture by the labor of her people. In the course of popular struggles they have fought for independent nationhood, democratic liberties and the rights of labor.
In the struggle to achieve independence the Canadian people were called on to oppose British colonial rule and the expansionist aims of the rising U.S. capitalists. In the War of 1812 Canadians fought against U.S. invasion and saved our country from annexation. In the democratic revolution of 1837, led by Mackenzie and Papineau, the people of French and English-speaking Canada fought unitedly to free our country from British colonial oppression, to win democratic liberties and open the path of economic development.
Confederation in 1867 established the Canadian state and embodied the principle of parliamentary government and cabinet responsibility to Parliament. This progressive step was necessary to open the way for capitalist development and to stop the attempt of the U.S.A. to annex Canada. However, Confederation did not break colonial ties with Britain or establish Canadian independence.
This new state embodied many of the democratic rights fought for in 1837; by its federal form it provided for a measure of autonomy for French Canada, although grudgingly and with cramping limitations calculated to perpetuate national inequality. It refused to acknowledge in constitutional form the fact that the people of French Canada are a nation: an historically constituted, stable community of people possessing a common language, territory, economic life and national culture.
Canadian capitalism developed in accordance with the laws of motion of society. At first merchant capital and small-scale hand industry predominated: then the industrial revolution occurred and large-scale machine industry became dominant and the modern Canadian working class was formed. There followed the present imperialist stage in which industrial capital merged with banking capital to form monopoly-capitalism. A handful of parasitic, finance-capitalists now dominate the whole of our economic life.
Capitalism has outlived its historic usefulness and is doomed by its own inner contradictions. It has divided society into contending classes. In this class struggle the Canadian working class is destined to become the governing class and to prepare the way for classless society.
In the early days of Canadian capitalism, British capital was the main foreign capital. The Canadian ruling class, still linked by colonial ties with Britain, dragged Canada into the first imperialist war of 1914-18. Only in 1931 did the Statute of Westminster give recognition to Canadian independence within the British Commonwealth.
Following the First World War, U.S. investments became replaced British as the dominant finance capital. Between the two world wars and especially during and since the Second World War, U.S. imperialism gained control of Canada’s key industries and ownership of our chief national resources, and steadily increases its efforts to take over Canada outright.
U.S. imperialism is driving to impose its domination over the whole world. Its economic, financial and military power is being used to secure maximum profits for the big U.S. monopolists through the exploitation, impoverishment and ruin of other nations. In its drive for world mastery it has selected Canada as its first and richest prize. In fact, U.S. penetration and domination have gone further in our country than in any other.
For the Wall St. magnates the Canadian boundary does not exist. Their invasion of Canada disrupts the Canadian economy. They politically subordinate Canada to the dictates of Washington. U.S. imperialism looks on Canadian national sovereignty as an obstacle to the complete control and domination of our sovereignty. It seeks by all means to prevent the rise of Canadian national consciousness and the development of Canadian culture. In their place it fosters “cosmopolitanism” – the ideology of surrender to Wall Street’ gangster “culture”.
Monopoly capital in Canada is fused with the big U.S. monopolies. Industries like automobile, rubber, electric, metal mining, chemical, pulp and paper and manufacturing are owned and controlled by U.S. interests. Fearful of the deepening crisis of the world capitalist system and the awakening of the peoples of the world, the Canadian monopoly capitalists abjectly capitulate to the drive of the U.S.A. against Canada and are the creatures of the U.S. interests in Canada. In pursuit of maximum profits the obey U.S. dictates.
The Canadian monopoly capitalists have engineered the betrayal of
Canada and are accomplices of Wall Street’s attack upon our country.
They have abandoned the aim of the Patriots of 1837 and the Fathers of
the Confederation – to develop Canada industrially, commercially and
politically as an independent country. They have cast aside the banner
of the nation and sold our country for U.S. dollars.
Itself in crisis, U.S. imperialism seeks to maintain its profits and get out of its mounting difficulties by exporting economic crisis to Canada, with consequent widespread insecurity and suffering among Canadian workers, farmers, small employers and businessman.
The huge U.S. trusts openly intervene in the Canadian economy and disrupt it, turning our workers and farmers into hewers of wood and drawers of water for U.S. interests. The growth of our industry is systematically and deliberately distorted and policies of de-industrialization are forced on Canada. Our priceless natural resources, which should be the basis of great industries, are handed over to U.S. ownership and control, turning Canada into a foreign-owned reservoir of raw materials.
Canada’s wage levels are below those of the U.S.A. Canadian workers bear a double yoke of exploitation by foreign and Canadian capital. Hundreds of millions of dollars in profits go to Wall Street instead of being used to expand our own industries.
Militarization of the economy dictated by Washington hastens the economic crisis by throttling consumer goods production and forcing down living standards through inflation and crushing war taxation. U.S. policies drive Canadian agriculture to ruin. They block Canadian trade with the British Commonwealth and the Socialist world market. U.S. goods are dumped on the Canadian market.
The growth of our population is retarded by economic dependence and the exodus of many of our citizens to the U.S.A.
The presence of U.S. armed forces on Canadian soil, enjoying extra-territorial rights and occupying military bases from the Yukon to Newfoundland, robs Canada of her national sovereignty. Preparing aggressive war, Washington brazenly lays claim to outright ownership of our territory in the rich Northland clear to the Pole. It seizes control of our vital inland waters. It seeks to impose military conscription on Canada’s young men.
Our country’s right to decide its own fate in war and peace has been set aside by Ottawa through the automatic commitment to war, at the behest of Washington, as provided in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
U.S. domination of our country subverts Canadian democracy. On the demand of Washington the fundamental law of Canada is altered by the Canadian government to comply with the alleged requirements of “U.S. security”. McCarthyism – U.S. fascism – spreads its tentacles into Canada.
