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LPP Electoral Program (1944?)

The Communist Party of Canada adopted the name "Labor-Progressive Party" when it emerged from illegality in 1943. The following was published as a 32-page 5.25"x7.25" pamphlet. It is undated, but on internal evidence must have been written in 1944 or early 1945.

It appears to have been designed for use by candidates across the country, with the back cover reserved for individual candidates in various ridings. The back cover of the edition in the SHP archives is reproduced at the bottom of this page.

The pamphlet was illustrated with small cartoons on every page -- we have reproduced only the drawing of LPP leader Tim Buck, from the first page.


Electoral Program of the Labor-Progressive Party


In the pages of this booklet the Labor-Progressive Party sets forth for the consideration of every Canadian the concrete things which must be done to enable our people to reap the harvest of Victory. When we speak of "a better Canada", as all of us do, these days, there is need to be very definite about the steps which must be taken to realize our aims ... Here, between these covers, is our Party’s idea of those steps. We speak about housing, about health, about culture and education, about taxes, about foreign trade and our relations with other countries all around us ...

By acting upon the needs of Canada’s people in these respects, we can raise the level of Canada’s contribution to the solution of those world problems which concern us all. And we shall be fulfilling the dreams of great men who gave their talents, their energies and their very lives, down through the generations, to make Canada a land that the poet conceived when he wrote "... But Westward look ... the land is bright!"



OUR country is engaged in the final and fiercest battles of the world-wide people’s war against German and Japanese fascism. Our country fights for its own national freedom, for the right of Canadians to say how they shall live and what kind of government they are to have. In this costly national struggle, for which so many of our young men have given and are giving their lives, we are winning a glorious opportunity to open a new era of national greatness.

Our country’s war effort has been magnificent, both in men and materials. We have built up a mighty production machine in the cities and on the farms. The conditions for achieving in Canada a real People’s Peace are ready to our hand, provided we learn the lesson that the price of national greatness is national unity.

If labor and the farmers, and all the common people, resolve to strengthen national unity, thrusting aside all those who threaten it, we can secure those great reforms which will enable our young country to rise to its full stature in the coming years. That is the aim of every democratic Canadian in the coming Dominion election.

What are the things that Victory will give us the opportunity to do?

ü We can elect to parliament those men and women who are the best fighters for the people, the truest champions of labor and the farmers and Canadian business — men and women who are resolved to utilize our labor and national resources to provide maximum production and employment after the war, to raise living standards to new high levels, and to enact sweeping reforms to provide social security for our people.

ü We can take our place as a sovereign power in the new world organization of the United Nations, ready to act with them to prevent any further aggression upon the peace of the world.

ü We can prevent a recurrence of the conditions in which the needs and just claims of the ex-service men and women were buried beneath wordy, and ofttimes empty, tributes to our glorious dead. We can make sure that Canada fulfils her primary responsibility — the complete civil re-establishment of our fighting men and women.

ü We can establish a partnership between labor, management and government for reconversion from war to peace-time industry.

ü We can maintain in the peace the high level of national income that has been achieved during the war.

ü We can restrict monopolistic practices, protect small business and give full scope to the development of our natural resources.

ü We can establish the 8-hour day and 40-hour week at decent wages and guarantee, by law, the right to trade union organization and collective bargaining.

ü We can extend to all of Canada’s youth the fullest opportunity to learn, to train and to be usefully employed.

ü We can ensure to the women of Canada full equality of opportunity, to enable them to play their rightful part in public affairs and industry.

ü We can safeguard the right to publish and speak our thoughts, to worship in our own way, and freely organize politically.

ü We can live together, in harmony, English and French Canadian, through the enjoyment of equal rights in a Confederation brought up-to-date by constitutional reforms.

The approaching victory of the peoples will make possible long years of world prosperity on the secure foundation of United Nations’ friendship and co-operation. Canada, as a leading exporting nation, must play her full part in the reconstruction of liberated Europe and Asia. Increased world trade, together with rising living standards at home, will enable Canada to maintain her present national income and a high level of prosperity after the war.

