Political Challenges at Home and Abroad

Quebec City, Quebec

August 21, 2001


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Political Challenges At Home and Abroad
Political Challenges At Home and Abroad
dated August 21, 2001

Quebec City, Quebec

       The challenge to rebuild a democratic socialist left party in Canada is one the 250,000 members of the Canadian Auto Workers must meet in the near future according to their National President, Buzz Hargrove.



Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "There's a lot happening. Our party itself is in review right now. We have a committee set up that will report to the convention in November. There is another group called ND Progress that's holding a lot of meetings across Canada. The CLC has a committee set up that is reviewing its relationship with the NDP. We have the new politics initiative, the N.P.I., which some people from our union like Jim Stanford are involved in, as well. We have others in our union involved with a group called rebuilding the left."

       Speaking to the thousand delegates attending the CAW 6th Constitutional Convention in Quebec City, Hargrove said the NDP must come to grips with the need to abandon its present course.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "Will the NDP, the hierarchy of the party, have the courage to challenge themselves and look to the future and cut this idea that ,somehow, that we can replace the Liberals as the centralist party in Canada."
       "And for those of us in the labour movement, the challenge for us is, do we respect our members enough to say that business as usual is not an option for us in the labour movement? Our members overwhelmingly want us to take a different approach to politics."


       Part of that role, says Hargrove, will be to continue the fight against globalization and free trade. Hargrove said the recent 19 per cent tariff the U.S. slapped on Canada's softwood lumber is a prime example of the fallacy of free trade.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "The Americans, they don't give a damn about free trade agreements. If there is an industry in their country that is threatened by imports, they do something about it. And the question for us is, should we criticize the Americans? I don't think so. We should criticize Jean Chretien and our government and say we ought to get rid of free trade agreements and start acting in the interests of the people of Canada."

       Hargrove said the first step is to redefine the politics of the left putting principle ahead of power.

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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