BC Communists hold online convention

PV Vancouver Bureau 

With only a few technical glitches, the 43rd British Columbia provincial convention of the Communist Party of Canada took place over the November 21-22 weekend. The convention was held online through Zoom, due to the limits on in-person meetings during the COVID pandemic.

About 34 delegates from Party clubs across the province adopted a political report analyzing the recent BC election and the political outlook under a new NDP majority government. The convention also elected a new provincial leader, following the retirement of George Gidora, who held that position for many years, on two different occasions.

The new BC Communist leader is Kimball Cariou, the former long-time editor of People’s Voice. Before becoming PV editor, Cariou was the Saskatchewan leader of the Communist Party, and he has been a federal communist candidate on many occasions, including the last four campaigns in Vancouver Kingsway.

The delegates also elected a new BC Committee, which includes a number of young comrades with a wide range of organizational and political skills. The convention welcomed a proposal to appoint a Vancouver Island organizer – Tyson Strandlund, a 28-year-old Victoria activist who has been a Party and YCL spokesperson in that area for several years. Strandlund will take up the position in January, helping to bring more new members into the Party clubs in Victoria and Nanaimo, and in other areas of Vancouver Island where there is growing interest in socialist ideas.

The convention adopted concrete plans for a wide range of activities, from a more comprehensive series of online educationals to stronger participation in the labour movement, the struggle for tenant rights, and other issues.

Delegates also adopted two special action resolutions. The first calls for a campaign to demand increase social assistance and disability rates, a $20 minimum wage and other measures to fight poverty, which is growing as the pandemic continues.

A second special resolution is to oppose the far-right Epoch Times newspaper. The publication, backed by the Falun Gong cult, is distributed in huge numbers across British Columbia, spreading a toxic mix of pro-Trump propaganda, homophobia, transphobia, anti-working class ideas and virulent hatred against the Communist Party of China. There are growing demands by labour and progressive activists to remove the newspaper from coffee shops, retail outlets and other locations.

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