These things can be done, provided there is unity of the democratic, forward-looking forces in Canadian life. They will not be done if the tory enemies of the people’s interest and democratic reforms are allowed to capture federal power through a coalition of reactionary forces.

Our country in this hour of her greatest opportunity to achieve a new era of national greatness stands before the ominous threat of the tory capture of the Dominion government. If the Tories succeed in subverting Canadian unity, Canada will be driven back to the Hungry Thirties and will be cheated of the fruits of Victory. The indispensable condition for the democratic advancement of Canada is the defeat of the tory menace and the establishment of a coalition of all democratic forces.

The next Parliament of Canada must have a majority who stand for this policy of true Canadian greatness; who will be bold and progressive and not afraid to enact far-reaching reforms; who will unite regardless of partisanship to form a government of National Unity.

In this situation, Canadian labor must become the very backbone of national unity.

The Labor-Progressive Party champions labor unity and independent labor political action. The aim of such a policy is not to set labor apart from the nation as a whole, but to unite labor with all other democratic forces to advance the national interest. In this equal partnership labor will realize its aspirations in the course of fulfilling the common aims of the nation.

The Labor-Progressive Party is dedicated to the struggle to abolish all exploitation of man by man through the establishment of Socialism. We are confident that, with effective work on our part and through their own experience, the democratic majority of Canadians will come to recognize the need for such a fundamental change in the economic basis of our society. Today, however, a realistic appreciation of the pressing needs and the attitude of the great majority of our fellow citizens compels recognition of the fact that the issue in the coming election is not the fundamental character of the social system under which we live. Canadians will not be voting on the issue of "free enterprise" vs. Socialism, but to decide whether we can organize government policy in such a way as to maintain a high level of production and purchasing power in accord with the people’s needs and economic interests.

The Labor-Progressive Party, as a vital force in Canadian democracy, enters the coming Dominion election with its own platform and candidates. The LPP believes that national unity can be best expressed in parliament through a coalition of all democratic forces, including the Labor-Progressive Party, the CCF, the trade unions, the farmers’ movements, and progressive Liberals of town and rural districts. Together, these represent the overwhelming majority of Canadians. Together they can give the necessary leadership, not surrendering their identities but realizing their common aim — prosperity and enduring peace.

Only such a democratic coalition, only such a National Unity parliament and government, can lead Canada forward to that new era of national greatness which is now within our reach.

Canada can be strong, prosperous and free.

Proud of their victorious defense of freedom in this war, and confident of continuing prosperity and progress, our people must march to new horizons in the years to come.

In this spirit, the Labor-Progressive Party herewith presents its Election Platform, on which its candidates will stand, and for the enactment of which its elected representatives will fight, as their contribution to the cause of a United, Prosperous and Peaceful Canada.



The central problem of Dominion government policy after the war will be to maintain the national income and public purchasing power at a prosperity level. This can be done! The war has proved that the nation, through its elected government, can direct its economy so as to maintain any desired level of production within our physical capacity. To accomplish that in wartime, the Dominion government has assumed responsibilities and functions which, previously, were considered to be outside the field of government action. The government must continue to accept responsibility for maintaining the level of the national income in peace as well as in war. Government must assume responsibility for carrying through that measure of economic activity and purchasing power by which private capital fails to provide full employment.

The Labor-Progressive Party bases its proposals for post-war economic action entirely upon the above-stated need. Our attitude towards the question of "private enterprise" versus "public ownership" in the period following the war will be determined in every case by that basic aim. Only in cases where "private enterprise" fails to maintain a high level of employment, production, or service, or in which the immediate public interest demands it (as, for example, the B.C. Electric, the Montreal Light, Heat and Power, etc.) will the Labor-Progressive Party urge public ownership. In the public interest which demands a National Coal Policy, the coal mining industry should be taken under public ownership through the joint actions of the Dominion and Provincial governments.

Preparation for Reconversion Must Begin Now

To carry through prompt, planned reconversion of industry from war production to the production of civilian goods, the Labor-Progressive Party proposes that the new Ministry of Reconstruction should set up Joint Advisory Committees representing Labor, Management and the Government, for each industrial region. Each advisory committee will study all the problems of reconversion in the industry it represents. It will take into account and plan in the light of the civilian production possibilities of the industry, the needs of the workers now employed in it and the communities of which they are a part, the market possibilities and government plans for expanding them.

