Co-operative Commonwealth Federation

The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) (French: Fédération du Commonwealth Coopératif, from 1955 the Parti social démocratique du Canada) was a social-democratic[3] and democratic socialist[4] political party in Canada. The CCF was founded in 1932 in Calgary, Alberta, by a number of socialist, agrarian, co-operative, and labour groups,[5] and the League for Social Reconstruction. In 1944, the CCF formed the first social-democratic government in North America when it was elected to form the provincial government in Saskatchewan.[6] In 1961, the CCF was succeeded by the New Democratic Party (NDP). The full, but little used, name of the party was Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (Farmer-Labour-Socialist).[7]

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation

Fédération du Commonwealth Coopératif
Parti social démocratique du Canada
ChairmanJ. S. Woodsworth,
M. J. Coldwell,
F. R. Scott,
Percy Wright,
David Lewis
SecretaryM. J. Coldwell,
David Lewis,
Lorne Ingle,
Carl Hamilton
Preceded byGinger Group, Independent Labour Party, United Farmers of Alberta
Succeeded byNew Democratic Party
HeadquartersOttawa, Ontario
IdeologySocial democracy
Democratic socialism
Political positionLeft-wing[2]
International affiliationSocialist International
ColoursGreen and Yellow



The CCF aimed to alleviate the suffering that workers and farmers, the ill and the old endure under capitalism, seen most starkly during the Great Depression, through the creation of a Co-operative Commonwealth, which would entail economic co-operation, public ownership of the economy, and political reform.

The object of the political party as reported at its founding meeting in Calgary in 1932 was "the federation [joining together] of organizations whose purpose is the establishment in Canada of a co-operative commonwealth, in which the basic principle of regulating production, distribution and exchange will be the supplying of human needs instead of the making of profit."[8]

The goal of the CCF was defined as a "community freed from the domination of irresponsible financial and economic power in which all social means of production and distribution, including land, are socially owned and controlled either by voluntarily organized groups of producers and consumers or – in the case of major public services and utilities and such productive and distributive enterprises as can be conducted most efficiently when owned in common – by public corporations responsible to the people's elected representatives".[9] Many of the party's first Members of Parliament (MPs) were members of the Ginger Group, composed of United Farmers of Alberta, left-wing Progressive, and Labour MPs. These MPs included United Farmers of Alberta MPs William Irvine and Ted Garland, Agnes Macphail (UFO), Humphrey Mitchell, Abraham Albert Heaps, Angus MacInnis, and Labour Party MP J. S. Woodsworth. Also involved in founding the new party were members of the League for Social Reconstruction (LSR), such as F. R. Scott and Frank Underhill.[10] It can be said that the CCF was founded on May 26, 1932, when the Ginger Group MPs and LSR members met in William Irvine's office, the unofficial caucus meeting room for the Ginger Group, and went about forming the basis of the new party.[11] J. S. Woodsworth was unanimously appointed the temporary leader until they could hold a founding convention.[12] The temporary name for the new party was the Commonwealth Party.[13]

CCF founding meeting, Calgary, 1932

At its founding convention in 1932 in Calgary, the party settled on the name "Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (Farmer-Labour-Socialist)" and selected J. S. Woodsworth as party leader.[14] Woodsworth had been an Independent Labour Party MP since 1921 and a member of the Ginger Group of MPs. The party's 1933 convention, held in Regina, Saskatchewan, adopted the Regina Manifesto as the party's program. The manifesto outlined a number of goals, including public ownership of key industries, universal public pensions, universal health care, children's allowances, unemployment insurance, and workers' compensation.[15]

Its conclusion read, "No CCF Government will rest content until it has eradicated capitalism and put into operation the full programme of socialized planning which will lead to the establishment in Canada of the Co-operative Commonwealth."[14] The party affiliated to the Socialist International.[16]

Electoral performance

CCF Caucus meeting
Federal CCF Caucus, in 1942 with new leader M.J. Coldwell. Left to right, Tommy Douglas, George Castleden, Angus MacInnis, Coldwell, Clarie Gillis, Joe Noseworthy, Sandy Nicholoson, and Percy Wright.[17]

In line with Alberta's important role in founding the CCF, it is said that the first CCF candidate elected was Chester Ronning in the Alberta provincial constituency of Camrose, in October 1932.[18] The UFA, under whose banner he contested the election, formalized its already-strong connection to the CCF in its next provincial convention, in January 1933.[19]

