Communist Party of Canada

Communist Party of Canada. The Communist Party of Canada (CPC) was founded in 1921, with Ukrainians Matthew Popovich, J. Boychuk, and Ivan Navizivsky participating. By the early 1930s Ukrainians were the largest group in the CPC after the Finns, forming approximately one-third of the membership. Most also belonged to the pro-Communist Ukrainian Labour-Farmer Temple Association (ULFTA). CPC control was exercised through sections within the party until 1925 and through direct party representation in organizations like the ULFTA until 1935. Between 1928 and 1931 Ukrainian and other CPC leaders clashed over Ukrainian reluctance to accept the intensification of the class struggle. During the 1930s the CPC's failure to question the Famine-Genocide of 1932–3 and Stalinist purges in Soviet Ukraine led to the defection of Ukrainians under Danylo Lobai. Since 1945 Ukrainian membership in the CPC has decreased, although liaison between the CPC and the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians (AUUC), which succeeded the ULFTA, has been maintained by such key AUUC functionaries in the CPC as John Boychuk, Navizivsky, John Weir, Peter Krawchuk, and Petro Prokopchak. In 1967 the CPC, at AUUC insistence, sent a delegation to investigate Russification in Soviet Ukraine; its critical report was withdrawn under Soviet pressure, over the objections of Ukrainian-Canadian Communist leaders. The 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, officially supported by the CPC, and restricted travel in Soviet Ukraine have further alienated Ukrainians from the CPC, which continued to maintain a pro-Soviet position.

Avakumovič, Ivan. The Communist Party in Canada: A History (Toronto 1975)
Avery, Donald. ‘Dangerous Foreigners’: European Immigrant Workers and Labour Radicalism in Canada, 1896–1932 (Toronto 1979)
Kolasky, John. The Shattered Illusion: The History of Ukrainian Pro-Communist Organizations in Canada (Toronto 1979)
Kolasky, John (comp, ed, trans). Prophets and Proletarians: Documents on the History of the Rise and Decline of Ukrainian Communism in Canada (Edmonton 1990)

Vasyl Markus

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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