In each industry as the need for war material declines the advisory committees will work out plans for re-tooling for civilian production, the switch to the production of civilian goods, and any necessary transfer of labor. In this way we will avoid a general shutdown of industry and a period of mass unemployment before civilian production gets under way.

Hand in hand with reconversion the Minister of Reconstruction should see to the establishment of vital basic industries in Canada — production of aviation engines, expansion of iron ore smelting, modern synthetics and plastics, more extensive use of Canada’s vast resources of coal and petroleum, etc.

Post-war utilization of government-owned plants must be planned on the basis of national interest and needs with the specific aim of maintaining a high level of employment. The decisive consideration must be that those valuable modern plants and machinery shall be utilized for immediate peace-time production.

Greatly increased governmental assistance must be given to the development of science, and particularly scientific research, in Canada.

The Canadian Merchant Marine must be maintained after the war, so that Canadian goods shall be carried by Canadian ships and seamen throughout the seven seas.

The trade unions must be given an equal place in such planned reconversion. The principle of severance (temporary lay-off) pay as advocated by the unions to be adopted and put into effect by the Dominion Government.

Expand Our Exports

The Dominion Government must assume responsibility for maintaining our national exports at a level of two billion dollars per year. This can be done through government aid in the organization of private and government large-scale long terms loans, export credits and lend-lease aid to the countries devastated by the war, to Latin America and to the economically backward colonies of Asia and Africa.

Build for a Better Life

The Labor-Progressive Party proposes a bold, comprehensive Dominion-Provincial-Municipal program of large-scale construction to answer Canada’s long-neglected needs in housing, school, hospital and town-planning, recreational, highway and other construction.

Such large-scale public and private works at trade-union wages will take up the slack of "reconversion" unemployment, build up urban and rural community life and improve the homes and, the economic efficiency of our country.

These works must include community planning, slum clearance, local improvements, hospitals, schools, and community centres. For our rural areas, highways and, market roads, hospitals, schools, flood control, electric power development, rural electrification, and, particularly in the western provinces, water conservation and irrigation works.

The St. Lawrence Waterway, modern facilities for civil aviation, and similar great developmental works must be carried through on a basis of co-operation between Dominion, Provincial and Municipal governments.

The Yukon, the North and the North-West Territories must be systematically opened up, their immense natural wealth developed and settlement encouraged by the establishment of efficient transportation and community facilities.


Our post-war public works program must include a comprehensive slum clearance and housing scheme. The 1944 Federal Housing Act is a step in that direction; it must be improved and extended to provide: (a) that the Dominion Government will actually initiate large-scale housing schemes; (b) that the Dominion Government gives aid to public low-rental housing projects and to projects undertaken by private capital, setting up rental reduction funds to guarantee that tenants whose incomes are in the lower brackets shall not have to pay more than 20 per cent of their income as rent; (c) national housing standards which must be met as a condition of receiving Dominion Government assistance.


Following the first world war, the needs and the just claims of the ex-servicemen were systematically evaded behind wordy — but all too often empty — tributes to our glorious dead. There must be no recurrence of those conditions: for every service man and woman who returns to Canada from this war it must be glorious to be alive. That’s what Canada owes to her heroes and that is the program of the Labor-Progressive Party.

In the final analysis the best assurance of successful civil re-establishment for the men and women who offered their lives to serve Canada in the war will be provided by policies which maintain a high level of national prosperity with jobs, security and opportunity. While fighting for policies which will maintain those conditions, the Labor-Progressive Party pledges its members to fight in the next House of Commons to improve the War Services Grants and related Acts by eliminating all discrepancies, by strengthening the sections dealing with actual process of re-establishment, to secure further representation from veterans’ organizations on all administrative boards and to ensure that all the promises of the Acts shall be carried out without discrimination and free from stifling red tape. The Labor-Progressive Party fights for the principle that the Dominion Government shall assume permanent responsibility for the health and welfare of all war veterans, including the veterans of the first world war.


