Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Progressive Workers Movement

For An Independent and Socialist Canada: A Marxist-Leninist View

Chapter 3: Canada: The Present Situation

A. Economy
American Control

“Economically and socially Canada may be considered as a northern extension of the United States,” declared the United States Department of Commerce Report, No, 44, of 1924. Was this just another arrogant Yankee boast? Yes, it was – but it was also rapidly becoming true. By the mid-1920’s, as we have stated, the United States was replacing Britain as the chief imperialist power dominating Canada. Since then, the U.S. has fully established herself as the true and only master of the Canadian house. To put it simply, Canada is no more than a neo-colony, a fully integrated part of the American empire.

J. V. Clyne, chairman and chief executive officer of MacMillan-Bloedel Ltd., stated recently that the decisions that affect our economic life are made “not in Ottawa but in Washington.” Clyne should know: his own company (as we will later show) is controlled in the U.S.. And as for the political side of the coin, no less of an authority than Mr. P. E. Trudeau has pointed out that Canada enjoys about ten to twenty per cent independence in matters of foreign policy– “the Americans will not let us have any more than that,” he said. Now, what petty and weak neo-colony of the U.S. in Latin America, Africa, or Asia does not enjoy this same “ten to twenty per cent independence”? What, after all, is a neo-colony? Even outright colonies are often allowed a certain degree of autonomy in questions of policy, so long as they do not assert this independence in ways contradictory to the interests of the colonial power.

What the Clyne and Trudeau statements mean is that Canadian independence is a sham, and that the political processes in Canada which keep up this pretence are relevant to the real decision-making about Canada’s destiny only to the extent that they attempt to mask the foreign imperialists’ control of our country. In Canada, as elsewhere, independence is merely a window-dressing: it is the American who owns the shop.

This fact, of course, is no surprise to most Canadians – our daily experience proves it to us over and over again. But there are some people on the left who find it difficult to believe what most of us have always known. If, in this section of our paper, we seem to be trying to prove the obvious, it is because not everyone shares our view of Canada’s non-independent, neo-colonial status. And indeed, on the surface, it might seem that Canada does have more in common with the white, industrialized, imperialist United States than with the coloured, mostly agricultural, colonized nations of the “Third World”. So in what sense is Canada a neo-colony?

Surely it is not the skin colour of the population, nor even the level of industrialization of a country that decides whether or not it is a colony. We usually think of colonies as largely agrarian areas, for most of them are. But, as Lenin pointed out in his work on imperialism:

“The characteristic feature of imperialism is that it tries to annex not only agrarian territories, but even most highly industrialized regions... ”[17]

In other words, it is very possible for even the most industrialized nations to fall into the status of colony or neo-colony – it is the relationship between the imperialist country and her possession, and not any other factor that defines the latter’s status as a colony. A completely agrarian country can be independent and a heavily industrialized country can be a powerless dependency.

This is not to say that Canada has no special features which distinguish her from other areas of America’s foreign empire. (We have reserved discussion of these features for the Appendix.) But it is our task as Marxists not simply to collect data on this or that aspect of Canadian life, on this or that aspect of Canada’s relationship to the United States, but to seek out what is most essential, what is fundamental, what is most important to our attempt to understand and analyse the Canadian situation. And no matter where we look, economics, politics, or culture, it is American domination of Canada that emerges as the most important factor.

The importance of the empire to the United States is frequently admitted by the imperialists themselves. As the U.S. News & World Report stated in 1967: American companies abroad produce goods and services with a gross value every year of more than 100 billion dollars. If these American branches and subsidiaries formed a nation, its gross national product would rank third in the world, following the United States and the Soviet Union.

This was from a speech by Thomas I. Watson, chairman of International Business Machines (IBM). Watson further pointed out:

“I do not need to tell you what would happen to our economy if major restrictions were placed upon our overseas operations.
“One dollar in 14 of the national income of the United States comes from abroad. In the IBM Company it is 1 dollar in 4. ”

It has been estimated that, on the average, one quarter of the profits of all industrial corporations in the U.S. are derived from foreign investment and the military spending that inevitably follows foreign investment. For the twenty-five largest American “multi-national” corporations, fully forty per cent of profits come from these sources. Nor does the importance of the empire to the U.S. lie merely in the profits of the large corporations. The possession of sources of cheap raw materials, controlled markets, cheap sources of labour, and controlled areas for the export of surplus capital are all absolutely essential for the maintenance of the entire American economy under the present system. A host of bloody examples. Vietnam being the most prominent, show us to what lengths the U.S. will go in order to prevent the loss of one single part of her world-wide empire.

What is Canada’s position in the American empire? So wrote the Financial Post in November, 1967:

“Canada accounts for approximately 25% of all U.S. foreign investment. The world total amounts to nearly US$112,000 million. This compares with a total of US$31,500 million in 1950.
“Canada is the favoured place for private U. S. investment money, ahead of western Europe which has a total of US$23,300 million and Latin America with about US$15,200 million.”

In other words, it is our honour to be one quarter of the American empire. The U.S. imperialists own more in our country than in all the countries of Latin America combined, with their total populations over twelve times greater than ours. Similarly, the whole of Western Europe with its great population and high degree of economic development does not have as much American investment as we do. “No advanced economy in the world has as high a degree of foreign control of its industry as has Canada,” said a study published by the Economic Council of Canada recently.[18]

According to U. S. government statistics, Canada, with a population of about 20,000,000, had 16,1 billion dollars of U.S. direct investment at the end of 1966. This figure is actually too low, but it does provide some interesting comparisons. The next six countries in terms of the amount of U. S. investment in that year were Great Britain, West Germany, France, Australia, Venezuela, and Brazil. The combined populations of these countries were about 220,000 million. The combined U.S. direct investment: 16.7 billion dollars. In terms of population, this means that these other countries had U.S. direct investment of seventy-five dollars per person, while we in Canada had eight-hundred and five dollars for every man, woman, and child.

In terms of actual control, these figures speak even louder. It is easy to see, for example, that the 16.1 billion dollars of American direct investment in the Canadian economy will allow for a very much greater degree of actual control than the 3.1 billion dollars in the German economy, the fourth most productive in the world and certainly far more developed and industrialized than Canada’s. Even 16.1 billion dollars in the giant German economy would mean less American control than the same figure means in Canada.

