Youth of Canada – our future is under attack! Today, our generation confronts war and imperialist aggression, poverty wages and dead-end jobs, and the burden of debt from education. Everywhere, youth and students confront racism, sexism, homophobia, and other oppressions. Canada is a democracy -- but for whom? Everywhere -- big business, not the people, call the shots. Big businesses holds the economic power. Its interests are undemocratically overrepresented in the Canadian political system. It is urgent: we must confront and defeat rule of powerful monopoly corporations!
Youth and students – join the fight! The history of Canada shows we are a radical and progressive force. Now is the time for youth and students to unite with the working people! Now is the time to build resistance against the corporate agenda, demanding people’s alternative. We demand democracy. We demand rights. Peace! Jobs! Education! Equality!
We are rebel youth who declare solidarity and join the fight of all those who want to build a stronger youthand student movement to fight for real change leading to a better Canada, and a better world.
We come together as the YCL-LJC because a capitalist Canada can not build that better Canada. We come together because imperialism can not build that better world. We agree a revolutionary movement is necessary to win stronger democracy, and a socialist Canada. Socialism is our long-term agenda, and it is a Communist agenda. We proudly call ourselves Communists and stand as an autonomous organization, politically and ideologically united with the Communist Party.
Our unity is founded on the recognition of Canada as a country of many nations, unequally together, Aboriginal (including first nations and Métis), Quebecois, and the dominant oppressor English-speaking nation. In addition, we recognize the English-speaking nations’ role as an oppressor towards other nations in Canada. Overcoming national chauvinism and recognizing national self-determination and sovereignty must be a key-stone of any truly pan-Canadian movement. Out unity is anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic and anti-ageist. We are open to all who share our political aims, regardless of background. Our unity is founded on education and mobilization, on the need to learn to struggle, and to struggle to learn.
Our goals are clear – short term, to build the youth resistance. Long term, to build socialism. We want to contribute a Marxist-Leninist and internationalist viewpoint to the youth movement, to help lead by building unity and militancy for policies that benefit the working people. Therefore put forward these immediate 12 points of resistance:
The YCL opposes imperialist war and occupation and supports anti-imperialist struggles. We condemn the bloody and brutal foreign policy of Canada, the United States and other imperialist countries as they extend their military, economic and cultural talons around the world and into space.
We participate in, and struggle to bring youth into, the peace movement through broad-based peace organizations including local peace coalitions, the Canadian Peace Alliance and LeCollectif 'Echec `a la guerre, as well as the Canadian Peace Congress.
Employment is a right of all young workers. Sustainable, alternative economic policies are required to democratically run our economy, block deindustrialization and create better, safer work, with better wages for youth. Much higher minimum wages, provincially and federally, are critical in this process. We must stop and reverse the de-industrialization of the country and create better work with better wages for youth. A reduced work week with no loss in pay, a minimum one month vacation, as well as no obligations on employees to accept overtime work, will also contribute to this solution. We must make unemployment insurance and welfare payments accessible to youth and minimize paper work and wait times.
We struggle for these goals, uniting in, or working to create mass organizations dedicated to their achievement. Our aim is to bring young workers into these struggles and unite them in unions so that they can collectively struggle for their rights.
3. Free, Accessible, Quality Education!
We want more and better -- instead of fewer and worse -- schools, colleges and universities. We want more social, cultural, scientific, and political programs in secondary education (high school and middle school), as well as more help for secondary school students with difficulties in English or French. Reduce and eliminate apprenticeship fees and tuition fees.
We need a 100% public, democratic, accessible, quality, portable education system. Ultimately students should receive a living stipend to make education accessible to all. We demand that Canada regard the education of youth as a right rather than a personal privilege of the rich.
We work to build the voice and power of students through the Canadian Federation of Students. The YCL stands for militancy and struggle, not only lobbying. Students must be united in a strong, active student union country wide to fight for their education and their rights. This struggle also includes students enrolled in secondary education in their fight against corporate influence in public education, school closures and for necessary public funding
The YCL fights against racism, sexism, national chauvinism, ablism and homophobia. Wining social progress requires solidarity with the struggles for the liberation of all nations, peoples and genders of Canada.
We support equality seeking organizations and speak out against discrimination. We demand the protection of women’s rights to equal pay for equal work, free and safe abortions on demand, birth control and free, accessible public child care facilities. We take a stance against and work to ban on racist, homophobic, fascist and misogynistic hate organizations.
5. A Democratic Solution to the National Question!
The ruling class, under the behest of the dominant English Canadian nation, currently suppresses the national rights of self-determination for the other nations in Canada. The YCL denounces the cultural genocide faced by First Nations and aboriginal youth and any attempt to frustrate aboriginal
We also demand the recognition of all nations in Canada, including Acadian people. We recognize that Quebec is a nation within the multi-national country of Canada. As such, we demand the recognition of their national rights.
Aboriginal nations should be free to associate as sovereign nations within Confederation. Aboriginal nations have an inalienable right to the land.