To maintain full employment after the war living standards in Canada must be raised to the levels now made possible by 20th century technique and organization.

Canada’s government must ensure that every Canadian obtains adequate food, clothing and shelter, medical care, opportunities for education, a career in youth and unworried comfort in old age. The 1944 Family Allowances Act, which raises the standard of life of all families in the low income group, is an important step in that direction. The Labor-Progressive Party pledges its candidates to fight for the enactment of legislation in the next Parliament to provide the following:

ü Amendment of the Dominion Labor Code in accord with the proposals of the trade union movement and legislation to establish a permanent Dominion Labor Code in agreement with the provinces. A national 40-hour week without reduction in weekly earnings. Legislation to guarantee two weeks annual vacations with pay, for all workers and employees, and pay for statutory and civic holidays.

ü A national minimum hourly wage and a guaranteed minimum annual income for every worker and employee. Every wage and salary worker must be assured of an annual income equal to the basic living standards established by the Dominion authorities. Our national aim must be directed to the target set by the Jubilee Convention of the Trades and Labor Congress of Canada — a guaranteed minimum income of $1,500 for every gainfully employed adult.

To increase the efficiency of Canada’s social services, reduce their cost to the people and simplify the collection of social security contributions, Labor-Progressive Party members in the House of Commons will urge a unified social security plan; the setting up of a National Social Security Administration, to bring together all social security measures under one consolidated administration, with all levies for social security purposes, from individuals or firms, covered by a single inclusive periodic contribution. Social security legislation must provide:

(a) Dominion Old-Age Pensions of $40 per month to start at the age of 60 for women and 65 for men.

(b) National Health Insurance to provide medical services, doctors’ and nurses’ care, hospitalization, and sick pay. Vast extension of hospital and all medical facilities in co-operation with all the provinces and municipalities.

(c) Extension of the National Unemployment Insurance to cover all workers and employees with wages or salaries of less than $2,500 per year, with increased insurance benefits.

(d) A National standard for mothers’ allowances with a basic minimum of $60 per month for mother and one child and adequate allowances for each additional child.


Canada needs a national farm policy to unify and bring into harmony the work of Dominion and Provincial departments of agriculture and legislation relating to agriculture and farm welfare. Such a policy must be directed to preserving the family farm as the basic unit of Canadian agriculture,. and must provide all measures to ensure security of tenure for the farm family and to establish a stable income from production. The following principles must be observed:

ü Permanent legislation to establish a floor under prices of all farm products by government price setting; such a floor to be maintained by democratically constituted farmers’ marketing boards and government purchasing boards; state purchases and distribution of surplus products; planned farm production in co-operation with farmers’ production committees in line with domestic and foreign market requirements.

ü Dominion-Provincial action to protect the farmer from eviction, foreclosure and crop failure.

ü State aid for producer and implement co-operatives, and exemption of all cooperatives from income or corporation taxes.

ü Measures to reduce freight rates for farm products and farm supplies, particularly for Western Canada and the Maritimes.

ü Increased utilization of the Hudson’s Bay Railway and the Bay ports.

ü Establishment of a Dominion-wide Farm Rehabilitation Administration of the character of the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration.

ü Establishment of experimental plants, with Dominion-Provincial co-operation, to develop and extend the use of Canadian farm products as industrial raw materials.

ü Measures to reduce the cost and repair of farm implements and machinery; by tariff reduction, and encouragement to farm implement co-operatives.


Government action to provide credit for Canadian producers through public credit institutions. Expand the Industrial Development Bank, establish a government Farm Credits Bank, an Export Import Bank and a Bank for Housing Development. Our national aim must be careful but far-reaching revision of the Bank Act and extension of the functions of the Bank of Canada so as to free Canada’s productive capacity from dependence upon the credit monopoly now held by the chartered banks.

Democratic Tax Policies

Our post-war fiscal policies must be based squarely upon the need to maintain the national income and the inescapable need for stable over-all expenditures at the level required to maintain a high level of productive employment.