In 1926, when the U.S. first began to replace England as the dominant force in Canada’s economy, total U.S. investments in Canada amounted to 1.4 billion dollars. Today total U. S. investment comes to around 30 billion dollars, most of it being in the form of direct ownership and control. The most recent statistics on the question of foreign domination are to be found in the Watkins Report, whose author is now in the NDP trying to force that party to halt the process which the Liberals and the Conservatives have always encouraged – the process of Americanization. These were just some of the findings of the Watkins Report: in 1964 foreigners owned 33 billion dollars worth of assets in Canada, most of this foreign investment being in American hands. Foreign ownership of Canadian manufacturing industries has increased substantially from 38% in 1926 to 54% in 1963, and foreign control has increased even more, from 35% in 1926 to 60% in 1963. In 1963 foreigners controlled 97% of the capital employed in the manufacture of automobiles and parts, 97% in rubber, 78% in chemicals and 77% in electrical apparatus. In 1963, for 414 corporations with assets greater than $25 million, it is estimated that 19.9 billion dollars, or 53% per the total $37.9 billion of assets in these firms were in firms more than 50% owned by non-residents.

But this is not the whole picture, for it is not necessary for a corporation to hold more than fifty per cent of the shares in a particular company in order to be able to exercise control – often much less than fifty per cent is enough. For example, the Zellerbach family, owning only 85% of the shares, controls the giant Crown Zellerbach Corporation. If the rest of the shares are sufficiently dispersed amongst the other shareholders, then even less than eight and a half could be enough. General Motors was controlled for many years by the Du Pont family, with only 7% of the shares. Thus, many firms generally considered to be “Canadian” are in fact controlled in the United States. One prominent example is MacMillan-Bloedel, the B.C. forest giant, Canada’s largest forestry firm. H. R. MacMillan is always mentioned as the finest example of the “self-made man,” the Canadian who has built up a huge and successful enterprise in the face of the severest competition. Yet if we examine who actually owns MacMillan-Bloedel, we find that good old H.R. has less than one per cent of the shares, and that in fact the controlling interest of 13% is in the hands of the Wisconsin Corporation, an American firm. Taking the factor of minority control into consideration, much more of Canada’s economy is actually in foreign hands than even the Watkins Report suggests.

It is not necessary for the Americans to own every hot dog stand in Canada in order to reduce Canada to colonial status. They do control the key manufacturing industries and the key resources and they have invested heavily in our financial institutions. The representatives of the American corporations are to be found in great numbers on the boards of directors of our supposedly “Canadian” banks. Dominating our manufacturing industry, controlling most of our natural resources, controlling also our financial life; they in fact own Canada lock, stock, and barrel: those sections of the economy that are in Canadian hands, like the service industries, for example, are obviously heavily dependent on the foreign-controlled sector.

This is not to say that the Americans are not going to own every hot dog stand in Canada. While foreign invest ors have always been attracted to the fast and high profits to be won in basic industries, especially in the exploitation of our natural resources, they are not averse to investment in other areas. In the past, service industries were, as a rule, left for Canadian capital investment, but recently many Canadian companies in the service field have been taken over. The White Spot restaurants, Nelson’s Laundries, and Sweet Sixteen (clothing) are just some of the most recent British Columbia examples – there are many other examples throughout the country. The fact that these hitherto ignored service industries are now attracting U.S. investment surely indicates that U.S. capital investment in the basic sectors of the economy has about reached the saturation point. And in fact, as we have already pointed out, in the most profitable and expanding fields, such as petroleum, gas, automobiles, mining, smelting, machinery, electrical equipment, synthetic chemicals computers and so on, the American corporations now produce from 60 to 100 per cent of Canada’s output.

Effects of American Control

What are the economic effects of this foreign control? In the most general terms, our colonial status has meant simply that we have had to play the traditional role of a colony. That is, our economic and trade policies are designed not to benefit us. but to bolster the profits of the colonial master. It is a well-known fact that Canada, relatively speaking, is an underdeveloped country much of whose economic effort goes not into developing the high level of industry its resources could support, but into the extraction, low-level processing, and export of raw materials. Rather than develop full-scale secondary industries ourselves, we have been content to export raw materials and re-import them in the form of manufactured goods. This is what colonies have always done, to their own detriment. When we hear fine words about the “benefits” foreign investment brings we must keep in mind that the Americans fought a revolution in order to escape just precisely the kind of economic relationship to England that they are bestowing on us today. As Cy Gonick, editor of Canadian Dimension magazine and New Democratic MLA in Manitoba, has pointed out:

“The export of a small number of staple products has always been the central determining factor in the rate of growth, the direction of growth and the location of growth within the Canadian economy... Today between one-quarter and one-third of the goods produced in Canada are exported to the United States. These are mostly resource-based products – pulp and paper, nickel, iron ore, lead, zinc and the like. Canadian jobs, profits, and prosperity in general are heavily dependent on the growth of U.S. markets for these products. It is well known that Canada cannot prosper in the face of a depression in the U.S. economy, cannot stabilize its prices in the face of American inflation, cannot eliminate unemployment in the face of a downturn in the U. S. economy.”[19]

Lack of a fully developed industry means fewer jobs for both workers and technicians, and a lower standard of living for all. It also means that we are dependent on the U.S. economy for many of the things we could provide for ourselves. This is one of the reasons for our huge annual trade deficit with the United States.

Another reason for our huge trade deficit is the deliberate policies pursued by the U.S. corporations in Canada. The following story from the Vancouver Sun gives some revealing statistics:

“United States subsidiaries in Canada are more inclined to buy American goods than those in other nations, says a commerce department study.
“The report, published in the latest issue of the department’s survey of current business, is based on 1965 data supplied by 330 U.S. corporations and their 3,579 affiliates.”
“The companies are among the largest with foreign affiliates and ’account for a sufficiently large part of the export trade to make the data reasonably representative,’ the publication says.
“As for Canada, the survey notes that ’in contrast to the relatively high proportions in Europe, Latin America and the rest of the world, only 19 per cent of Canadian manufacturing firms bought no exports from the United States.’ ”

And an accompanying graph showed that of $3.2 billion distributed throughout the world in exports purchased from the U.S. by 1,869 manufacturing affiliates, six Canadian affiliates of U.S. auto firms accounted for 27 per cent – $856 million. (May 30, 1969)

It has been estimated that about 50% of Canadian merchandise imports from the U.S. are goods sold to Canadian subsidiaries by their American parents. What makes the situation even worse is that often the parent will charge exorbitant prices on its sales to the Canadian subsidiary – they can afford to do so since it is out of one pocket into the other. But it is the Canadian consumer who pays the difference – and the Canadian taxpayer, since the subsidiary in Canada will naturally show a smaller profit.

It is not true to say that the American corporations do not allow for the development of any industry at all in Canada, but it is true that what industry they do develop is strictly in their own interests. That is, they have built factories and assembly plants in Canada in order to supply the Canadian market and take advantage of a cheaper labour market. But while they export our raw materials all over the world, from England to Japan, the size of our manufacturing industries is limited to what the Canadian market will bear so as not to compete with the parent companies’ exports abroad.