In its first federal election, seven CCF MPs were elected to the House of Commons in 1935. Eight were elected in the following election in 1940, including their first member east of Manitoba, Clarence Gillis, in Nova Scotia's Cape Breton South district. The party was divided with the outbreak of World War II: Woodsworth was a passionate pacifist, and this upset many supporters of the Canadian war effort. Woodsworth had a physically debilitating stroke in May 1940 and could no longer perform his duties as leader.[20] In October, Woodsworth wrote a letter to the 1940 CCF convention, in essence asking to retire from the leadership.[20] Instead, the delegates created the new position of Honorary President, abolished the President's position and re-elected M. J. Coldwell as the National Chairman.[20] Coldwell was then appointed acting House Leader on 6 November.[21] Woodsworth died on 21 March 1942, and Coldwell officially became the new leader at the July convention in Toronto and threw the party's support behind the war effort.[21] As a memorial to Woodsworth, Coldwell suggested that the CCF create a research foundation, and Woodsworth House was established in Toronto for that purpose.[20] The party won a critical York South by-election on 8 February 1942, and in the process prevented the Conservative leader, former Prime Minister Arthur Meighen, from entering the House of Commons. In the 1945 election, 28 CCF MPs were elected, and the party won 15.6% of the vote.

However, the party was to have its greatest success in provincial politics in the 1940s. In 1943, the Ontario CCF became the official opposition in that province, and in 1944 the Saskatchewan CCF formed the first democratic socialist government in North America, with Tommy Douglas as premier. Douglas introduced universal Medicare to Saskatchewan, a policy that was soon adopted by other provinces and implemented nationally by the Liberal Party of Canada during the administration of Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.

New Party

Federally, during the Cold War, the CCF was accused of having Communist leanings. The party moved to address these accusations in 1956 by replacing the Regina Manifesto with a more moderate document, the Winnipeg Declaration. Nevertheless, the party did poorly in the 1958 federal election, winning only eight seats.

After much discussion, the CCF and the Canadian Labour Congress decided to join forces to create a new political party that could make social democracy more popular with Canadian voters. This party, initially known as the New Party, became the New Democratic Party (NDP) in 1961.


In 2018, Regina—Lewvan MP Erin Weir designated himself as a CCF MP in the House of Commons following his expulsion from the federal New Democratic Party caucus. The designation is in name only.[22]

Election results

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
1935 James Woodsworth 410,125 9.3
7 / 245
Increase 7 Increase 4th Majority
1940 James Woodsworth 388,103 8.4
8 / 245
Increase 1 Increase 3rd Majority
1945 Major Coldwell 815,720 15.6
28 / 245
Increase 20 Steady 3rd Majority
1949 Major Coldwell 784,770 13.4
13 / 262
Decrease 15 Steady 3rd Majority
1953 Major Coldwell 636,310 11.3
23 / 265
Increase 10 Steady 3rd Majority
1957 Major Coldwell 707,659 10.6
25 / 265
Increase 2 Steady 3rd Majority
1958 Major Coldwell 692,398 9.5
8 / 265
Decrease 17 Steady 3rd Majority[23]


The CCF estimated its membership as being slightly more than 20,000 in 1938, less than 30,000 in 1942, and over 90,000 in 1944.[24] Membership figures declined following World War II to only 20,238 in 1950 and would never again reach 30,000[24]

By the late 1940s the CCF had official or unofficial weekly newspapers in Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan; twice-monthly papers in Ontario and Manitoba; and a bimonthly in the Maritimes. A French-language paper in Quebec was also attempted at various times. The party also produced many educational books, pamphlets, and magazines, though these efforts declined in the 1950s.

Party leaders

Picture Name Term start Term end Riding as leader Notes
Ac.woodsworth J. S. Woodsworth 1 August 1932 21 March 1942 Winnipeg North Centre, Winnipeg Centre, MB "Temporary leader" from the party's founding meeting on August 1, 1932 until the founding convention in July 1933 when he was elected president (leader) of the CCF. Due to illness, Woodsworth ceased to be parliamentary leader in October 1940. He remained honorary president (leader) of the CCF until his death.[25]
M.J. Coldwell in 1944 M. J. Coldwell July 1942 10 August 1960 Rosetown—Biggar, SK Became parliamentary leader of the CCF in October 1940. Was unanimously elected party president (leader) at the CCF's national convention in Toronto in July 1942.[25]
Hazen Argue Hazen Argue 11 August 1960 2 August 1961 Assiniboia, Wood Mountain, SK Chosen parliamentary leader by the CCF caucus after Coldwell lost his seat in the 1958 general election. Officially elected party leader, without opposition, at the CCF national convention in 1960.

