The aim of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation
is the establishment in Canada by democratic means of a cooperative
commonwealth in which the supplying of human needs and enrichment
of human life shall be the primary purpose of our society. Private
profit and corporate power must be subordinated to social planning
designed to achieve equality of opportunity and the highest possible
living standards for all Canadians.
This is, and always has
been, the aim of the C.C.F. The Regina Manifesto, proclaimed by
the founders of the movement in 1933, has had a profound influence
on Canada's social system. Many of the improvements it recommended
have been wrung out of unwilling governments by the growing strength
of our movement and the growing political maturity of the Canadian
people. Canada is a better place than it was a generation ago, not
least because of the cry for justice sounded in the Regina Manifesto
and the devoted efforts of CCF members and supporters since that
Canada Still Ridden by Inequalities
In spite of great economic expansion, large sections of our people
do not benefit adequately from the increased wealth produced.
Greater wealth and economic power continue to be concentrated in
the hands of a relatively few private corporations. The gap between
those at the bottom and those at the top of the economic scale has
Thousands still live in want and insecurity. Slums and inadequate
housing condemn many Canadian families to a cheerless life.
Older citizens exist on pensions far too low for health and dignity.
Many too young to qualify for pensions are rejected by industry
as too old for employment, and face the future without hope. Many
in serious ill-health cannot afford the hospital and medical care
they need. Educational institutions have been starved for funds
and, even in days of prosperity, only a small proportion of young
men and women who could benefit from technical and higher education
can afford it.
In short, Canada is still
characterized by glaring inequalities of wealth and opportunity
and by the domination of one group over another. The growing concentration
of corporate wealth has resulted in a virtual economic dictatorship
by a privileged few. This threatens our political democracy which
will attain its full meaning only when our people have a voice in
the management of their economic affairs and effective control over
the means by which they live.
The Folly of Wasted Resources
Furthermore, even during
a time of high employment, Canada's productive capacity is not fully
utilized. Its use is governed by the dictates of private economic
power and by considerations of private profit. Similarly, the scramble
for profit has wasted and despoiled our rich resources of soil,
water, forest and minerals.
This lack of social planning
results in a waste of our human as well as our natural resources.
Our human resources are wasted through social and economic conditions
which stunt human growth, through unemployment and through our failure
to provide adequate education.
The Challenge of New Horizons
The C.C.F. believes that
Canada needs a program for the wise development and conservation
of its natural resources. Our industry can and should be so operated
as to enable our people to use fully their talents and skills. Such
an economy will yield the maximum opportunities for individual development
and the maximum of goods and services for the satisfaction of human
needs at home and abroad.
and technological advances have brought us to the threshold of a
second industrial revolution. Opportunities for enriching the standard
of life in Canada and elsewhere are greater than ever. However,
unless careful study is given to the many problems which will arise
and unless there is intelligent planning to meet them, the evils
of the past will be multiplied in the future. The technological
changes will produce even greater concentrations of wealth and power
and will cause widespread distress through unemployment and the
displacement of populations.
The challenge facing Canadians
today is whether future development will continue to perpetuate
the inequalities of the past or whether it will be based on principles
of social justice.
Capitalism Basically Immoral
Economic expansion accompanied
by widespread suffering and injustice is not desirable social progress.
A society motivated by the drive for private gain and special privilege
is basically immoral.
The CCF reaffirms its belief
that our society must have a moral purpose and must build a new
relationship among men--a relationship based on mutual respect and
on equality of opportunity. In such a society everyone will have
a sense of worth and belonging, and will be enabled to develop his
capacities to the full.
Social Planning for a Just Society
Such a society cannot be
built without the application of social planning projects; financial
and credit resources must be used to help maintain full employment
and to control inflation and deflation.
In the cooperative commonwealth
there will be an important role for public, private and cooperative
enterprise working together in the people's interest.
The CCF has always recognized
public ownership as the most effective means of breaking the stranglehold
of private monopolies on the life of the nation and of facilitating
the social planning necessary for economic security and advance.
The CCF will, therefore, extend public ownership wherever it is
necessary for the achievement of these objectives.