The presence of the U.S. corporations in Canada causes further distortions of the Canadian industrial picture, even in terms of capitalist economics, for it creates many small production units where fewer and larger ones would be more economical. The Watkins Report provides us with the following example:

“There are nine plants producing refrigerators in Canada: with one exception, the plants appear to operate in a national market (that is, they do not export). No single producer, or group of two or three producers, currently dominates in Canadian refrigerator production. The Canadian market was in the order of 400,000 refrigerators per annum in 1966, and six of the plants appeared to be producing within the range of 40,000 to 60,000 units. Non-resident firms dominate the industry. Seven of the nine companies involved are American controlled; they account for 80 to 85 per cent of refrigerator production compared to 71 per cent in 1960... Although definitive estimates of minimum optimal scale of plants are difficult to make, it would appear that minimum optimal scale in refrigerator production is between 150,000 to 200,000 units... ”

What Watkins is saying is that given present methods and technology the most economical way to produce refrigerators would be in plants manufacturing not 40-60,000 but 150-200,000 annually. Were this the case, costs and prices would be lower – but it would also mean that instead of nine, we would have two plants producing refrigerators, given the size of the Canadian market. Why then do we have the nine? Simply because our refrigerator companies are subsidiaries and thus miniature replicas of the U.S. parent-corporations, all of whom want their share of the Canadian market. The same situation exists in other areas of the Canadian economy. As one writer points out:

“The joint result of our tariff policy and foreign investment has been the placing in Canada of a large number of relatively small scale units of production, as each major company tries to secure its share of the market. This result, of course is against the principle of achieving economies by large-scale operations; but this does not deter the large corporation for whom the marginal investment pays off in market penetration. The global result, however, is that Canada has an economy which in some sectors is made up of a large number of small productive units, more than a country of our size would warrant. What other comparable country has as many automobile-producing units, or companies producing refrigerators and other appliances?”[20]

It is, of course, not the American corporations but the Canadian public who ends up paying for this exaggerated anarchy of production.

The enumeration of the ill-effects of foreign control of our economy could go on. We could mention many examples where it has meant the loss of Canadian jobs, as the foreign corporations have moved to consolidate their financial position at home, switching production from Canada back to the U.S. But perhaps one example is sufficient to illustrate this point:

“The massive drive to get the international giant, Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Co., Milwaukee, out of the red is going to cost 200 Canadian jobs.
“Employment at Canadian Allis-Chalmers Ltd., Lachine, Que., is being pared down to 600 from 800 over a 12-month period... The Canadian subsidiary’s employment reduction is part of an overall tightening of efficiency in the Allis-Chalmers organization.
“The company first reported the moves two months ago, but at that time the number of jobs to be axed was not announced.
“... Transferred to the Allis-Chalmers York, Pa., plant will be design engineering and project management of hydraulic turbines. Transferred to the company’s West Allis, Wis. plant will be compressor and switchgear engineering.” (Financial Post, April 26, 1965)

The Maritimes is the clearest and presently most disastrous example of a community milked by foreign investors and then abandoned. When, after decades of profitable exploitation of Maritimes resources, sweetened by millions in government subsidies, the Dominion Steel and Coal Company – an English firm – took the decision to cease operations, thousands of jobs were wiped out. And yet the Maritime economy continues to be controlled completely by foreign investors, chiefly Standard Oil.

Our relatively high standard of living obscures to some people our colonial position. After all, it is said, we have one of the highest living standards in the world, how could we be a colony? We must emphasize again that what defines our colonial status is not how we compare with this or that other country in terms of living standard, or literacy, or industrialization, or the number of people in high schools, or any other such indicator – what defines us as a colony is our relationship to the United States. And, in fact, if we compare our living standards to those in the U.S. we can see precisely the effects of this colonial relationship. The latest figures on incomes are those published by the Economic Council of Canada about two years ago. Placing the U. S. average at 100, the report showed the comparative standing to be: Ontario, 83; B.C., 80; Prairies. 71; Quebec, 62; Maritimes, 47. Seven of the eight regions in the United States had income averages higher than Ontario – Canada’s highest. California had an average 60 per cent higher than Ontario, and only the U.S. southeast (such states as Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi) had an average slightly lower than Ontario – and the U S. government has declared the southeast to be a poverty zone. Even these figures do not tell the whole story for there must also be taken into consideration the fact that we pay up to a third higher prices for a wide range of consumer goods, so that real incomes are still lower in comparison to those of U.S. workers.

The myth repeated most often in order to prove the beneficial effects of foreign investment is the statement that Canada could not produce the capital necessary to develop her own economy. But the fact is that Canada is more than capable of financing her own economic expansion, that American companies end up by taking more out than they have put in. In other words, we finance the U.S. corporations in their drive to further their domination of our economy. In 1965, for example, new U.S. investment in Canada totaled $405 million, while $461 million left the country as income on U.S. direct investment – and we have yet to mention the profits that were simply re-invested.

“By far the largest proportion of U.S. direct investment in Canada is financed by the subsidiaries themselves out of profits earned in Canada and depreciation and depletion allowances set aside out of revenues earned in Canada. Between 1960 and 1965 U.S. gross direct investment in Canada was 14 billion dollars. Of this total only 2 billion dollars, less than 1/7 of the total, was financed by capital inflows from the U.S. On the other hand, profits earned in Canada accounted for $6 billion of the $14 billion, depreciation and depletion allowances another $4.3 billion, while borrowings in the Canadian money market accounted for the final $1.8 billion.” [21]

What these figures mean is that Canada – even with her presently artificially distorted and stultified economy – is quite capable of financing most of her economic growth, and to provide huge profits for American corporations, not to mention a certain amount of Canadian foreign investment as well. (Since some people on the left try to use Canadian foreign investment to prove that Canada is not a colony but an imperialist country in her own right, we should perhaps say a few words about this. Not wishing to interrupt the main argument, however, we have dealt with this question in the Appendix concerning incorrect ideas on the national question.)

Canadian Politicians: Serving the U.S. Master

Since Canada has the resources and the ability to finance her own economy, what then is responsible for the American takeover? Is it that our governments have not been aware of the disadvantages in our dependent status, have they perhaps allowed their country to fall under foreign domination unwittingly? The following Canadian Press story about the late Robert Winters indicates otherwise:

“San Francisco (CP) – Canada’s deficit in commercial relations with the U.S. soared to nearly $2 billion in 1966, Trade Minister Winters disclosed in a speech here. He said about half the imbalance resulted from a trade deficit.”

We have already shown where most of this trade deficit comes from. But let Mr. Winters continue:

“The other half stemmed from financial transactions, largely the flow of interest and dividend payments on the massive amount of U.S. investment in Canadian industry. ”

The comparative current-account deficits with the United States were $1,635,000,000 in 1964 and $1,912,000,000 in 1965.