National chairmen

Claire Gillis, David Lewis, M.J.Coldwell c007253
Four past and future National Chairmen in September 1944: National CCF delegation attending the Conference of Commonwealth Labour Parties in London, England. Pictured from left to right: Clarie Gillis, MP for Cape Breton South; David Lewis, National Secretary; M. J. Coldwell, National Leader, MP for Rosetown—Biggar; Percy E. Wright, MP for Melfort; and Frank Scott, national chairman.

The national chairman was the equivalent of party president in most Canadian political parties and was sometimes referred to as such, in that it was largely an organizational role. In the case of the CCF, the national chairman oversaw the party's national council and chaired its meetings. Following an initial period in which Woodsworth held both roles, it was usually distinct from and secondary to the position of party leader. National president originally was also a title the leader held, as both Woodsworth and Coldwell held the title when they held seats in the House of Commons. In 1958, after Coldwell lost his seat, the position of national chairman was merged formally into the president's title and was held by David Lewis.[26]

National secretaries

The national secretary was a staff position (initially part-time, and then full-time beginning 1938) which was responsible for the day-to-day organizing of the party. The national secretary was the only full-time employee at the party's national headquarters until 1943, when a research director, Eugene Forsey, and an assistant to the leader were hired.

CCF song

Towards the Dawn
"Towards the Dawn!" – a 1930s promotional image from Saskatchewan

The CCF had a song, which would be later popularized by the movie Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story.

First verse:

A call goes out to Canada
It comes from out the soil—
Come and join the ranks through all the land
To fight for those who toil
Come on farmer, soldier, labourer,
From the mine and factory,
And side by side we'll swell the tide—
C.C.F. to Victory.[33]

Provincial sections

See also



  1. ^ Seymour Martin Lipset (1971). Agrarian Socialism: The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation in Saskatchewan : a Study in Political Sociology. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-02056-6. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  2. ^ Alvin Finkel (1979). Business and Social Reform in the Thirties. James Lorimer & Company. p. 154. ISBN 978-0-88862-235-8.
  3. ^ These sources describe the CCF as a social-democratic political party:
  4. ^ The following sources describe the CCF as a democratic socialist political party:
  5. ^ Alvin Finkel (1997). Our Lives: Canada After 1945. James Lorimer & Company. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-55028-551-2. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  6. ^ Peter Davis (1983). Social Democracy in the South Pacific. Peter Davis. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-908636-35-8. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  7. ^ Calgary Herald, August 1, 1932
  8. ^ Calgary Herald, Augusut 1, 1932
  9. ^ Laurence Gronlund, Co-operative Commonwealth, An Exposition of Socialism (1884), p. 36 as quoted in Monto, Tom, Protest and Progress, Three Labour Radicals in Early Edmonton, Crang Publishing/Alhambra Books, p. 156
  10. ^ Young (1969), p. 31.
  11. ^ McNaught (2001), pp. 259–260.
  12. ^ McNaught (2001), pp. 259-260.
  13. ^ Young (1969), p. 30.
  14. ^ a b Morton (1986), p. 12.
  15. ^ Young (1969), pp. 304-313.
  16. ^ Kenneth Murray Knuttila (2007). The Prairie Agrarian Movement Revisited. University of Regina Press. pp. 173–. ISBN 978-0-88977-183-3.
  17. ^ Smith (1992), p. 88.
  18. ^ Mardiros, Anthony (1979). William Irvine, The Life of a Prairie Radical. Toronto: James Lorimer & Co. p. 208. ISBN 978-0-8886-2237-2.
  19. ^ Champion Chronicle, January 26, 1933
  20. ^ a b c d McNaught (2001), pp. 313-315.
  21. ^ a b Stewart (2000), pp. 244–245.
  22. ^ Marotta, Stefanie (May 11, 2018). "Erin Weir declares himself a member of the CCF - a party that no longer exists". CBC News. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  23. ^ The Canadian Encyclopedia
  24. ^ a b Young (1969), Appendix B, Table III, p. 320.
  25. ^ a b "Co-operative Commonwealth Federation". Library of Parliament. Parliament of Canada.
  26. ^ Young (1969), p. 235.
  27. ^ a b Braithwaite, Dennis (1950-07-29). "C.C.F. Disavows Marx Class Struggle Idea, Tempers High in Debate". The Toronto Daily Star. pp. 1, 7.
  28. ^ Staff (1952-08-09). "Make Own Foreign Policy, Follow U.N. CCF Meet Urges". The Toronto Daily Star. pp. 1, 2.
  29. ^ a b Stewart (2000), p. 211.
  30. ^ Young (1969), p. 127.
  31. ^ Smith (1989), p. 294.
  32. ^ Stewart (2000), p. 212.
  33. ^ "Foreword". CCYM Sings. Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists. Retrieved 2010-07-17. CCYM is the Co-operative Commonwealth Youth Movement, the image is from a larger collection of scans in jpeg format.


