TORONTO In his keynote address Miguel Figueroa, reelected leader of the Communist Party of Canada (CPC), stressed the turning point nature of their 31st Central Convention. He detailed the vicious corporate attack on working people in general and the particular legal attack on the Communist Party in national elections laws passed last year.
He outlined the Party's progress in helping to "unite the fighttback" against a "most aggressive and fundamental attack on the working class and trade union movement in Canada. We've had a lively, sharp and comradely debate in pre-convention discussion and have regrouped, rebuilt and even established the Party in new areas since our last convention," said Figueroa. He hailed international efforts to rebuild and strengthen world communist unity and solidarity.
The convention debated and adopted a resolution on the main domestic and internarional issues facing the people of Canada. One highlight of the discussion was on the issue of Quebec. The CPC demanded a constituent assembly to draft a new democratic constltution for Canada that will feature full recognition and respect for Quebec and it's rights. A new constitution would also recognize the full equality and rights of Canada's native peoples.
Much stress was placed on the need for unity of the Quebec working class and people with the working class and people of the rest of Canada against the corporate offensive. It was noted that U.S rransnational corporations can wreck even greater havoc on the economy and working class with a divided Canada.
Much attention was also given to the fight to revitalize the left in the trade union movement and rebuilding the Communist Party's presence in labor.
Partlcular attention was given to the need for political independence in light of some of the compromising policies of the New Democratic Party on labor and people's issues.
Delegates discussed a wide range of issues that need to be part of a militant fightback program for labot, including the fight against privatization, for shorter hours, for public ownership, the fight for jobs and the guarantee of basic labor rights in a new Canadian Constitution.
The convention took great pride in the Party's accomplishment in reeestablishing the Communist press in Canada, People's Voice Editor Kimball Cariou reported on the growth of the press and its important function as a tool for building the Party and the left. It has grown from a 16 page to a 2O page paper at a time when "no other force on the left in Canada has launched a new socialist publication."
The Congress received fraternal greetings from many Communist and workers parties around the world. Fraternal delegates from Mexico, Cuba, Greece, Chile, India and the U.S. read messages of solidarity and spoke about the latest developments in their countries. The convention reconfirmed the Party's working class internationalism and its support for rebuilding the Communist movement around the world. Special attention was given to solidarity against U.S. imperialism's continued illegal blockade of Cuba.
Noting new and more favorable conditions for building the CPC, delegates adjourned confident in becoming a larger Communist Party and winning the Canadian people to peace progress and socialism.
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