Addressing the Canadian-American Association of Northern California, Winters said the payments deficit must continue so long as Canadian economic growth “involves us in borrowing abroad.”

At this point it would be logical to expect some statement outlining government plans to help rectify the situation, to reduce the foreign control of our economy and our reliance on American capital. But that is not what we get:

“The Canadian government welcomed foreign capital, ’regardless of doubt-provoking rumors to the contrary from time to time.’ ”
“The government will encourage Canadians to invest more in business enterprise and ask subsidiaries of foreign companies to demonstrate ’good corporate citizenship, ’ Winters said.”

As we can see, it was not for lack of knowledge that Winters defended U.S. investment in Canada. No, his policies were dictated not by naivety or ignorance or anything else, but crass self-interest. The fact is that the party and the class Winters represented have always owed their ruling position to their unquestioning willingness to serve their foreign masters in return for a share of the profit.

The career of Robert Winters himself exemplified this very well. A former Liberal Cabinet Minister, Winters ran a close second to Trudeau in the race for the leadership of the Liberal Party. Having lost that race, he finally settled for the next best position, the presidency of a U.S.-controlled Canadian corporation, Brazilian Light and Power. Brazilian is one of a number of foreign-controlled corporations that locate in Canada for purposes of investment abroad. The policy of the Canadian government has allowed such companies to collect and dispense dividends tax free. When there came a tentative suggestion from Ottawa that a tax may now be imposed, the first to register a sharp protest were spokesmen for Brazilian, who threatened to move their base to New York if the tax were instituted. Winters himself let it be known that he would be most unhappy should his erstwhile comrades in the Liberal Party be so unkind as to tax the U.S. investors he represented. And so while Mr. Winters has departed from us, Brazilian Light and Power still remains. Only the name has changed, to Brascan, to signify a decision to invest in other countries besides Brazil – including Canada. The company already has an interest in Labatt Breweries in excess of 23 per cent, sufficient to exercise effective control. Additional investments are under active consideration.

It should not surprise us that men such as Winters or our present Foreign Minister, Mitchell Sharp, (a former vice-president of Brascan) move painlessly from politics to service with the U.S.-controlled corporations, finding little contradiction between running the affairs of “independent” Canada and running errands for their American bosses. To be a successful politician in Canada is to be an effective joe-boy for the U. S. It is not by accident that three out of the last four Liberal prime ministers either began or finished their careers in the employ of American companies or institutions.

Our lack of political and economic independence are not secrets, although the degree to which we are bound to the United States is often obscured by our press, radio, television, and. of course, by our politicians. But even in the bourgeois media, the occasional voice is heard to protest our colonial status. Declared the Toronto Star in a Dominion Day editorial:

“The lamppost approach is most obvious in our economic relations with the United States. Believing against overwhelming evidence (and against common sense itself) that a nation can cede economic control without ceding political control, we have achieved two distinctions. We have fallen into the most complete economic dependency of any developed nation; and we are unique among the advanced nations of the world in having no government policy on foreign investment and control.”

The editorial errs only in this respect: it is not quite true to say that we do not have government policy on foreign investment and control. We do, and it overwhelmingly favours the foreign investor.

Since the publication of the report of the Watkins Commission on foreign control of the Canadian economy two years ago, about five hundred Canadian firms have passed under foreign, mostly American, control. The Christian Science Monitor gave the following examples just recently:[22]

“The effort of the United States-based Philip Morris tobacco firm to take over 50 per cent control of Canadian Breweries Ltd., Canada’s largest beermaker. The price offered by Philip Morris is $120 million. And while the deal is not consummated, the effort of South Africa’s Rothman tobacco empire to win such control has apparently failed, leaving the way open for the American firm.
“The sale of one of Canada’s largest investment firms, Royal Securities Ltd., to the world’s largest stockbroker, the New York-based Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith. Though the sale touched off a furor, the deal went through with only minor concessions by the firm to Canadian interests.
“The joint purchase of British Columbia Forest Products, Inc., by the Mead Corporation of the United States and Noranda Mines, Ltd., of Canada, a firm doing $100 million worth of business yearly. The firm is also partly owned by Scott Paper Company of Philadelphia and the Mead Corporation, headquartered in Dayton, Ohio.”

For decades the Liberals and the Conservatives have pursued policies designed precisely to facilitate such takeovers, to reduce Canada’s ability to become independent. One could give many examples; however, our limited space restricts us to giving just a few.

Let us consider the example of Mr. Jack Davis, Member of Parliament for Coast Capilano. A few years ago, Mr. Davis expressed some dismay at the way Canadian resources were being given away to the U.S.:

“Whitehorse – Canada is selling its natural resources too cheaply to the U.S. while American tariffs on manufactured goods hold back the Canadian economy, says MP lack Davis (Liberal Coast – Capilano).
“To price our exports at cost and not to charge what the market will bear is to act as if our border did not exist. It is to act as if Canadian resources belong to Americans as well as Canadians, said Davis in a speech to the Yukon Liberal Association here.” (Vancouver Province, May 29, 1967)

Very perceptive observations, we must admit. In a few well-chosen words, Mr. Davis succeeded in exposing the central fact of our economic and political system: American control. But what actions have followed this admirable protest? Jack Davis is no longer a mere backbencher on the Liberal side of Parliament, he is a full-fledged cabinet minister in the Trudeau government. And as minister of fisheries he has been responsible for some of the most blatant betrayals of Canadian interests to the benefit of foreign monopolies in recent memory. He has been responsible for new laws and licensing regulations governing fishing in Canadian waters, all of which serve to squeeze the small independent fisherman out of business and thus reduce competition for the giant companies. These regulations ensure that many small fishermen will sooner or later be forced out of business and will be forced to sell out to the giant foreign monopolies.

Davis also has allowed many of the B.C. coast fish canning factories to be shut down by their foreign owners, without regard to the hardship this is causing to hundreds of Canadian workers and many B.C. native fishermen in particular. Yes, indeed, the MP for Coast Capilano was quite right. Our government does act as if our resources belonged to foreigners as well as to Canadians. Only Mr. Davis’ voice is no longer heard in protest.