We Canadians are faced with the corruption of our national life by
“Yankee dollar culture”, with its falsehoods, racism, violence and
filth. Completely devoid of national pride the Canadian ruling class
deny our cultural heritage and belittle as second-rate our national
character and our many contributions to the arts and sciences of
mankind. Declaring that national sovereignty is “out of date” and that
“world culture” is the order of the day, they promote cultural
“cosmopolitanism” in the interests of U.S. domination. They hold back
the development of national consciousness among Canadians and pervert
Canadians are not powerless in the face of this crisis. Led by the working class they are capable of finding a way out. United action to win the adoption of new national policies in the interests of Canada is the political lever to lift our country out of dependency on the United States and on to the path of independence and social advance.
For the first time in Canadian history the banner of the nation is raised forthrightly by the working class which fights to free Canadian nationhood from the cramping limitations that the ruling class has set about it. Raising the banner of the nation, the working class becomes the leader of the nation. It holds the future of Canada in its hands.
Victory for independence lies in a democratic national front of the Canadian people. Such a democratic national front can and will unite wide and varied sections of the population – industrial workers, farmers, intellectuals and cultural workers, employers who see their incomes threatened by U.S. domination, sectional interests in various parts of Canada – in fact, all Canadians except the small but powerful monopoly capitalist clique which is the ruling class of Canada.
Every new encroachment and humiliating demand of the U.S. upon Canada must be met and rejected by the people. The fight against the ever-increasing assault of the U.S. upon Canada, mass demands to force back and throw off U.S. domination in all its forms, grow over into an all-embracing national struggle for freedom. This struggle will save Canada and make her truly great. It will draw strength form and contribute to the cause of peace and national independence in all nations oppressed by U.S. imperialism.
2 An Independent Canadian Foreign Policy of peace
Canadians have already fought in two world wars. After World War I the Canadian ruling class rejected collective security and disarmament, helped to arm Germany and Japan for war against the Soviet Union, were accomplices in the murder of Spanish democracy and thereby helped to bring on World War II. The attempt to use Hitler to destroy the Soviet Union ended in fiasco; only an anti-Hitler coalition of the Western democracies with the Soviet Union was able to defeat the fascist aggressors.
Refusing to learn from history, the U.S. imperialists reject the peaceful co-existence of the Socialist and capitalist sectors of the world. Instead, they drive for world domination and threaten civilization with H-bomb annihilation in a third world war.
As aa satellite of the U.S., Canada faces the danger of being dragged into such a war, which can only mean the destruction of our country.
The struggle to free Canada from U.S. domination is inseparable from the cause of peace.
The camp of peace, led by the Socialist Soviet Union, embraces the majority of the people of the world. It has acquired immense power by the coming into being of a system of Socialist states which stand for peaceful co-existence and peaceful competition with the capitalist system. For them, peace is a law of development. They are founded on the rule of the working people, the common ownership of the means of production and distribution, the abolition of class privilege, the free and equal association of peoples and world peace.
The colonial and semi-colonial peoples fighting for national freedom, including peoples of Latin America exploited by Canadian imperialism, are a tremendous force for peace and democracy. Their cause joins with the struggle of the Canadian people for national independence.
The camp of peace and national liberation is stronger than the camp of war and national oppression.
The camp of war and fascism is headed by the U.S.A. The U.S. drive to dominate other capitalist states aggravates inter-imperialist conflicts and thus intensifies the danger of war between imperialist states.
The Canadian monopolists reject peaceful co-existence and peaceful competition of the Socialist and capitalist systems. Instead of working for the lessening of international tensions they help to foment tensions to create a war atmosphere favorable to their aims. They oppose the banning of atomic and other weapons of mass destruction of people and refuse to consider practical steps to reduce armaments. They took Canada into the war of aggression against the Korean people and actively support the U.S. drive for the remilitarization of Germany and the remilitarization of Japan. They actively collaborate with the U.S. military in making Canada a base for attack upon the Soviet Union and People’s China.
This insane course is screened by the lying pretence that there is a “danger” of “military aggression” against Canada by the Socialist countries. That is the new edition of the Hitler “big lie.”
The U.N. Charter has been abandoned by the Canadian monopolists and their representatives, and NATO has replaced the U.N.
The arms race means swollen armaments budgets and the integration of the Department of National Defence with the U.S. military forces.
By arming for a war of aggression, the Canadian monopolists are undermining national security, which can be maintained only on the basis of peaceful co-existence with the Socialist states and the negotiation of outstanding differences.
The Canadian state as the direct agent of monopoly capital acts as the
organizer of the drive to war. Direct investment of public funds in war
plants and the organization of the economy for the U.S. war program
have become the characteristic features of our economy. Huge monopoly
profits are extracted from the armaments drive and living standards are
sacrificed to the preparation for war. Purchasing power is lowered,
crushing taxation is levied on the people, production of goods for
civilian use is cut down and the economy is thrown out of balance and
threatened with economic crisis.
The policies which can preserve peace and maintain national security war:
• The disentanglement of Canada from all war alliances such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The return of all Canadian armed forces from abroad.
• A Pact of Peace between the five great powers: the U.S.A, U.S.S.R., Britain, France and People’s China.
• Prohibition of atomic and H-bombs and all other weapons of the mass destruction of people. With strict international inspection and control. Gradual, controlled disarmament which at each stage takes into account the national security of each country.
• Support for the cause of national independence of all peoples and no interference in the internal affairs of other countries.
• Restoration of Canadian command of our armed forces. The revival of all U.S. military bases from Canadian soil.