The principle upon which the Wartime Excess Profits tax is based is correct and must be maintained after the war. It is the principle that excessive profits should be taken by the government and used in the interest of the community. The method by which the principle is applied, however, must be brought into line with the conditions created by the war. At the present time the Wartime Excess Profits Tax operates to the advantage of wealthy big corporations, particularly the monopolies, and to the disadvantage of smaller business.

That condition must be corrected. Corporation income tax and taxation of excessive profits should be based upon the amount of profits made, and their relationship to capital investment, during the year for which the taxation is collected and not according to the rate of profits made during 1936-39. The base line of 1936-39, which tends to maintain and even to strengthen the advantages of monopoly corporations, must be discarded.

ü Retain the principle of the wartime control of retail prices for a period of time and controls to prevent wage reductions, as well as all measures needed to combat post-war inflation.

ü Exemption from personal income tax of married couples with annual incomes of $1,550 or less and of single persons with incomes of $1,250 or less.

Curb Monopoly Practices

The Dominion government must adopt stern government measures to curb monopoly practices such as were revealed in the report of the Royal Commission on Price Spreads and Mass Buying. We need legislation to define and prohibit monopoly practices and legislation which embodies the declared purpose of the anti-trust legislation of the United States to protect small business.

Such measures will be an essential feature of a healthy, prosperous post-war economy. They are necessary to prevent the re-establishment of war-breeding cartels on an international scale as well as to protect the interests of consumers and small business at home. International cartels were big factors in the Nazi organization for war as well as in the establishment of monopoly control and prices in the world market for many vital products. International cartels are anti-democratic and economically restrictive factors in world economy. In the interest of genuine international co-operation and an enduring democratic peace all international cartels must be dissolved after the war.


The new status won by Canadian women in the course of the war must be upheld in the post-war; women must be guaranteed equal rights to work at trades they have trained for. The principle of equal pay for equal work must be established by law.


Immediate action to meet the post-war needs of Canada’s young people. The establishment of a National Youth Commission to carry into effect a charter of youth’s needs, to open the broadest educational facilities, to extend and improve facilities and opportunities for vocational training.

ü A Dominion-Provincial scholarship plan to assure that gifted children whose parents’ income is in the lower brackets shall have full opportunity to secure higher education.

ü Extend Canadian democracy by lowering the voting age to 18 years.


For the enrichment of our leisure time, for better understanding between Canadians of French and English extraction, to make the joy and advantages of culture and art available to all the people, the LPP proposes that the government give leadership to our national cultural development. As a fitting memorial to Canada’s war dead, the Dominion government should establish a National Centre of Culture and the Arts, with a National Library and Museum, to help promote the creation of a network of such centres across the country. Our artists, writers and other cultural workers in both French and English Canada should be drawn into the work of establishing this project, and given every encouragement to contribute to the enrichment of Canadian culture.

The services of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation must be extended and improved as an educational and cultural medium. The CBC must be further democratized; it must become an active factor in the development and strengthening of the spirit of true Canadianism. The full program proposed by the 13 organizations of Canadian artists should be put into effect.


Canada’s post-war immigration policies must be based on the actual economic conditions of the post-war period. They must exclude any revival of the reckless pressure campaigns to persuade huge numbers of people to abandon their homes and emigrate to Canada regardless of conditions here. At the same time, as a member of the United Nations, Canada must play a generous role in helping to solve the urgent world problem of re-settling the thousands of democratic men and women of Europe who are refugees from fascist terror.


The LPP stands for policies which will strengthen the friendship of the peoples that live side by side in Canada.

We stand for the full national equality of French- and English-speaking Canada; for an equal partnership of our peoples based on fully equitable representation in government, and equality of opportunity in economic, social and cultural life. Our party is pledged to fight for the wiping out of the conditions of extreme poverty which weigh upon French Canada as a heritage of the dark past. We stand pledged to work for the outlawing of anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination based on pretexts of national origin, color or creed.

To enable Canada to solve her post-war problems, Dominion-Provincial relations must be brought into accord with the people’s needs. For this the LPP urges that a Dominion-Provincial Conference be called as soon as possible after the war to thoroughly review and propose amendments to our Constitution, the British North America Act.