Fisheries is not the only field in which Canadian resources are considered “mutual” property. The serve-the-U.S. attitude that Mr. Davis found necessary to protest two years ago is still the guiding philosophy of those responsible for the administration of natural resources. Thus wrote a recent editorial in the Montreal Star:

“Joe Greene sounded like a country bumpkin who had just been invited to his first poker game after his recent talks with Walter Hickel, U. S. secretary of the interior.
“Canada’s minister of energy and resources displayed a frightening eagerness to throw all of Canada’s energy resources into the continental pot with hardly a thought for his country’s independence or self-interest.
“... Denouncing ’petty nationalists’ from John A. Macdonald on, he praised continental integration as a benefit to all ’no matter where the imaginary boundary lies.’” (Vancouver Sun, Dec. 19, 1969)

Things were no different twenty-two years ago, when the Liberal government put forward the infamous Abbot Plan, named after its Finance Minister. The purpose of the plan was ostensibly to reduce the volume of Canadian spending on United States goods and services in order to improve our balance of payments deficit. The measures used to achieve this end were to prohibit the importation of certain goods, impose high excise taxes on many others, and to restrict certain kinds of expenditures. In a word, the government sought to reduce the purchasing power and thus the living standards of the Canadian population in order to solve our deficit headaches. What was conspicuously absent from the Abbot Plan was any attempt to improve our trade position with the U. S. by encouraging the development of Canadian secondary industry and by halting the discriminatory practices of the U. S. corporations in Canada. In fact, the Abbot Plan was designed with the long-range purpose of increasing our economic dependence on the United States. But when the Finance Minister described his plan, he used the word “integration” where he meant “dependence”:

“It will be appreciated that our ability to contribute to world recovery depends very largely on overcoming our exchange difficulties in a manner that will not restrict our total production. A greater integration of the efforts of the United States and Canada to assist world recovery would add considerably to the capacity of this continent to provide urgently needed assistance just as it did during the war. We are making every effort to achieve the needed integration.”[23]

But what did “integration” mean? As the Liberals understood it, integration meant the further reduction of Canadian industry, the further reduction of Canada to the status of a raw-material producing colony of the United States. As Abbot himself explained:

“If we cut down the consumption of refrigerators and other articles which contain metal, we can sell the metal in its original form for dollars in the United States or anywhere else. That is one way whereby we can get United States exchange. Instead of using labor in Canada to convert the metal into things our people consume, we shall sell the raw materials.” [24]

It did not take a communist fanatic to recognize what this policy meant for Canadian independence. Howard Green, MP and later Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Diefenbaker government, described it thusly:

“It shows an amazing subservience to the United States. One would think Canada was a subject country. No Canadian Government since Confederation has gone so far to take orders from another country.”[25]

Mr. Green’s historical memory may have been rather deficient, as the Conservatives had served Britain just as faithfully for many years; but his appraisal of the Liberals was quite correct.

Today it does not matter which government it is, federal or provincial; or which party it represents, Liberal, Conservative, Social Credit, or NDP; the feature that unites them all is their subservience to American interests. The following report from the Christian Science Monitor, which naturally is quite happy about the situation, could apply to any of the governments in Canada. It happens to describe the policies of the Conservative government of the province of Ontario:

“... despite the growing crescendo of protest against foreign investment, Ontario’s provincial government is offering all sorts of incentives to U. S. firms to come to Ontario. Last March, Union Carbide of Canada, Ltd., a subsidiary of the United States firm, was given $394,000 (Canadian dollars) by the Ontario government to help purchase equipment to produce dry batteries at its Walkerton plant in southwestern Ontario. The Union Carbide ’forgivable loan’ was part of the government’s ’Equalization of Industrial Opportunity’ program, which has granted $16.3 million to 77 foreign-owned firms, most of them American, to set up new facilities in Ontario. The only condition on the company is that it must build or expand facilities in slow-growth areas designated by the government and that it not move for six years.”[26]

The list of sell-outs by Canadian governments to American interests could continue almost indefinitely. We could mention the many tax concessions that foreign companies operating in Canada receive, we could talk about the give-away of Columbia power to the United States, about how the federal and provincial governments are subsidizing the giant Kaiser Coal company as the latter proceeds to wreck the B.C. landscape in order to export our coal to Japan, we could describe the lack of pollution control that allows the mostly foreign owned industries to ruin our environment and our great natural surroundings, we could describe these and many other examples in great detail – but it is not necessary to do so. Ten volumes of carefully collected data will not convince those who have some dogmatic necessity to deny the obvious: our colonial relationship to the U.S. But perhaps we can take a brief look at some other aspects of the Canadian situation and see how American itself in our culture, our educational system, and in the control of our economic and political lives manifests political thinking promoted by our leaders.

B. Culture, Education, and the Ruling Ideology

The question of “Canadian identity,” or the lack of it, is very often raised. We are not Britons, we protest, and we are not Americans, but who are we? The very fact that this question is raised is the reflection of some very basic realities in Canada’s historical development – for it was Britain and the United States who have historically imposed their cultures on us in order to further their economic and political control of our country. Culture is not something that develops in a vacuum, it is not a spontaneous accident that occurs unconnected to other aspects of our existence. If much of “our” culture carries the “Made in England” or “Made in U.S.A. ” labels, it is not because Canadians are incapable of developing a distinctive and truly national culture, but because foreign control and the lack of consistent struggle against foreign control has prevented them from doing so.

At the present time, our popular culture is manufactured wholesale in New York and Hollywood and in London, and the most that Canadian artists, writers, actors, singers, and filmmakers hope for is to be granted success in their attempts to imitate the foreign models. A successful Canadian actor, for example, is one who can leave Canada for brighter prospects elsewhere and never face the necessity of having to return.

The songs we listen to, the films we watch, the books we read – they are mostly foreign, and mostly American, in origin. Now, some cultural exchange is to be welcomed, but what we have here is not exchange but wholesale cultural domination to parallel and reinforce the economic and political domination. It is not true to say that our values, our attitudes, and our knowledge come purely from books, magazines, films, songs, and television shows, but certainly these play an important role in shaping the way we look at the world. Particularly for many of our young people who are often not familiar with other forms of culture, such sources play an important role. It would be naive for us to believe that the cultural forms produced by imperialism do not have imperialist propaganda as their content – any examination of the movies in our theaters, the songs on our radio stations, the magazines on our newsstands, the programs on our TV sets, reveals much that is openly pro-imperialist in general, pro-American imperialist in particular. What is the effect of such “culture” in Canada? Obviously it is to glorify the foreign master who controls us, to convince us of his goodness, his superiority, and his invincibility. It would be difficult to find another country in the world so completely dominated culturally as is Canada by the United States. But then it would be difficult to find another country so completely dominated economically and politically.

The attitude of our government towards cultural domination is no different than their attitude towards economic and political domination. Their aim is to please, as the following press report indicates:

“Even under the new increased rates it will cost the Canadian Post Office more than $1.5 million to deliver Time Magazine and the Reader’s Digest this year.
“This was the estimate given Monday in reply to a question posed by New Democrat Barry Mather.
“In the reply Communications Minister Eric Kierans said the Post Office would incur deficits of $735,153 handling Time and $851,636 delivering Reader’s Digest.” (Vancouver Sun, May 7, 1969)

Time and Reader’s Digest, as we know, are two of the most effective propaganda instruments of U.S. imperialism. They have faithfully carried the U.S. State Department line on virtually all questions of foreign policy, and sometimes have gone even further. Their positions on matters internal to the U. S. (or to Canada) have been no better. What does it show when the Canadian taxpayer is forced to subsidize these instruments of his own subjection but the subservience of his own government to the imperialist?