• An end to U.S. restrictions on Canadian trade. Trade with all countries, including the markets of the new Socialist sector of the world. An end to trade dependence on the U.S.
• Strengthening of friendship between Canada and the Socialist countries through cultural exchanges in the fields of art, science and sport.
3 The Defense of Canadian Democracy
A resolute battle for all the demands of political democracy is part of the struggle for the sovereignty of Canada. To win complete nationhood requires the wide extension of Canadian democracy. The defence and extension of democratic rights broadens the movement for nationhood.
McCarthyism – U.S. fascism – looks upon Canadian democracy as an obstacle to the demands of U.S. imperialism. It seeks to subvert the present democratic rights of Canadians and to foster fascist reaction in this country as part of its drive to completely dominate Canada and to force it into another war.
Three great issues of political democracy have arisen and demand settlement: the supremacy of Parliament; a Bill of Rights; a democratic constitution. Democracy and national sovereignty are inseparable.
There is a direct relationship between the denial by the Canadian capitalist parties of the supremacy of Parliament and the rejection of the concept of Confederation as an achievement of the Canadian people. The capitalist parties assert that Confederation was merely an Act of the British Parliament conferred upon Canada and that the power to govern does not derive from the Canadian people. This concept must be rejected as undemocratic and a repudiation of Canadian nationhood, because it denies the basic tenet of democracy that the power to govern comes from the people.
The people have the right, in their majority, to determine their own form of government. The power to govern is granted by the people to the representatives they elect to Parliament, which must be the supreme authority.
Secret Orders-in-Council, secret powers under the War Measures Act and the Emergency Powers Act and dictatorial cabinet rule flout the authority of Parliament and are used to integrate Canada in the U.S. war machine. Part of this process is the fact that the RCMP is a political police and has become a branch office of the F.B.I.
Reflecting the national betrayal of democracy, political reaction finds a foothold in the provinces and municipalities. In Quebec the Padlock Law, vicious anti-labor legislation and rules curbing the rights of free speech, assembly and organization are expressions of the fierce drive against French Canadian national freedom.
The drive to fascist reaction is a part of the betrayal of the nation by the Canadian ruling class.
The democratic rights of Canadians are limited and jeopardized by the fact that they do not possess a Bill of Rights and a democratic Canadian Constitution. The democratic national movement must achieve these aims, left unfulfilled by Confederation, if complete nationhood is to be won.
4 French Canada and the Struggle for Canadian Independence
The defeat of the greatest threat they have ever faced – domination by the United States – must be undertaken by the French Canadian people if they are to preserve their nation and win national equality.
The betrayal of French Canada to the U.S. has been jointly engineered by the Canadian monopoly capitalists and reactionary circles in French Canada. This combination, which demagogically exploits the national aspirations of the French Canadian people, has placed in jeopardy the future of the French Canadian nation by handing over Quebec to the grasping U.S. trusts.
The source of the danger of military conscription and the involvement of French Canada in imperialist war, against which the people of Quebec have always fought, is U.S. imperialism.
The seizure of the patrimony of the French Canadian people by the U.S. trusts, and U.S. control of the natural wealth of French Canada and its greatest industries, deepen national inequalities by intensifying the special exploitation, depressed wages and harsh living conditions suffered by the Quebec people.
The invasion of Canada by U.S. gangster “culture” pollutes and undermines the French language and French Canadian culture.
The struggle for national equality and the survival of French Canada merges with and powerfully reinforces the movement for independence of the people of all Canada.
In the fight for Canadian independence, the people of French Canada, supported by English-speaking Canadians, will unite around such democratic issues as:
• Ending the plunder of the Province of Quebec by the U.S. monopolies, restoring the alienated resources and industries to the control of the people of French Canada, enabling them to become masters in their own house.
• Winning the right to decide for themselves as a nation the question of peace or war.
• To establish the conditions to enable French Canadian culture to flourish.
• Re-establishment of civil liberties by the adoption in the Quebec legislature of a Declaration of Rights and the repeal of anti-democratic laws such as the Padlock Law and anti-trade union acts.
• To provide for the people of Quebec a life of prosperity and comfort by putting an end to the conditions which now inflict lower living standards upon them.
In the rising movement against national inequality and to defeat the U.S. enemy of the French Canadian nation, new possibilities appear for the broadest co-operation embracing patriotic men and women from all classes and sections of the French Canadian people – nationalists, supporters of the CCF, Social Credit, Liberal and Union Nationale parties.
The French Canadian working class, the most militant, best organized and most influential force, is destined to bring together a broad national front to save the French Canadian nation and to co-operate with the all-Canadian democratic national movement for the independence of our country.
In this struggle the long-standing demand of the French Canadian people for full national equality, unresolved by Confederation, will be satisfied in the only democratic way – the guarantee of the right of French Canada to national self-determination up to and including secession. Victory for this democratic principle will open the way for the free and voluntary association of French Canada with English-speaking Canada in a federal state based upon the complete national equality of both peoples.
5 A Democratic National Front
The central question of Canadian politics is the betrayal of Canada by monopoly capital. This has created a crisis of national policy, affecting all classes.
The people of Canada are resisting on many front the betrayal of their country. To be successful the resistance must lead to the unity of patriotic Canadians of all sections of the population in a democratic national front to save Canada from disaster.
The democratic national front develops out of struggles against every element of national betrayal and each new encroachment of U.S. imperialism upon Canada; against economic crisis, involvement in U.S. wars, for the defence of democracy against McCarthyism, and for an independent Canadian culture.
It grows in the fight against U.S.-imposed economic crisis – for jobs and full employment, higher wages, shorter hours of work and the launching of nation-building projects such as an all-Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway, the Trans-Canada Highway, a Trans-Canada natural gas pipeline, the Chignecto Canal, the South Saskatchewan River Dam and the industrial development of the Northland and Newfoundland.