At the same time, the CCF
also recognizes that in many fields there will be need for private
enterprise which can make a useful contribution to the development
of our economy. The cooperative commonwealth will, therefore, provide
appropriate opportunities for private business as well as publicly-owned
The CCF will protect and
make more widespread the ownership of family farms by those who
will till them, of homes by those who live in them, and of all personal
possessions necessary for the well-being of the Canadian people.
In many fields the best
means of ensuring justice to producers and consumers is the cooperative
form of ownership. In such fields, every assistance will be given
to form cooperatives and credit unions and to strengthen those already
Building a Living Democracy
The CCF welcomes the growth
of labour unions, farm and other organizations of the people. Through
them, and through associations for the promotion of art and culture,
the fabric of a living democracy is being created in Canada. These
organizations must have the fullest opportunity for further growth
and participation in building our nation's future.
In the present world struggle
for men's minds and loyalties, democratic nations have a greater
responsibility than ever to erase every obstacle to freedom and
every vestige of racial, religious or political discrimination.
Legislation alone cannot do this, but effective legislation is a
necessary safeguard for basic rights and a sound foundation for
further social and educational progress.
Therefore, the CCF proposes
the enactment of a Bill of Rights guaranteeing freedom of speech
and of expression, the right of lawful assembly, association and
organization, equal treatment before the law, freedom to worship
according to one's own conscience and the enjoyment of all rights
without distinction of race, sex, religion or language.
Basis for Peace
The solution of the problems
facing Canada depends, in large part, on removing the international
dangers which threaten the future of all mankind. Therefore no task
is more urgent than that of building peace and of forging international
policies which will banish from the earth the oppressive fear of
every part of the world is free from the fear of aggression and
domination, can progress be made toward a lasting settlement of
Throughout the years the
CCF has maintained that there has been too much reliance on defence
expenditures to meet the threat of communist expansion. One of the
urgent needs for building a peaceful world and for extending the
influence and power of democracy is generous support of international
agencies to provide assistance to under-developed countries on a
The hungry, oppressed and
underprivileged of the world must know democracy not as a smug slogan
but as a dynamic way of life which sees the world as one whole,
and which recognizes the right of every nation to independence and
of every people to the highest available standard of living.
Support of United Nations
The CCF reaffirms full support
for the United Nations and its development into an effective organization
of international cooperation and government. The world must achieve
a large measure of international disarmament without delay and evolve
a system of effective international control and inspection to enable
the prohibition of nuclear weapons.
The CCF believes in full
international cooperation which alone can bring lasting peace. The
practices of imperialism, whether of the old style or the new totalitarian
brand, must disappear. The CCF strives for a world society based
on the rule of law and on freedom, on the right to independence
of all peoples, on greater equality among nations and on genuine
Confidence in Canada
The CCF has confidence in
Canada and its people who have come from many lands in search of
freedom, security and opportunity. It is proud of our country's
origins in the British and French traditions which have produced
our present parliamentary and judicial systems.
The CCF believes in Canada's
federal system. Properly applied in a spirit of national unity,
it can safeguard our national well-being and at the same time protect
the traditions and constitutional rights of the provinces. Within
the framework of the federal system the CCF will equalize opportunities
for the citizens of every province in Canada. True national unity
will be achieved only when every person from the Atlantic to the
Pacific is able to enjoy an adequate standard of living.
Socialism on the March
In less than a generation
since the CCF was formed, democratic socialism has achieved a place
in the world which its founders could hardly have envisaged. Many
labour and socialist parties have administered or participated in
the governments of their countries. As one of these democratic socialist
parties, the CCF recognizes that the great issue of our time is
whether mankind shall move toward totalitarian oppression or toward
a wider democracy within nations and among nations.
The CCF will not rest content
until every person in this land and in all other lands is able to
enjoy equality and freedom, a sense of human dignity, and an opportunity
to live a rich and meaningful life as a citizen of a free and peaceful
world. This is the Cooperative Commonwealth which the CCF invites
the people of Canada to build with imagination and pride.