What makes this particular sell-out even worse is that the new postal rates announced by Kierans effectively sounded the death-knell of many small Canadian publications and have placed great difficulties in the paths of many others.

Such subsidies to American publications are not the only means by which Canadians are forced to pay for their own cultural domination. A recent Canada Council grant to a Simon Fraser University professor of English, an American citizen, was not untypical. The man received $10,000 (including traveling expenses) to go to the United States to study American poets and politics. He has since written several books, papers, and made a film based on his research. The writings have been published in the U.S., and the film appeared on U.S. T.V.

Foreign domination is not restricted to the field of popular culture and the media. It is to be found in our educational system, from grade one to the very last years of university. Let us just take the field of literature as one small example. It seems almost incredible, but in British Columbia schools, from grade one to grade twelve, not one textbook, not one course, is devoted to Canadian literature! No other country in the world ignores its own traditions with such deliberate doggedness. British Columbia students graduate with absolutely no sense of Canadian culture. At the end of twelve years of schooling they will have read very little that would contribute to their understanding of their country. They will have read little that would enable them to appreciate the regional differences and traditions that make up what there is of a Canadian national character. The dominant impression they will have gained from their education will be that to the extent that Canadian culture exists at all, it is a stranger even in its homeland – a poor third cousin to its mature, well-developed American and British relatives.

What if, some will argue, in fact Canadian culture is so poor as to be worthless as an area of study? Why should our students not become familiar with the great traditions of British and American literature? And in any case, is it not mere bourgeois nationalism to talk about the lack of a “national character” and a “national culture”? But to argue in this way is to miss the point. We are not saying that anything Canadian is necessarily good or progressive. Canadians are as capable as anyone else of producing culture that serves ruling class interests. But if Canada has certain native-grown cultural traditions, then we have a right to ask why we are not familiarized with these traditions in our schools. If certain influences have prevented the full development of a native culture in most of Canada, then it is important to understand why. And if what passes for culture in our schools is mostly the culture of the two greatest imperialist countries in history, then we should certainly understand what our own relationship to these countries has been. Cultural domination is but one weapon in the hands of the imperialist, and if we look for cultural nourishment to British and American sources, it is because we have been in turn part of the British, and now the American empires.

Nowhere is cultural domination more obvious than in our universities. And no wonder that the questions “who are we?” and “what is Canadian Identity?” are voiced most often by our insecure university intellectuals. Despite the foreign culture all around them, most Canadians are pretty sure that they are Canadians – a few years at university, however, is enough to instill serious doubts in anybody’s mind. The Boards of Governors are dominated by the representatives of the American corporations or by the men of the Canadian comprador bourgeoisie. The administrators are often Americans; e.g., Kenneth Strand at Simon Fraser University, or have had extensive training in the United States. The textbooks and the course content are in most cases strictly American. And in recent years there has been taking place what even the president of the University of Toronto has described as a “major invasion” of Canadian universities by American teachers. A recent article in The Ulyssey, the student newspaper at the University of British Columbia, has revealed the following items of information, surprising even by Canadian standards:

“... In the past seven years the proportion of Canadian university teachers in arts and science faculties has dropped by about 26 per cent, from 75 per cent to 49 per cent.
... Between 1963 and 1965 roughly 58 per cent of new appointments went to non-Canadians. Between 1965 and 1967, this figure shot up to 72 per cent, and may be as high as 86 per cent in 1968.
... At UBC, a rough survey of the history, psychology, anthropology and sociology, political science, English and economics departments shows that foreign professors outnumber Canadians 134-102. Of the 134 foreign professors, 82 are Americans.
... Figures issued by the information office at UBC reveal that for those professors known, 55. 2 per cent are foreigners and only 44. 8 per cent Canadians.”

And here is another item from the Toronto Globe and Mail (Dec. 30, 1969):

“York University’s sociology department has six Americans, nine assorted Europeans and one Canadian professor.
A university physicist says that Canada listened to U.S. experts when buying Bomarc missiles, bought on faith and not facts, and refused to hear a group of Canadian scientists who could prove the weapons would not do what the Americans claimed.
At Waterloo, students can take four different courses in American literature, but the only Canadian course in the calendar was not offered in 1968-69.
An American, seeking a teaching post met the selection committee: six fellow-émigrés and one Canadian.
A course in comparative Soviet-American government taught at the University of Toronto by an American uses nothing but U. S. textbooks, the majority written by former U.S. government advisors. Some students asked him why he didn’t require them to read some Canadian viewpoints and some U.S.S.R. experts. He said the U.S. books were the only reliable sources.”

Again, we are not saying that a Canadian teacher or professor is automatically better than his American counterpart. But surely these figures indicate something other than the academic superiority of Americans over Canadians. The educational institutions of few other countries in the world are so completely dominated by foreigners. Nor is this accidental – the modern university is a highly sophisticated and developed servant of the economic and political ruling class. It is very much integrated into the system; in its research, in its ideological teachings, and in its training it very well serves the interests of those who control society. And since those who control our society are the imperialist rulers of the United States, it should not surprise us that the Canadian university is more and more openly becoming the intellectual farm-club of the educational big leagues in the U.S.

A glimpse of the political theories put forward by our universities and held ever so dearly by our politicians may be got by reading the writings of one Pierre Elliot Trudeau, himself a former university lecturer. In his recent volume, Federalism and the French Canadians, Trudeau gives probably the most eloquent and subtle rationalization for imperialism ever put forward by any Canadian intellectual or politician. Trudeau’s book is one long tirade against nationalism and struggles for self-determination, the Quebec struggle in particular. But it is not difficult to apply his conclusions to Canada as a whole. Nationalism, says Trudeau (sounding strangely similar to certain “Marxists”) has been the curse of recent history:

“... the very idea of the nation-state is absurd. To insist that a particular nationality must have complete sovereign power is to pursue a self-destructive end. Because every national minority will find, at the very moment of liberation, a new minority within its bosom which in turn must be allowed the right to demand its freedom. And on and on would stretch the train of revolutions, until the last-born of nation-states turned to violence to put an end to the very principle that gave it birth. That is why the principle of nationality has brought to the world two centuries of war. and not one single final solution. ” [27] (p. 158)

Trudeau is not alone in his misreading (or distortion) of history. Some people on the left give exactly the same analysis, forgetting that it has not been nationalism but imperialism that has been responsible for “two centuries of war.” It is easy to see that in many cases imperialism has made use of nationalism so as to unite people under its banner. Such was the case in all the major belligerent countries during the first World War. But are we to blame the weapon or the killer?