Canadians unite to stop U.S. dumping, to develop our own resources and build our own steel, machine-construction, petrochemical, electrical, coal, oil and other industries.
In agriculture the democratic national front forms around demands for guaranteed prices and markets, reduced interest payments and the diversification of farming.
The democratic national front develops in struggles around the social and economic needs of the people – for lower taxes and expanded social security, health insurance, higher old age pensions and a public low-rent housing plan.
It arises in the fight for peace and to call a halt to U.S. control of Canada’s foreign policy.
It crystallizes in demands for the supremacy of Parliament, a Bill of Rights, a new Constitution, a Canadian flag, and against racial and national discrimination.
The fight for the economic, political and social equality of Canadian women, set down in legislation providing equal pay for equal work without discrimination, maternity benefits, equal opportunity for education and choice of profession and the protection of the family and the home, is a powerful force for people’s unity.
Canadian young people’s urgent needs for new horizons, educational and job opportunities and freedom from the threat of war and conscription, bring them actively into the people’s movement.
The demand for wide popular participation and high professional achievement in Canadian art, science and sport, rises to oppose the degenerate war culture of U.S. imperialism. Artists and scientists are beginning to help to create among Canadians an image of themselves as a democratic, peace-loving people with a proud heritage and a glowing future. The struggle for independence from U.S. domination transforms the rich cultural heritage of the Canadian people into fully conscious French Canadian and English speaking cultures. Various national groups of many lands and origins are making their own special contributions to the development of democratic culture in Canada. At the same time they combine their rich national traditions with the Canadian democratic heritage. The maximum development of Canadian culture demands that the national groups possess equal rights to cultural expression in order to cultivate their heritage and to contribute freely to the Canadian tradition.
The fight for full equality for the Indian and Arctic peoples, who have
been so wantonly despoiled by the exploiters, is being taken up by
Canadian democracy. The possession of tribal lands and hunting and
fishing rights, material aid for the growth of the economic life and
culture, the abolition of all forms of discrimination and the hateful
“government ward” and reservation system – are all part of the Canadian
struggle for democracy and justice.
The people’s movements will more and more assume a conscious, organized character.
The two-party monopoly of Parliament fostered by the capitalist class is in conflict with the rise of democratic forces called forth by the crisis of national policy.
Because of this the classical two-party system is breaking down. The sectional capitalist disagreements which formerly existed between the Liberal and Conservative parties were concerned with varying paths of national development. The two capitalist parties are now agreed upon the basic course of subordinating Canada to the dictate of Washington. They have abandoned even the aim of national development. The leaders of the CCF and Social Credit parties actively support the policies of national betrayal.
What is needed is a new political alignment, a parliamentary coalition of the people’s forces around the democratic national program of restoring Canadian independence.
A people’s coalition will grow up and win a majority in Parliament by bringing together the democratic and patriotic elements in the country for national action against the sell-out of Canada to the U.S.A.
A people’s coalition cannot be the property of or dominated by any one party. Its strength lies in its all-embracing character.
From the very beginning it is the working class which is the unifying, active and leading force in a people’s coalition. The working class will not accept United States domination of Canada and the double yoke of exploitation. It takes up the banner of nationhood in defence of its vital interests as a class and thereby defends the sovereign interests of Canada. It becomes the leading political force in the struggle for national independence in which its closest allies are the working farmers. In this struggle it gains political maturity and prepares itself for the fulfillment of its historic Socialist mission by the most resolute struggle for all its demands for complete national independence and sovereignty.
The unity of the working class around the democratic national program is indispensable for the formation of a people’s coalition. The obstacle to working-class unity is the policy of the right-wing leaders of the CCF and the trade union bureaucracy who support the war program of monopoly capitalism and the betrayal of our country.
The situation in which the head offices of most Canadian unions are in the U.S.A. means that trade union policy in Canada is decisively influenced by the needs of U.S. imperialism and not of Canada. Quite often top leaders of unions in Canada take their orders from the U.S.A. The movement for national autonomy among Canadian trade unions moves towards the national independence of organized labor. Without winning the national independence of the trade union movement Canadian workers cannot fully and unrestrictedly bring the power of the organized labor movement into the struggle for independence. By fighting for Canadian autonomy in the U.S.-controlled unions and for policies corresponding to the needs of Canadian workers, the unions can achieve a united trade union movement completely controlled by themselves. This will be an enormous contribution to the struggle for Canadian independence. It will enable Canadian trade unions freely to forge bonds of fraternal solidarity with their fellow-unionists in all countries.
The heart of the people’s coalition will be the joint action of the workers and farmers – labor-farmer unity. Monopoly capital tries to make it appear that workers and farmers are economic enemies. But both are exploited by monopoly capital. Neither can make social or economic advances unless the power of monopoly capital is broken through labor-farmer unity.
The political situation in which a people’s majority will be elected to Parliament will reflect the emergence of the working class as a decisive force heading a broad coalition of progressive forces. Canada will be at a turning point in her development. There will be a political crisis in the ranks of the monopoly capitalists. The influence of the working class will grow and become decisive.
As the national crisis arising out of the betrayal of Canada to the U.S.A. deepens, the treacherous acts of the Liberal and Conservative parties and their right-wing CCF, trade union and Social Credit collaborators cause them to lose their hold upon the people. Some of the leaders of these parties and organizations, under popular pressure, will reject anti-national policies.
The people’s coalition will form around common electoral programs uniting the most diverse elements who break away from the reactionary leaders of these parties.
