Organ of the Ottawa District of the Communist Party of Canada
Price: five cents Vol. 1. No. 11 Feb. 1, 1941

The war is now 17 months old. It is increasing in violence and intensity. We Communists are the only united, disciplined force in Canada opposing the warmongers’ efforts to plunge Canada even deeper into the holocaust. Our aim is to 1) extricate Canada from the imperialist war 2) achieve a just, democratic and lasting world peace 3) end war forever by abolishing the capitalist system and establishing socialism.

Under the War Measures Act enacted by the Canadian parliament at the Sept.1939 session, and the Defense of Canada Regulations passed by the Governor-General-in-Council (the Cabinet) and which became the law of the land without parliamentary adoption, a blitzkrieg directed against the people of Canada began with the outbreak or war, The forces of reaction, held at bay for a number of years by the growing progressive movement, saw a chance in the war situation to strike vicious blows against civil liberty, blows they never would have dared to strike in time of peace. Boldly they set out along the path leading to Fascism.

Conscription (the first step of the goose step) has been introduced. True, it is labeled “for home defense only” just as national registration was dismissed with the phrase “merely a national stock-taking.” When stock-taking is completed, the usual practice is to drive some of the stock into cars and ship them to the slaughter-house. It is now openly predicted that soon our human “stock” will be given uniforms, herded on board ship and dispatched to the slaughter overseas.

Civil liberties have been wiped out, and a reign of fascist terror instituted. Hundreds of Canadians have been jailed or interned for opposing the plans of the war-makers. Many labor, pacifist and religious publications have been banned. Homes and premises have been raided by the police. The age long right of Habeas Corpus is suspended. Freedom of speech has been replaced by arbitrary censorship. Strikes have been outlawed and militant trade union leaders shanghied to internment camps.

The war profiteers are having a field day. In the words of Dorise Neilson, M.P. for North Battleford: “During the last war we made 60 new millionaires in Canada, and we sacrificed 60,000 men. That meant roughly the lives of a thousand men for every new millionaire created. As far as I can see, the same sort of things will go on during this war.” The Ralston budget and subsequent additional tax measures made no effort to conscript wealth, nor to limit war profits. The full burden of war costs has been thrown upon the Canadian people, already over-taxed and facing skyrocketing living costs. Nor is the end in sight. The Big Shots and their parliamentary stooges indicate the shape of things to come by constantly admonishing the workers to “pull in your belts.”

The rich grow richer, the poor grow poorer. Canadian capital barters the lives of our boys for juicy war orders. Such is the Canadian scene after 17 months of war.

The Communist Party saw the world moving toward war years ago and struggled to unify the peace forces of the world to prevent war breaking out. At the Eighth Dominion Convention of the Communist Party of Canada, held in Toronto, October, 1937, the resolution on Canada’s Foreign Policy called for every effort to preserve peace, but added:

“Should the mobilization of the forces for the maintenance of peace be delayed and should imperialist war none the less break out despite the struggle for peace, the Communist Party of Canada will carry out the decisions of the Stuttgart Congress of the Communist International.

“‘If war never the less breaks out, it is their duty to work for its speedy termination and to strive with all their might to utilize the economic and political crisis produced by war to rouse the political consciousness of all workers and thereby hasten the downfall of capitalist class domination.’

“If a counter-revolutionary attack on the Soviet Union forces the Soviet Union to defend its Socialist Society, the Communist Party will regard it as its duty and the duty of all workers and supporters of peace to do everything possible for the defeat of the imperialist and fascist forces.”

Source: No author, "Communists and the War," The Clarion, February 1, 1941

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