The LPP proposes that these amendments include the following:

ü Re-adjust the division of authority as between the Dominion and the Provinces, placing responsibility upon the Dominion government for social legislation and labor standards, legislation regulating corporations and trade and commerce, re-adjusting also, in accord with such changes, the distribution of taxing authority and Dominion subsidies to the provinces.

ü Maintain the rights of the provinces in matters pertaining to religion, education, control of natural resources, supervision of municipal affairs and civil rights, while granting the Dominion government extended jurisdiction in matters pertaining to social legislation, restriction of monopolies and national action required to maintain production.

ü Grant self-government to the people of the Yukon by establishing an elective representative governing body for the district.

ü An amendment to authorize provincial governments to delegate their powers and authority in any given field to the Dominion government without prejudice to their authority as a whole.

The foregoing measures are urgently needed now. Our full aim, however, must be to provide Canada with a National Constitution which will bring Confederation fully into accord with present day conditions, a Constitution which can be amended when necessary by Canada’s Parliament and by no other authority, under conditions and by procedure established to protect provincial rights. By adoption of our own Constitution we should:

ü Abolish appeals to the Privy Council.

ü Include in the Constitution a specific Bill of Rights, containing guarantees of civil liberty, freedom of conscience, and recognition of the equality of rights of the national communities of French and English Canada.

ü Make our Parliament fully elective.

ü Adopt an official Canadian flag, and proclaim "O Canada" the national anthem of our country.


Canada’s post-war foreign policy and relationships must be based squarely upon the interests, needs and ideals of the Canadian people.

Canada’s foreign policy must originate in Canada. Canada’s post-war policies must give full expression to the fact that the Canadian people detest war, will support united democratic action to prevent aggression or to stop it if it is started, and will co-operate loyally with all other democratic people to maintain stable and enduring peace as the indispensable basis for the building of a happy, prosperous, democratic world. To this end the Labor-Progressive Party pledges its members to fight for the following policy in external affairs:

ü Canada must demand peace conditions which will uproot the Nazi-fascist and Japanese military slave systems. They must be completely destroyed so as to remove the main source of the danger of a third and even more terrible world war, open the way for the full, free development of the liberated nations and the colonial countries and open the way for the German people to "earn their way" back into full and equal participation in the world community of democratic nations.

ü Canada must give full and systematic support to the establishment of a world organization for peace and security as outlined at the Dumbarton Oaks conference.

ü Canada should continue to maintain armed forces, army, navy and air force after the war on the scale which befits her participation as a sovereign state in the world organization to maintain peace.

ü In the British Commonwealth, Canada must continue to pursue the policy enunciated by Prime Minister Mackenzie King at the 1944 conference of Commonwealth Prime Ministers. Canada, a member of the British Commonwealth, is a power in her own right, a North American nation, next-door neighbour to both the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. As a great trading nation and an advocate of world peace and co-operation, Canada must pursue a foreign policy aimed at direct and friendly relationships and economic intercourse with all democratic countries.

ü Canada should become a member of the Pan-American Union and participate in all its conferences and other activities. As a North American nation, our interests are inseparable from the broad interests of the western hemisphere. We should act accordingly. Canada must share the advantages and responsibilities, as well as the consequences, of being one of the community of nations which constitute the people of the Americas.

ü Our Dominion government should aim at the largest possible measure of freedom of trade between Canada and the rest of the world, the reduction of tariff barriers and other obstacles to world economic co-operation, through the joint efforts of the United Nations.

ü Canada must continue whole-hearted co-operation with United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and in the international monetary fund and conferences of the United Nations.

ü The Department of External Affairs must be elevated to a full Ministry of the government, headed by a Minister for Foreign Affairs.

ü We should extend full diplomatic representation to all countries with which Canada maintains trade and diplomatic relationships.

To carry through policies such as those indicated above, the Labor-Progressive Party is prepared to co-operate with all democratic forces in the country and to support a government representing a coalition of democratic forces. We call upon all Canadians to join in the struggle now to make the forthcoming Dominion election a turning point in our country’s history.


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