It should be equally easy to see that nationalism can be turned against the imperialist when used by revolutionaries to free their country from foreign domination. This is precisely the role it is playing today in many countries under imperialist rule, as Trudeau well knows. Unlike some Canadian “Marxists”, Trudeau well understands the two possible aspects of nationalism:

“Nations historically strong, those that were industrialized first, those that had inherited strategic or institutional advantages, soon came to see the advantages of their situation. Here rulers closed ranks with the ruled, the haves with the have-nots, and they set out together as a body, in the name of the nationalism that bound them together, to line their pockets and feed their vanity at the expense of weaker nations.
“In all these cases the result was the same. Nations that were dominated, dismembered, exploited, and humiliated conceived an unbounded hatred for their oppressors: and united by this hatred they erected against aggressive nationalism a defensive nationalism. And so a chain of wars was ignited that keeps bursting into flame all over the planet. ” (p. 161)

It would seem obvious that of the two nationalisms, only the first should be condemned, for it is used to “dominate, dismember, exploit, and humiliate” people, and the second supported for it helps to free people from such oppression. By condemning both, by laying an equal share of the blame on both for the wars that occur when the two clash, whose interests are served? Only the interests of the exploiter.

We have already quoted Trudeau’s predecessor. Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, as stating that “the problem today is not the creation of new free states, but subordinating the sovereignty of all states to the necessity of peace, security, and progress.” Trudeau’s prescription for the future sounds equally noble and serves exactly the same interests:

“... reject the bellicose and self-destructive idea of nation-state in favour of the more civilized goal of polyethnic pluralism. ”

What does “polyethnic pluralism” mean in practice? It means that specifically Quebec, but all other nations now dominated by some foreign imperialist (including Canada of course) should reject the idea of a struggle for national independence and place its hope for the future in some vague ideal than in no way threatens the imperialist. And when we remember that the economy of Quebec is in exactly the same hands as those who control the economic and political destiny of the rest of Canada, we realize exactly why Pierre Trudeau is so irresistibly attractive in the eyes of our U.S. masters.

The political philosophy of our Prime Minister is matched on the economic scale by the recent statements of one of our leading comprador capitalists, I.V. Clyne. In an article entitled “Clyne Deplores Foreign Bogey,” the Vancouver Province reports:

“Nationalist sentiments that help provoke hostility against foreign investors are making life difficult for “multi-national” companies like MacMillan Bloedel, Ltd. , the company’s chairman and chief executive officer I. V. Clyne told British and Canadian businessmen in the U.K. today.
“Clyne said multi-national companies (’and my own company can be said to be one’) can be a constructive force in promoting understanding and good will among nations, as well as economic growth.
“He added: ’It must be realized, however, that the life of a multi-national company is not necessarily a happy one and, at the moment, it is becoming more and more difficult. ’
“Opposed to the concept of the multinational company are the powerful forces of nationalism...”
“We should realize that intense nationalism, whether expressed politically or otherwise, can and does destroy all the conditions that the multi-national company needs to thrive upon and to realize its tremendous potential.
“... Clyne said one misconception he wanted to dispel is that a multi-national company’s operations constitute a threat to the sovereignty of a country in which it operates.
“As head of a Canadian company whose shares are largely held in Canada and whose competitors are for the most part American, I can speak from first-hand knowledge of the effect of foreign investment. More than one-half of Canada’s manufacturing output is produced by American companies.
“While this has certainly created problems, they have been disproportionate to the vast benefits. Canada’s sovereignty has not been affected and may even have been strengthened... ”[28]

As we have already pointed out, many shares of MacMillan-Bloedel may be owned in Canada, but what Clyne neglects to mention is that effective control of the company is held in the U.S. But what is most significant about Clyne’s statement is his recognition of the dangers of nationalism, and his denial of the political effects of economic domination. He has obviously earned his position as chairman of MacMillan-Bloedel.

If the ideology of our leading politicians and businessmen is the ideology of capitulation to imperialism, this only reflects the economic and political subservience of the Canadian ruling class to first Britain, and now the United States. At this point we might ask, why have the Canadian ruling class been so eager to play servant in their own house? Would it not be more in their own interest to be the independent rulers of an independent Canada? What advantage do they derive from their political, economic, and ideological submission to the United States? In our brief analysis of Canada’s historical development, we have shown that the origins of our present ruling class lay not in independent economic development, but in playing the role of junior partner to British monopoly-capital. Switching masters in midstream was a relatively easy task, far easier than real opposition to foreign control would have been, and far less dangerous. They can to no other than to sell their country to the United States, and to manage it in their boss’ interests.

C. Trade Unions

Our analysis of the present situation in Canada would not be complete without a discussion of the present state of the Canadian trade union movement. We have already shown how several attempts to organize an independent Canadian labour movement met with resistance not only from the labour-bosses of the AFL-CIO bureaucracy, but also from people on the left who should have provided the leadership in the Canadian struggle. What have been the results?

The American domination of our economy, our politics, and our culture is paralleled by the American domination of our trade union movement. This labour domination is nothing but another weapon in the hands of the American corporations.

Of some more than seven million workers in Canada, less than 30 per cent are organized into labour unions, and close to 80 per cent of those organized are under the influence of U.S. domination either directly as locals of American unions (the so-called “Internationals”) or indirectly as affiliates of the AFL-CIO controlled Canadian Labour Congress. If we discount the CNTU which is restricted exclusively to Quebec, the percentage of those controlled from the U. S. will sharply rise. Being dominated by a trade union centre based in a foreign country would cause problems even under the best of circumstances. The unions must be in a position to fashion their programs and tactics according to the needs of their own members and their own countries. Our unions are dominated by a movement based in a country whose population outnumbers us 10 to one and whose problems are vastly different from ours in this period. Understandably, the U.S. union conventions concentrate on U.S. problems, while the Canadian voice is seldom raised, and even more seldom heard, except when, as in the case of the UAW, a lot of heat is generated over saving jobs for U.S. workers by preventing expansion of U.S. branch plants in Canada.

The problems posed by such foreign domination of the unions might be greatly mitigated – even to the point of almost disappearing – if the dominant section were progressive in political and class outlook. But bitter experience has taught us over and over again that we cannot rely on the expectation of progressivism in the U.S. unions, and that the American unions are very close allies of the very people against whom the struggle for an independent Canada, a Canada free from exploitation and social inequality, must be waged.