  • Avakumovic, Ivan (1978). Socialism in Canada : a study of the CCF-NDP in federal and provincial politics. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart. ISBN 978-0-7710-0978-5.
  • Azoulay, Dan (1999). "A Desperate Holding Action: The Survival of the Ontario CCF/NDP, 1948–1964". In Azoulay, Dan. Canadian Political Parties: Historical Readings. Toronto: Irwin Publishing. pp. 342–363. ISBN 978-0-7725-2703-5.
  • Boyko, John (2006). Into the Hurricane: Attacking Socialism and the CCF. Winnipeg, Canada: J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing. ISBN 978-1-897289-09-9.
  • Caplan, Gerald (1973). The Dilemma of Canadian Socialism: The CCF in Ontario. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart. ISBN 978-0-7710-1896-1.
  • Douglas, T. C. (Tommy) (1982). Thomas, L. H., ed. The Making of a Socialist. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press. ISBN 9780888640703.
  • Horowitz, Gad (1968). Canadian Labour in Politics. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-8020-1902-8.
  • Lacroix, Patrick (2016). ""From Strangers to 'Humanity First': Canadian Social Democracy and Immigration Policy, 1932-1961". Canadian Journal of History. 51 (1): 58–82. doi:10.1353/cnh.2016.0028.
  • Lewis, David (1981). The Good Fight: Political Memoirs 1909–1958. Toronto: Macmillan of Canada. ISBN 978-0-7715-9598-1.
  • Lewis, David; Scott, Frank (2001) [1943]. Make this YOUR CANADA: A Review of CCF History and Policy. Canada: Hybrid Publishers Co-operative Ltd. ISBN 978-0-9689709-0-4.
  • MacDonald, Donald C. (1998). The Happy Warrior: Political Memoirs (2 ed.). Toronto, ON, Canada: Dundurn Press. ISBN 978-1-55002-307-7.
  • McHenry, Dean Eugene (1950). The Third Force in Canada; the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation 1932–1948. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • McLeod, Thomas; McLeod, Ian (2004). The Road to Jerusalem (2 ed.). Calgary: Fifth House. ISBN 978-1-894856-48-5.
  • McNaught, Kenneth (2001). A Prophet in Politics: A Biography of J. S. Woodsworth. With a new introduction by Allen Mills (reprint ed.). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-3555-8.
  • Milligan, Frank (2004). Eugene A. Forsey: An Intellectual Biography. Calgary: University of Calgary Press. ISBN 9781552381182.
  • Mills, Allen (1991). Fool for Christ: The Political Thought of J. S. Woodsworth. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 9781442623354.
  • Morton, Desmond (1986). The New Democrats: 1961-1986 (3 ed.). Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman Ltd. ISBN 0-7730-4618-6.
  • Penner, Norman (1988). Canadian Communism: the Stalin years and beyond. Toronto: Methuen. ISBN 978-0-458-81200-4.
  • Scott, Frank R. (1986). A New Endeavour: Selected Political Essays, Letters, and Addresses. Edited and introduced by Michiel Horn. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-8020-5672-6.
  • Shackleton, Doris French (1975). Tommy Douglas. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart. ISBN 978-0-7710-8116-3.
  • Smith, Cameron (1989). Unfinished Journey: The Lewis Family. Toronto: Summerhill Press. ISBN 978-0-929091-04-4.
  • Smith, Cameron (1992). Love & Solidarity: A Pictorial History of the NDP. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart. ISBN 978-0-7710-8209-2.
  • Stewart, Margaret; Shackelton, Doris French (1959). Ask no quarter; a biography of Agnes Macphail. Toronto: Longmans, Green.
  • Stewart, Walter (2000). M.J.: The Life and Times of M.J. Coldwell. Toronto: Stoddart Publishing Co. Limited. ISBN 978-0-7737-3232-2.
  • Stewart, Walter (2003). Tommy: the life and politics of Tommy Douglas. Toronto: McArthur & Company. ISBN 978-1-55278-382-5.
  • Trofimenkoff, Susan Mann (1982). Stanley Knowles: The Man from Winnipeg North Centre. Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books. ISBN 9780888331007.
  • Young, Walter D. (1969). The anatomy of a party: the national CCF 1932–61. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

