No apologies: Hassan Yussuff faces down his critics as he retires as leader of Canadian Labour Congress

"Having access does not equal action," said Ken Neumann. "You've got to fight to get change."The candidates running to replace Yussuff agree the labour movement needs to remain closely aligned with the New Democrats.The Labour Forward slate of candidates condemned Yussuff for publicly supporting former Liberal finance minister Bill Morneau for a top position at the OECD.

"His endorsement for Bill Morneau was a big shock and a big disappointment for many people," said Julius Arscott, who is also running for president under the Labour Forward slate.

Arscott is part of a slate of candidates who say they want to shake things up in the CLC by pushing the organization to confront systemic racism, skyrocketing real estate prices, stagnant wages and international human rights abuses.

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Communist movement in Canada

It is important to emphasize the context in which the Canadian communist movement arose.  The launch occurred at a tiny convention held in secret on a farm near Guelph, Ontario on May 23, 1921.  The new party was inspired by the Russian Revolution, and its militants did many great things in the early years.  But the young Soviet Union was besieged by hostile imperialist armies.  Russia suffered enormously from its isolation and economic backwardness.  A bureaucratic party elite, represented by Joseph Stalin, seized control.  It curtailed workers’ democracy, crushed socialist opposition and adopted a new programme that over-adapted to capitalist rule outside the USSR.  The perspective of world revolution was replaced with the false utopia of ‘socialism in one country’.  Permanent revolution (that is, the need for a workers’-led revolution to lead the social transformation, especially in the poor countries) was supplanted by the old, discredited Menshevik notion of revolution by stages.  The ‘stages theory’ relies on an alliance with the liberal or nationalist bourgeoisie.  Under Stalin, socialist democracy was replaced by bureaucratic tyranny, accompanied by elite privilege, false propaganda, show trials, torture and the assassination of political opponents.