The fact is that the U.S. labour bureaucrats work hand in hand with U.S. imperialist interests all over the globe. They participated in plotting the overthrow of such mildly democratic bourgeois governments as Juan Bosch’s in the Dominican Republic and the vaguely socialist government of Cheddi Jagan in British Guiana. The AFL-CIO leadership has from the beginning supported the war against the Vietnamese people, just as they support their government’s foreign policy everywhere else. They have practised the most flagrant interference in the internal affairs of trade unions in Britain, France, Japan, Italy, Germany, Africa, Mexico, Australia, and so on. Evidence of their actions is not hard to obtain – they openly boast of their exploits. It would be naive for us to suppose that their actions in Canada would be in contradiction to what they do elsewhere, and indeed, we don’t have to suppose anything. There is plenty of evidence to show whose interests they uphold.

On many occasions representatives of the “international” unions have stepped in to curb the militancy of Canadian workers, to strike “sweetheart” deals with the bosses. According to the made-in-U.S. constitutions, non-cooperative locals can be put under trusteeship, elected officials removed and expelled, unpopular bureaucrats appointed to positions of authority, strikes forbidden, and deals signed over the heads of the membership. If an individual worker protests these conditions, he too can be charged under the international constitution and expelled from the union, thus endangering his chances of employment in his trade.

A notoriously blatant example of “international” interference in the affairs of a Canadian local and collusion with the boss occurred during the strike at Lenkurt Electric in Burnaby, B.C., May, 1967. Lenkurt, although a relatively small operation locally, is part of the giant U.S. monopoly, General Telephone and Electronics which also controls the B.C. Telephone Company. The workers had walked off the job in a spontaneous demonstration of protest against company harassment and intimidation of employees who refused to work overtime until their expired contract had been renewed. The company announced the firing of all those participating in the walkout and began advertising in the local papers for strikebreakers to replace its disobedient workers.

Although injunctions were issued and some arrests were made, the strike continued and many workers from outside the plant joined the picket line. The strike at this point had the possibility of being successful. However, the local president – on orders from the Washington headquarters of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers – concluded an agreement over the workers’ heads, wiping out seniority and pension rights and allowing the company to hire back only the workers the company considered desirable. This sellout was unanimously rejected at a local union meeting and the strike went on. The “international” stepped in, suspended the elected business agent and appointed in his place the same man who had concluded the sweetheart agreement with the company. Then the “international” ordered the strikers back to work – except over two hundred that the company now dismissed. Over twenty workers who had taken some leading part in the strike, including two locally elected officials of the union, were charged and suspended by the “international”.

This past summer, a certain Mr. Goodison, a paid bureaucrat of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers was asked at a meeting of the Bristol local in Winnipeg, “What kind of a god are you that you think you can tell us what you will allow and what you won’t allow?” His answer was simply, “I have the authority to overrule anything that you decide, and it is up to me whether or not I allow anything.” The Canadian Aerospace Worker, published by the Committee for a Canadian Union at Bristol, further reported:

“Immediately after that, Mr. Goodison refused to allow the dues paying members to participate in the meeting and instructed the chairman to adjourn same.
“We have now been informed that we are to come to ’trial’ commencing July 8th, 1969, and to answer to the charges that have been laid against us.”

What was the crime committed by these Canadian workers? They had tried to organize a Canadian union in order to escape the tyranny, corruption, and misleadership of the “international”. Here is a sample of the seditious propaganda they had distributed:

“Because the spirit of Canadian unionism is growing in our country, because many Canadian workers are asking why they are harnessed to an American union – the wolves are once again at our door. They want to destroy our Canadian union.
“We have published the official Government reports in this newspaper showing how, in only five short years, the American unions took over $130,000,000 in dues from Canadian workers, and only spent $80,000,000 in Canada – thus making a net profit of $50,000,000.
“Is the United States so poor that it must take money from Canadian workers? We think not.”

There are numerous ways by which it is made difficult for Canadians to organize their own unions. The made-in-U.S. constitutions and the disciplinary powers of the “internationals” are used to keep Canadians in line as we have seen. And if that should fail, there are always the Labour Relations Boards.

It is to these Boards that workers must make application when they want to either form their own union or break away from an American union in order to join a Canadian union. Because of their makeup, the Labour Relations Boards are very partial to the “internationals” and hostile to attempts at the organization of an independent Canadian trade union movement. Labour Relations Boards consist of equal numbers of representatives from management, “labour”, and government. Firstly, the management appointee represents either foreign capital directly, or those capitalist interests in Canada who act as the super-salesmen of Canadian resources and industry to the U.S. The government appointee represents the politicians who allow and encourage the foreign takeover to occur. And finally, the labour representative is usually an official of the very “internationals” against whom the struggle for a truly Canadian union movement must take place. So we see that the worker, if he wants a genuine Canadian union independent of U.S. control, faces stiff opposition, whereas the American unions who make application for certification have very little difficulty – particularly if the certification is being disputed by a Canadian union.

D. Conclusion

We could find no better way of ending this section on the present situation in Canada than by reprinting this newspaper report of a typical day in the Canadian parliament:

“Ottawa: The federal government has no constitutional power to prevent foreign takeovers of Canadian firms in the computer service industry, Finance Minister Edgar Benson said in the Commons Wednesday.
“He was asked by NDP leader Tommy Douglas what action the government planned, as a result of takeover of Computel Systems Ltd., of Ottawa, by American owners.
“Douglas said 80 per cent of the industry in Canada is now U.S.-controlled.
“Benson said he would consider the question, but the federal government has no constitutional authority to do anything about the industry.
“Douglas noted that former finance minister Walter Gordon has advocated a 30 per cent takeover tax, and asked Benson whether the government is considering such a tax.
“Benson evaded the question.
“Opposition leader Robert Stanfield asked whether the government still intends to set up a Canada development corporation, which would encourage wider Canadian ownership.
“Benson said the proposed corporation will be set up ’in the very near future,’ but it would not be ready to act in the case of the computer companies.
“Walter Dinsdale (PC – Brandon-Souris) said Greyhound Lines of Chicago plans to buy Canadian Coachways Ltd., and asked whether the government considers this in the best interest of the public.
“Consumer Affairs Minister Ron Basford said he will look into the matter.” (Vancouver Sun, Nov. 27,1969)


[17] Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1966, p.85

[18] The Christian Science Monitor, Nov. 26, 1969.

[19] Horowitz, Taylor and Gonick, Nationalism, Socialism and Canadian Independence, p. 15.

[20] Charles Taylor, Ibid., p. 11. /p>

[21] Cy Gonick, Ibid., p. 19.

[22] Nov. 26, 1969.

[23] Hansard, quoted by Tim Buck, Canada: The Communist Viewpoint, Progress Publishers, p. 32

[24] Ibid., p. 35.

[25] Ibid., p. 33.

[26] Nov. 26, 1969.

[27] Macmillian of Canada, Toronto, 1968.

[28] The Vancouver Province, May 12, 1969.