External links


Preceded by
Ginger Group
Co-operative Commonwealth Federation
1932 - 1961
Succeeded by
New Democratic Party
Abraham Albert Heaps

Abraham Albert Heaps (December 24, 1885 – April 4, 1954), also known as A. A. Heaps, was a Canadian politician and labour leader.

Born in Leeds, England, Heaps immigrated to Canada in 1911 and worked in Winnipeg as an upholsterer. He was one of the leaders of the Winnipeg general strike of 1919 and was a Labour alderman on the Winnipeg City Council from 1917 to 1925. He ran for the House of Commons of Canada as a Labour candidate in 1923 in the riding of Winnipeg North but was defeated. He was elected in the 1925 election and joined J. S. Woodsworth as the sole Labour MP in Parliament. The Liberal government of William Lyon Mackenzie King was elected with a minority government. Heaps and Woodsworth agreed to support the Liberals in exchange for the government creating Canada's first old age pension. Heaps and Woodsworth joined other left-wing MPs to form the Ginger Group.

He was a founding member of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation in 1932, and was a charter member of the CCF's caucus.

One of the few Jews in Parliament, Heaps pressured the government to allow Jewish refugees from the Nazis into Canada.

He was defeated in the 1940 election by Charles Stephen Booth from the Liberal Party due to a strong candidacy in Winnipeg North by the Communist Party's candidate.

Heaps died in England while visiting family and was buried in his birthplace of Leeds.

His son, Leo Heaps, wrote a 1984 biography about him called The Rebel in the House: The Life and Times of A.A. Heaps MP and was an unsuccessful New Democratic Party candidate in the 1979 federal election for the riding of Eglinton—Lawrence. His grandson, Adrian Heaps, was elected to Toronto City Council in 2006.

Alberta New Democratic Party

The Alberta New Democratic Party, commonly shortened to Alberta NDP, is a social-democratic political party in Alberta, Canada, which succeeded the Alberta section of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and the even earlier Alberta wing of the Canadian Labour Party and the United Farmers of Alberta. From the mid-1980s to 2004, the party abbreviated its name as the "New Democrats" (ND).

The party achieved Official Opposition status in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 1986 to 1993. It was swept out of the legislature in 1993 and spent the next two decades in the political wilderness. While it got back into the legislature in 1997, it never won more than four seats. Its time on the fringe of Alberta politics ended in the 2015 provincial election, when it won 54 of the 87 seats in the legislature to form the government of Alberta for the first time. Until 2015, Alberta had been the only province in western Canada—the party's birthplace—where the NDP had never governed at the provincial level.

Alfred Speakman

Alfred Speakman (August 24, 1880 – November 4, 1943) was a politician from Alberta, Canada.

Andrew Brewin

Francis Andrew Brewin (1907–1983), also known as Andy Brewin, was a lawyer and Canadian politician and Member of Parliament. He was the grandson of Liberal cabinet minister Andrew George Blair. His son John Brewin also served in the House of Commons of Canada.

