Parti Social Democratique du Canada
Winnipeg Declaration Of Principles (1956)
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 time.
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 widened.
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
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.
Unprecedented scientific 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
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
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 industry.
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 in
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
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 outstanding
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 vast
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 universal
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.
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