A people’s majority in Parliament will be confronted with the necessity of forming a coalition government to carry through the broad democratic national platform. It will be a new kind of government representing for the first time the real needs of the majority of the Canadian people – a People’s Government. It will represent a class alliance of the workers, farmers, urban middle classes and those capitalist elements whose economic interests will be served by policies of Canadian independence and the progressive development of Canada. In provincial and municipal elections a similar democratic process can be foreseen.
The Labor-Progressive Party works to unite the Canadian people to win such a parliamentary majority and to form a People’s Government. It develops parliamentary work in the constituencies conducting all-year-round activity to stimulate and enlarge the scope of people’s parliamentary action.
The people’s coalition of necessity must be directed against both the external enemy of Canada, the U.S. imperialists, and the ruling class of Canada – the monopoly capitalists who are the agents of the U.S. and who depend for their power on the U.S. trusts.
U.S. interests, with the Canadian monopolists and their hangers-on, will wage an unscrupulous and ruthless struggle to prevent the people’s majority in the House of Commons from enacting the far-reaching democratic national reforms it was elected to carry through.
The militant, organized, united working class of Canada will be the guarantee of consistently progressive actions by a People’s Government.
It will be the duty of the Labor-Progressive Party, as a participant in a People’s Government, to do all in its power to strengthen the Government, to ensure that it carries out the democratic national tasks and firmly follows policies which will restore Canadian independence.
The powerful and all-embracing struggle for national independence will weaken the power of the Canadian monopoly capitalists. The democratic forces of the people will challenge them for the control of our country and defeat them.
6 People’s Democracy and the Building of Socialism
The people’s Government must advance to a new kind of state – a people’s democratic state led by the working class. This will be the only way to preserve the gains already made and to defeat the monopoly capitalist offensive.
The struggle for national independence will merge with the growing Socialist idea among the masses of Canadians. It will be necessary to advance to the Socialist transformation of society, for which Canada already is objectively ripe.
The Labor-Progressive Party advocates a peaceful path to Socialism. It is fully possible to evolve, out of the People’s Government, the rule of the working class supported by the mass of the farmers. Only the working class can be the driving force for the Socialist transformation; its vital interests demand that it leads Canada to Socialism.
The Canadian people, out of their own experience, will judge all
programs and parties as they are tested in the struggle. It will be the
task of the Labor-Progressive Party to win a majority of the working
class for the transition from capitalism to Socialism and to work
consistently to weld an alliance of the working class and working
farmers. These are the forces that will end capitalist exploitation in
town and country.
The general crisis of capitalism is all-pervading – political and economic. In the period of the crisis of their system the capitalists betray the nation and throw democracy overboard.
The rising power of Socialism in the world gives added strength to the working class in the capitalist countries and inspires it in its struggle for a happy feature.
All countries will reach Socialism: this is inevitable. But not all countries will reach Socialism in the same way; each will introduce special features in the form of the working-class rule it establishes and in the rate at which it carries out the various phases of the reconstruction of social life.
In a society divided into classes the state is the organ of class rule. The Canadian capitalist state is the political instrument of monopoly capital, the machinery of its rule by which it maintains its exploitation and oppression of the working class. The state must become the political instrument of the working class for the establishment of Socialism.
In this increasingly favourable situation the working class of Canada
can organize a people’s state – a People’s Democracy – by transforming
the historically-evolved form of the state in Canada, Parliament, from
the instrument of rule of the capitalist minority into the instrument
of the rule of the majority of the people. By winning control of
Parliament a new state apparatus to serve the interests of the working
people will be created.
The measures introduced by People’s Democracy to change the economy will meet with the most violent attacks by the monopoly capitalists of Canada and the U.S.A.
The defeat of reaction inside and outside of Parliament will require steadily extending militant support by the broad masses of democratic Canadians. Mass political activity at this time will reach unprecedented heights and draw millions into its scope.
The whole people will be aroused to the vigilant, constant safeguarding of their new government by engaging in mass political activity for the defeat of all saboteurs and plotters. The initiative of the masses of the people, and in the first place of the united working class, is the prerequisite for the consolidation of the new People’s Democratic State.
The People’s Government, firmly supported by the masses of the people, will have the strength to deal with all attacks, to rebuff them and bring the enemies of Parliament and the people to justice.
In this struggle the Canadian people will enjoy the support of the great democratic people of the U.S.A. and the solidarity of the peoples of South and Central America.
Canadian independence will be permanently assured only when capitalism
is abolished. People’s Democracy will open the road to Socialism.
Under Socialism the means of production are the common property of society, planned production is carried on for use and the exploitation of man by man is abolished.
The basic economic law of modern monopoly capitalism is the drive for maximum profit through the ruin and impoverishment of the masses of the people, the militarization of the economy and the drive to war.
The basic economic law of Socialism is the securing of the maximum satisfaction of the constantly rising material and cultural requirement of the whole of society, through the continuous expansion and perfection of Socialist production, on the basis of the highest technique.
The establishment of Socialist ownership creates new social and economic relationships. The relations between people under Socialism will be based on the common ownership of the means of production for the good of the whole of society. The rule of Man will replace the rule of Profit.
Socialist nationalization will be the basis of the economic policy of People’s Democracy. People’s Democracy will enact measures of nationalization in the interests of all the people. All large-scale industries, railways, banks, insurance companies, big commercial enterprises and the natural resources will be nationalized and made social property by People’s Democracy. The interests of small property and home owners and investors will be protected.
The planning of the national economy under a People’s Democracy will ensure a truly unprecedented upsurge in living standards in a short time and rapidly extend the development of our country.
Socialism will lift the enormous burden of rent, interest and profit from the back of the working people and farmers. Economic crisis, unemployment and poverty will be permanently overcome. Socialism makes the fruits of industry the property of the people, enabling them in a planned way to develop industry and agriculture on the basis of the highest techniques, raise their living standards, shorten the working day and enrich their leisure.
