Communist League (Canada)

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The Communist League in Canada was founded as the "Revolutionary Workers League/Ligue Ouvrière Révolutionnaire" (RWL) in 1977 as the result of a merger of the League for Socialist Action (LSA), the Revolutionary Marxist Group (RMG) and the Groupe Marxiste Revolutionaire.

Originally a Trotskyist party, the RWL was the Canadian section of the Fourth International (FI). The group followed the US Socialist Workers Party's (SWP) trajectory away from Trotskyism in favour of a view of Fidel Castro's Cuba as the vanguard of world revolution[not in citation given]. The RWL purged members who did not support the new orientation[not in citation given], many of whom went on to form Socialist Challenge and Gauche Socialiste.

In the late 1980s, the RWL left the FI to become part of the new Pathfinder tendency spearheaded by the SWP. It changed its name to the Communist League in 1990. The new group ceased publication of the English Socialist Voice in favour of selling The Militant, published in New York City by the SWP.

Michel Prairie is the group's general secretary and primary spokesperson.

In early 2004, two former activists in the group left the CL over a dispute regarding protests against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and started Socialist Voice, taking the name of the RWL's old newspaper.

The CL operates a Pathfinder Bookstore in Montreal.[1]

The Communist League should not be confused with the Young Communist League which is youth wing of the Communist Party of Canada and is Marxist–Leninist.

Candidates for public office[edit]

The Communist League has run candidates in some federal, provincial and municipal elections in Canada, most notably in Ontario and Quebec. They fielded three candidates in the 2006 federal election, Beverly Bernardo in Parkdale—High Park, Michel Prairie in Toronto Centre and John Steele in Eglinton—Lawrence.[1] As the Communist League has not registered as a political party with Elections Canada, their candidates are listed as "non-affiliated" on the ballot.

Katherine Le Rougetel[edit]

Le Rougetel sought election as borough mayor of Verdun in the 2013 Montreal municipal election and received 102 votes (0.49%).[2] She later sought election for Calgary-Cross in the 2015 Alberta provincial election, receiving 143 votes (1.12%),[3] and is a candidate for mayor of Calgary in the 2017 municipal election.[4]

Patricia O'Beirne[edit]

O'Beirne was the Communist League's candidate for Mayor of Toronto in 2003.

John Steele[edit]

Steele was the Communist League's nominal Ontario leader in the 1995 provincial election, and was the CL's candidate for Mayor of Toronto in 2000. He won 1,412 votes out of approximately 550,000 votes cast in Toronto.

Joe Young[edit]

Young is a longtime member of the radical left in Canada. He has campaigned for federal, provincial and municipal office in Ontario and British Columbia.