6. Organize Young Workers!
The vast majority of young workers in Canada are unorganized. Youth need unions in order to stand together against their bosses for better conditions and wages. Most young workers are in low-paid, non-union, part time, even unsafe jobs with no security or benefits. 1/5 of young people are unemployed while many other youth have two or more jobs just to get by because of the high cost of living and other policies of capitalism.
The YCL works to organize young workers to fight back! We join and support our unions where they exist or fight to create them where they do not. As the majority of youth work in the service sector the YCL joins with forces aiming to create a country-wide organization of service sector workers. We pursue policies of class struggle as opposed to collaboration.
Our aim is; Every YCLer an Organizer!
7. Internationalism and Solidarity!
The YCL is internationalist. The future of Canada is tied both to winning peace and the success of national liberation movements and revolutions which free ever-more countries from the domination of the trans-national capital and imperialism.
We declare our solidarity with those countries building socialism despite the attacks of imperialism and our comrades fighting for the liberation of the working class and youth the world over. We work to build the World Federation of Democratic Youth and commit ourselves to the continued success of the World Festival of Youth and Students.
8. Freedom and Democracy!
Capitalism is inherently in contradiction with the freedom and democracy of the working class, the people and youth. It denies the vast majority of citizen’s ownership and control over their work places, natural resources, in fact, their lives. Under socialism the economy, the environment and society as a whole are under the collective ownership and control of the working class and its allies. This freedom and democracy stands in sharp contrast to the current trend of development in Canada.
The YCL definitely fights for public control and ownership of the economy and natural resources through nationalization. We stand for immediate electoral reforms like Proportional Representation. Socialism also means protecting and expanding human rights to include the right to work, to education and health care. We oppose moves towards fascism under the guise of a “war on terror”.
9. Stop Privatization! Protect and Expand Social Services!
The Canadian government systematically giving away our water, energy, healthcare system, transit and other services to giant monopolies whose only concern is profit, not the well being of youth. They don’t care if people die because they can’t afford treatment. They don’t care if people have no access to
The YCL says privatization is nothing more than a theft of services that the people of Canada fought for, own and depend on! Privatization must be stopped and reversed. This includes nationalizing, and handing over to the people through public ownership and control, public services and resources.
10. Defend Canada’s Sovereignty!
Over the last decade and a half the activities of the ruling class and their ruling parties have quietly robbed the Canadian people of their legal, political and social independence. The most well known of these activities has been the signing of the NAFTA.
We confront those who would sell out and betray country to U.S. imperialism just to make a buck as part of the share of the global plunder. We must restore Canadian sovereignty. Such struggle is necessary to curb the interests of monopoly capital and advance the short and long term interests of the working class and youth. The YCL dedicates itself to this fight!
11. Culture and Leisure!
As imperialism, especially American imperialism, increasingly assaults Canadian sovereignty and comes to dominate political and economic life, so to does it dominate our culture. Yet youth and students are vigorously creating our own grass-roots art.
Oppressed youth are also joining global struggles through art, sometimes turning it into a voice of resistance, like hip hop. We have a fundamental right to our own democratic culture of which we as people are the creators, not the foreign and dominant for-profit media. This is a class issue, for artists are also workers whose contribution must be recognized, funded and elevated. Plus, to relax and enjoy art artists youth must have leisure time, we must have paid holidays and the freedom of job security and education without debt burden.
12. Environmental Sustainability!
An urgent environmental crisis threatens not just our planet but humanity itself. The exploitation of workers and nature are linked – by the ruthless quest for increased profits which is increasing environmental destruction at an unprecedented pace.
We oppose the reactionary forces of imperialism, and the havoc and destruction capitalists bring upon the environment. We call for the immediate implementation of the Kyoto accord and for legislation forcing corporations to take steps to make their businesses environmentally sustainable as they will be once nationalized under socialism. Destruction of the environment is inherent to capitalism because it must keep expanding its profits and control in order to survive, with no concern for the environment. Charity solutions cannot address this catastrophe; only socialism can solve the environmental crisis.
These are the struggles and demands uniting young workers and students across this land into a revolutionary youth organization -- the Young Communist League of Canada. The root cause of all these crisis' facing youth lie in the capitalist system itself, and winning these gains would throw imperialism back. The advancement of a working peoples agenda is part of a revolutionary process leading to a socialist Canada
Imperialism claimed there would be no socialism in the 21st century, but globally the masses are showing otherwise. This future will be written by the working people of Canada, including youth and students.
The first General Secretary of the YCL, Leslie Morris, said “Look on Canada, now, and see history anew. And epoch past and a new life fashioning under your hands. Communism, to which all roads lead”. Today we carry on the vision and the struggles of comrade Morris and others before us for a new, socialist, society.
The YCL, accepts as its own, the task of working unceasingly for the establishment of a socialist society, where exploitation, want, poverty, and insecurity shall be ended forever. This is not an easy task, but a goal which will be won through struggle. The task is ours as young workers and students.
There’s no time like now to ORGANIZE!
Youth of Canada -- this is our future, and our fight!