Social emulation will be the means of liberating the enormous creative energies of the working people, raising technique and production to new heights. With capitalist rule abolished the workers and their unions become a force for raising production and furthering the welfare of all working people, in the full knowledge that every increase in production means increased earnings and a higher standard of living instead of bigger profits for the capitalists.
People’s Democracy will ease the burden of labor by marvellous labor-saving devices which will vastly increase production and enlist the widest co-operation of all workers and technicians, of labor and science.
Science and technique will leap ahead. Scientific and technical workers will no longer be divorced from actual production but will become an integral part of the planned economy. The essential distinctions between mental and manual labor will be gradually abolished.
Industry will be modernized in accordance with Socialist planning. A large-scale, planned expansion of industrial plants will be undertaken, concentrating on heavy industry and machine-building industries producing the means of production.
The peaceful use of atomic energy will bring about vast extension of cheap electric power for industry, farm and home. Atomic energy will transform the map of Canada, enabling hitherto barren regions to become thriving industrial areas. Giant nation-building projects will be undertaken.
People’s Democracy will pay great attention to the development of rural life, providing electrification to reduce physical labor, modern home appliances, schools, hospitals, recreational and cultural centres, good roads, breaking down the gap between rural and urban life and encouraging young people to become modern, scientific farmers. Farmers’ co-operatives will be the medium for trade between town and country.
Farmers will be guaranteed security of tenure of their land and an expanding market with guaranteed prices. They will be relieved once and for all of the crushing burden of debt and interest imposed on them by finance capital. At the same time they will be encouraged by the example set by the workers in industry to learn the value of planning and to take the path of co-operative farming. It must be completely voluntary, without any compulsion whatever, expanding as experience proves to the farmers that they can reap the full advantages of industrial technique only through co-operative large-scale farming. This will be the basis for the victory of Socialism in agriculture.
Socialism will immensely increase the personal possessions of the people. But no person will be permitted to seize and monopolize the ownership of the means of production to enable him to exploit the labor of another.
In a Socialist Canada socially useful and creative labor will be the highest badge of honor and will be so regarded by the government and the people.
Young people will be the first concern of Socialist society. Every opportunity will be opened to them and new goals of human knowledge and practice will be ever before their eyes.
Women will take their full and equal place in society. The family will be secure and contribute vastly to the social organization of our people.
A people’s democratic culture will flourish and cultural achievements will be inspiring. The arts will enjoy full state and community support. Intellectuals and workers and artists will join with labor to build a highly cultured Canada.
The free exchange of knowledge and cultural achievements with all the peoples of the world will enhance our national development.
The unequivocal freedom of churches to exercise their ministry will be proclaimed by law.
War propaganda and racism will be punishable by law.
The sparse population of the Northland will grow into large settlements. The Maritimes and Newfoundland, whose economic development has been especially retarded by monopoly, will flourish.
By establishing a People’s Democracy and embarking on the construction of Socialism, the people of Canada will help to weaken world imperialism and hasten the day when, by the final abolition of imperialism everywhere, the cause of war will be banished from the world.
In place of poverty, unemployment and war, Socialism will bring abundance, peace and high cultural achievements to the Canadian people. In a Socialist state Canadians for the first time will be the masters of their own country. Her prosperity and sweep of development will be truly phenomenal because our might human and natural resources will then be used to the fullest capacity to provide a happy and useful life for everyone. The goal of Communism – a highly cultured, classless society of abundance for all, will be reached through the Socialist transformation of our country.
7 The Labor-Progressive Party
The Labor-progressive Party is the Party of the working class, of all who labor by hand or brain. Its aim is to win Socialism through People’s Democracy – a workers’ and farmers’ government which will institute the social ownership of the means of production. To this end, it seeks to build an alliance of the industrial working class and the working farmers – labor-farmer unity.
The viewpoint of the Labor-Progressive Party if the world outlook of Marxism-Leninism, embodying the laws of motion of society and the concentrated experience of all the struggles of the working people – the theory and practice of Socialism. It bases its thinking and policies on the worldwide character of the struggle against imperialism and for Socialism.
As the vanguard of the working class the Labor-Progressive Party defends the immediate interests of the working people and in so doing defends their future. It has no interests apart from those of the working class, which are at the same time the democratic interests of the nation.
The Labor-Progressive Party is devoted to the task of educating and organizing the Canadian workers, farmers and middle class people in the course of a consistent struggle for democracy, to the end that the majority of the Canadian people, by their own united actions and decisions, shall achieve People’s Democracy.
Our Party seeks to establish its independent leadership of the majority of the working class, striving always to achieve unity in action in the workers’ struggles against the monopoly capitalists, pointing out the lessons of these struggles and showing the path of labor political action.
The Labor-Progressive party carries forward the democratic national traditions of Mackenzie, Papineau, Baldwin, Lafontaine, Riel, and the heroes of Canadian labor’s long struggle for emancipation.
The Labor-Progressive party is pledged to the defense of Canada’s national safety against foreign aggression and conquest and declares that Canada’s national security lies in peace and friendship with all peoples.
The lie of the U.S. war propaganda machine that Communism will be “imposed” on Canada by “Communist aggression” from abroad is a slander against the Canadian workers, who are fully capable of settling their own destiny. The L.P.P. declares that Socialism in Canada will be won only by the actions of the majority of the Canadian people.
Our Party brands as a lie the charge that it seeks to destroy the British Commonwealth. It is the U.S.A. which is destroying the Commonwealth. We stand for national self-determination of all the peoples of the Empire as the only means whereby the Commonwealth can continue as a voluntary association of free and equal peoples.
