Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Documents of the National Conference on the Unity of Canadian Marxist-Leninists

Montreal, October 9, 1976


The first National Conference on the Unity of Canadian Marxist-Leninists, organized by IN STRUGGLE!, was held on October 9, 1976. This was the first time, since the degeneration of the Communist Party of Canada (now revisionist), that most of the Marxist-Leninist groups and individuals from both nations of Canada met. This meeting was an historical moment not only because it marked a step forward in the struggle for unity of Canadian Marxist-Leninists, but also because it demonstrated the scope and dynamism of the mass struggles and of the Canadian Marxist-Leninist movement.

More than 1200 people attended, including the many spokespersons of the various groups invited. From Vancouver there was the VANCOUVER COMMUNIST GROUP, LONG MARCH COLLECTIVE, MAY FIRST COLLECTIVE, and OCTOBER STRUDY GROUP; from Toronto, BOLSHEVIK UNION; from other cities of English Canada the HALIFAX COMMUNIST GROUP and the REGINA COMMUNIST GROUP. Quebec was represented by many groups; le GROUPE POUR LA REVOLUTION PROLETARIENNE (GRP), le CERCLE COMMUNISTE (MARXISTE-LENINISTE), MOBILISATION (GROUPE COMMUNISTE MARXISTE-LENINISTE) and IN STRUGGLE! The two latter groups have, during the past year, spread their influence to the entire country. Besides these groups we also invited Jack Scott, a Marxist-Leninist communist devoted to the cause of the proletarian revolution for the past 45 years and who, by his speech, allowed us to learn from his deep knowledge of the history of the Canadian Marxist-Leninist movement.

By its composition and its content, the Conference linked the struggle for unity of Marxist-Leninists with the struggles of the Canadian working class and other strata of the people. Thus the participation of foreign revolutionary and anti-imperialist groups, in particular, two Haitian groups which work together, ORHAP (Revolutionary Haitian Organization of Patriotic Action) and EN AVANT (a movement for patriotic development and mobilization) underlined that the Haitian immigrant workers are an integral part of the Canadian working class. Moreover, they expressed the wish that the Conference mark a decisive step in the struggle for the unity of Canadian Marxist-Leninists. This wish was taken up by a worker from the Common Front (of Quebec) who appealed to all men and women of the proletarian vanguard to make the struggle for the unity of Marxist-Leninists their own struggle and “to inject into the whole movement the desire for unity which animates us”.

The main aim of the Conference was to start debate on the plan for struggle for the unity of Marxist-Leninists. The Conference aimed at enlarging the presentation of positions to the entire movement in a way that would stimulate the participation of the masses and which would allow the present strength and vitality of the country-wide movement to be concretized. It allowed us to identify that the principal aspect in the struggle for the unity of Marxist-Leninists is the desire for unity, thus completing a victory over big nation chauvinism and marking another defeat for sectarianism. For a more complete summary of the Conference, refer to IN STRUGGLE! no 73 and to PROLETARIAN UNITY, no 3.

Another positive aspect of the conference is that it has been able to continue to play a role in the struggle for unity since October 9. Since that time the Marxist-Leninist movement has made considerable steps; we can note, for example, the CCL(ML)’s pamphlet on the unity of Marxist-Leninists, the evaluation of the Conference made by the Halifax Communist Group, the dissolution of Mobilisation, as well as the following publications: Canadian Revolution, no. 6, Western Voice (Nov.), No. 2, 3-4 of Lines of Demarcation in which concrete positions on the unity of Marxist-Leninists are elaborated by these groups. We can also note the regional conferences held in Toronto in October 1976 and in Quebec on January 22, 1977.

We regret that we were unable to publish this pamphlet earlier as a need for it was felt and it was awaited. We think that it is correct to give back to the movement that which belongs to it and that the publication of the speeches at the Conference will allow the sharpening of demarcation and position-taking.

And so we appeal to all groups, collectives and individuals to use this pamphlet as an instrument to intensify the debate over positions and to sharpen the struggle for the unity of Canadian Marxist-Leninists. Organize regional conferences, study the pamphlet.