The Labor-Progressive Party works out its policy from a realistic appraisal of the interplay of social forces at each stage of the struggle, in the light of the science of Marxism-Leninism. It takes a stand on all matters affecting the peoples of Canada.
It recognizes the world historic significance of the victory of Socialism in the Soviet Union and its advance to Communism. The labors of the people of the Soviet Union have blazed the road to the emancipation of mankind from capitalist exploitation, war, poverty and ignorance.
Our Party studies the experience of the working class and democratic movements of all other countries in the spirit of working-class internationalism. Working class internationalism is inseparable from true patriotism to our country.
The Labor-Progressive Party wages a consistent and all-sided struggle for democracy. The path to People’s Democracy lies in the struggle for greater democracy.
The Labor-Progressive Party stands for the right of French Canada to national self-determination, up to and including secession. It believes that the future of our country will be best served by the voluntary unity of French Canada with English-speaking Canada in a Federal union founded upon the full national equality of French Canada.
The Labor-progressive Party actively combats the reactionary theory of “Anglo-Saxon superiority” and all forms of bourgeois nationalism, which is designed to foster hatred between peoples. It struggles against all forms of racism – anti-Semitism, and form of or attempt at discrimination on grounds of color, language, religion or country of origin.
The Labor-progressive party opposes “cosmopolitanism” – the denial of the national heritage and surrender to U.S. “gangster culture”. It is the opponent of narrow insularity and national isolationism in politics, economy, cultural and social thought. It seeks to instil in Canadians a deep awareness of the richness of Canada’s resources, human and material, and a pride in the great pioneering that remains to be done. It is the champion of the closest fraternity between Canadians of all national origins and fights for their right to develop their national traditions as contributions to a Canadian people’s culture.
It dedicates itself to the flowering off a democratic Canadian people’s culture, of Canadian science, technique, art, literature, music and education. The stimulation of a democratic national pride and spirit will give a truly Canadian form to a people’s culture whose content will be Socialist humanism.
The Labor-Progressive party wages a political struggle against the policies of the right-wing opportunist leaders who support the north Atlantic Treaty Organization, rearmament and red-baiting. These right-wing policies paralyze and divide the labor movement in the struggle against political reaction. The Labor-Progressive Party seeks to establish co-operation and friendliest relations with the CCF followers in joint struggle for the people’s needs, independence, peace and democracy. It strives to convince CCF followers, in democratic discussion, that to attribute to patchwork reforms the essential features of Socialism, as the right-wing CCF leaders do, is to rob the working class of its independence of thought and action, and of its Socialist perspective.
Our party persistently strives to encourage the widest political, organizational and educational activities of the working class, and the most active discussion of all problems. It stands on the principle of the public acknowledgement of errors, the practice of criticism and self-criticism and learning from mistakes.
The Labor-Progressive Party rejects conspiracy as a political method and at all times publicly proclaims its policies. It contemptuously rejects the charge that it “takes instructions from abroad”. It draws its policy from the experience, traditions and vital interests of Canada’s people and places on every member of the Party the obligation of making its program known to the people.
The Labor-Progressive party categorically denounces the lie that it advocates force and violence to bring about social changes. Monopoly capitalism, not the labor movement, is the breeder of force and violence, the source of war and fascism and the oppression of peoples. Force and violence are the means whereby anti-national, anti-democratic finance capital seeks to maintain its power when other methods of intimidation and control have failed. Force and violence are used by the outworn system of capitalism to perpetuate itself.
Our party stubbornly defends the historically-evolved popular
institutions of Canadian democracy. It is the parliamentary party of
the working class, nominating its candidates for public office in
elections, defending the democratic constitutional and statutory rights
of Canadians against reactionary attacks, seeking to strengthen and
extend these democratic rights and at all times basing itself firmly on
the interests of the people of our country.
The course of our national development up to and including the present crisis of national policy determines that Canada’s path to her bright Socialist future lies through the struggle for Canadian independence.
To make this vision of Canada’s future come true, the Labor-Progressive party calls to active political struggle all who love their country.
As the Party of the nation it proudly and confidently proclaims its
Program of Canadian Independence, peace, Democracy and Socialism.
Stop the Sell-Out of Canada to the U.S.A.
Peace – Canadian Independence – People’s Welfare – Democracy
Build Canadian Nationhood in Peace!
The Labor-Progressive Party places before the people of our country a new national policy to make Canada truly great in a world at peace. The Liberal-Tory parties of Big Business are selling out Canada to the U.S. monopolists and robbing our country of its independence. They have placed fetters on our economic growth and endangered our national security. They are leading Canada to disaster. War in Korea, the arms race, the trade blockade, the cold war lies, the growing militarization of our economy – these spell war and crisis for Canada.
There is another way – restore Canadian independence in home and foreign affairs. Use our resources to build up Canadian economy in peace. Peace in Korea, reduction of armaments, trade with the world, jobs, security and higher living standards – these spell peace and prosperity for Canada.
The Labor-Progressive Party calls on Canadians to unite, work and vote to build Canadian nationhood in peace.
New Horizons for Canada
The LPP proposes a New National Policy to develop our rich resources for the benefit of the Canadian people.
In place of the billions for armaments, which lead only to crisis and disaster, spend this money on the people’s needs, on peacetime production.
Build our industries. Develop basic and manufacturing industries in every province to process our raw materials at home.
Stop the surrender of Canada’s markets at the behest of the U.S. monopolists. Win back Commonwealth markets. Trade with the world.
Jobs and security through peace. A job for every worker, a good living for every farmer and security for every professional and small business person.
Build the All-Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway, the Chignecto Canal, publicly-owned trans-Canada oil and gas pipelines and other overdue public works.
To gear the economy for these nation-building projects, nationalize the banks , insurance and loan companies, and food-processing industries. Establish public ownership of reserves of industrial raw materials.
Peace and Friendship with All Nations
Return to the principles of the UN Charter – friendship among peoples, no interference in internal affairs of one state by another, recognize the People’s Republic of China.
Withdraw Canada from the U.S.-dominated North Atlantic treaty Organization (NATO) which would automatically involve Canada in war.
Exert Canada’s influence to secure a Pact of Peace between the five great powers, based on the settlement of all disputes by negotiation.
End the arms race by gradual disarmament in all countries, outlaw the atomic bomb and all other weapons of mass destruction – all under strict international inspection and control.
No re-militarization of Germany and Japan.
No conscription. Stop the enrolment of 16-year-olds in the armed forces.
Bring Canadian armed forces home from overseas. Restore Canada’s forces to Canadian command. Remove all U.S. military bases from Canada.
Protect the Home and Family
People’s Welfare, Not Warfare
End the housing scandal by building 750,000 homes in city and countryside over a 5-year period, with large-scale federal aid. Federal grants to cut municipal taxes on homes.
Tax the greedy, not the needy. Higher taxes on profiteering corporations, lower taxes on the homes, incomes, food and necessities of the people. Repeal the sales tax. Reduce income taxes, granting exemptions of $3,000 for married, $2,000 for single persons. A 100% excess profits tax on all corporation profits over 5%. A tax on capital gains. Drastic reduction of home mortgage interest.
National health insurance. Old-age pensions of $75 monthly for men at 65, women at 60. Higher veterans’ pensions. Higher family allowances. Maternity grants and aid to nurseries and kindergartens.
A Youth Program of free trades training, scholarships, assistance through high school, recreational and sports activities. Stop the drift of young people to the U.S.A. The vote at 18.
Substantial federal grants for education and the building of schools.
Protect and Extend the Hard-Won Rights of Labor
A democratic national Labor Code. A national minimum wage, a 7-hour day, 5-day week with no reduction in pay, minimum 2-week vacation with pay.
End the discriminatory wage differential which imposes lower living standards on French Canada.
Equal pay for equal work for women and young workers.
A progressive immigration policy in line with continued expansion of Canada’s economy.
A New National Farm Policy –
Export Food, Not Guns
Halt the growing crisis in Canadian farming. Re-establish Canada’s position in the British Commonwealth markets. Restore world markets. Make Canada’s production of food available to hunger-ridden peoples.
Guarantee floor prices for all farm products. Provide federal credits at nominal interest to build a balanced Canadian agriculture. Farm representation on all marketing agencies. Strict control of prices of farm machinery and supplies.
Irrigate the dry lands. Build the South Saskatchewan River Dam and similar projects. Electrification of the countryside.
Develop Our Canadian Culture
Develop and enrich our Canadian culture. Encourage the talents of our people and provide opportunities for musicians, singers, painters, writers and actors to practice their arts in Canada.
Stop the pollution of our national life by preventing the importation of U.S. “gangster culture”. Ban crime and horror comics.
Federal grants of $100 million annually to stimulate the arts in English-speaking and French Canada, making possible the cultural expression of our growing democratic Canadian consciousness.
Maintain federal control of TV and provide subsidies to give high quality Canadian programs. Guarantee freedom of expression on the CBC.
Cultural exchanges with all countries.
Defend and Extend Canadian Democracy
Restore the supremacy of the Parliament in Canada. Put an end to cabinet rule by Order-in-Council.
Remove the anti-labor, anti-democratic sections in the revised Criminal Code.
The Canadian people need a Bill of Rights providing constitutional guarantees of civil liberties regardless of sex, national or racial origin, opinion or belief.
Full democratic rights for North American Indian and Canadian Arctic peoples, including equal rights and facilities for education and employment.
A Made-in-Canada Constitution to safeguard Canadian democratic rights and institutions. The Constitution should embody the Bill of Rights and maintain the traditional rights of the provinces. It should proclaim the right of full national equality for French Canada, affirming the principle of the equal right of the French Canadian and English-speaking peoples, joined involuntary union, each to determine its own future without interference or coercion.
Strengthen our democratic pride in Canada by the adoption of a Canadian flag.
1. Restore trade with the British Commonwealth by accepting pounds sterling in payment for our factory and farm products.
2. Break U.S. shackles on Canadian trade. Demand that the Government send trade delegations to the 12 Socialist states to sign trade agreements.
3. Build up and expand Canadian industries by processing more of our raw materials at home. Stop the dumping of U.S. products which throws Canadians out of work and ruins our industry and farming.
4. Build 750,000 low-rental, low-cost homes, reduce down payments and mortgage interest.
5. Save agriculture by guaranteeing the farmers parity prices, exporting food, not guns.
6. Build an all-Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway now, construct a publicly-owned Trans-Canada national gas pipeline, the South Saskatchewan River Dam, the Maritimes Chignecto Canal and other nation-building projects.
7. Raise purchasing power and expand the home markets – by higher wages and farm income; people before profits; a 7-hour day, 5-day week; repeal the sales tax; lower taxation on the people’s homes, food and incomes and higher taxes on corporation profits; a national health plan; payment for unemployment insurance benefits at 75% of earnings for the full period of unemployment; old age pensions of $75 for men at 65, women at 60.
8. Improve the social and cultural life of Canada by building new schools, day nurseries, hospitals, theatres, recreational centres, sports stadiums, libraries, roads and highways.
9. Enact a Bill of Rights to protect the civil rights of all Canadians.
10. Cut spending on armaments to the 1947 level, spend the money on
people’s needs. Ban and the A and H bombs. Call for a Conference of the
great Powers to preserve world peace and expand world trade.
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