Born on 3 September 1907 in Brighton, England, Brewin was a stalwart in the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and ran numerous times at the federal and provincial levels in the 1940 and 1950s. As a lawyer in the 1940s, he was retained by the Co-operative Committee on Japanese Canadians to contest the federal government's deportation orders affecting thousands of Japanese Canadians. Led by Brewin, the "Japanese Canadian Reference Case" was heard by the Supreme Court of Canada and later, on appeal, by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Brewin was also retained by a committee of Japanese Canadians who had been detained during the Second World War as "enemy aliens" in order to try to have their property restored. He succeeded in persuading the government to call a royal commission to investigate the question.In 1945, he was asked by Ontario CCF leader Ted Jolliffe to be co-counsel during the infamous LeBel Royal Commission that was looking into whether or not Ontario's premier at the time was employing a secret political police force. He was, for a time, the President of the Ontario CCF and was a candidate for the leadership of the Ontario CCF at the party's 1953 leadership convention, but lost to Donald C. MacDonald.

Brewin was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada on behalf of the CCF's successor, the New Democratic Party. Brewin sat as Member of Parliament for the Toronto riding of Greenwood from the 1962 election until his retirement in 1979.Coming from the theological tradition of figures such as Richard Hooker, F. D. Maurice, and William Temple, Andrew Brewin considered himself a Christian socialist and wrote a number of books and pamphlets on the topic. He was a member of the Fellowship for a Christian Social Order and the League for Social Reconstruction.Andrew Brewin wrote the book Stand on Guard: The Search for a Canadian Defence Policy, published by McClelland & Stewart in 1965, that explored Canada's military's changing role in the mid-twentieth century, including its participation in the then new concept of United Nations peacekeeping.

Brewin died on 21 September 1983.

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (Manitoba)

The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (Manitoba) (CCF), known informally as the Manitoba CCF, was a provincial branch of the national Canadian party by the same name. The national CCF was the dominant social-democratic party in Canada from the 1930s to the early 1960s, when it merged with the labour movement to become the New Democratic Party. The Manitoba CCF, created in 1932, played the same role at the provincial level.

It was initially a small organization, and was supported by members of the Independent Labour Party, which had existed in the province since 1920. The ILP and CCF were brought into a formal alliance in 1933, despite misgivings from some in the former party.

The ILP was the leading social-democratic party in Manitoba prior to the CCF's formation. It had a reliable support base in Winnipeg and other urban areas, but had virtually no organization in the countryside. The CCF was formed to bring labour and farm groups into the same political camp. Some ILP members saw this as diluting their party's integrity.

The provincial CCF had become stronger by 1936, and the ILP's candidates in that year's provincial election were referred to as "ILP-CCF". After the election, some disgruntled ILP members succeeded in temporarily disaffiliating the parties. Pressure from David Lewis and J. S. Woodsworth brought about a quick realignment, but relations remained strained.

At the start of World War II, the ILP and CCF were again in disagreement: the ILP supported an all-out war effort, whereas the CCF supported the conscription of "wealth rather than men".

This controversy contributed to the defeat of federal CCF MP Abraham Albert Heaps in the election of 1940.

The CCF eventually gained control of the ILP's internal organization, and the two parties were effectively one after 1941. The ILP formally disbanded in 1943.

In late 1940, the ILP-CCF accepted an offer by Manitoba Premier John Bracken to become part of an all-party "unity government". This decision was opposed by some national leaders (including David Lewis), but was supported by local figures such as Seymour Farmer, who had led the ILP parliamentary group since 1935. On November 4, 1940, Farmer became the first socialist politician in Canadian history to attain cabinet rank, having been sworn in as Minister of Labour.

The CCF's experience in the coalition government was a disappointment to the party. The party leaders had hoped to use their influence to promote progressive labour legislation; instead, Bracken's government forced Farmer to seek "free votes" on his ministry's initiatives (these soon became party votes, with the CCF invariably losing). Farmer resigned from government in December 1942, and the CCF formally left the coalition in 1943. The CCF's time in government demoralized its membership, and hindered its electoral fortunes - voters elected only three CCF MLAs in 1941.

For the next few years, the CCF's primary concern was preventing infiltration from Communists (then officially represented by the Labour Progressive Party). Some figures in the LPP favoured cooperation with the CCF; the CCF leadership was fully opposed to this, and suspended two prominent Manitoba MLAs when they advocated formal cooperation. Accusations of being "Communist sympathizers" would hinder the party's fortunes for years to come.

In 1944, the national party was performing well in the polls and a CCF government was elected in neighbouring Saskatchewan. The Manitoba CCF hoped to repeat this success the following year, but won only 10 seats out of 55. This failure was due in part to the province's outdated electoral boundaries, which favoured rural ridings at the expense of the cities.

Farmer resigned as party leader in 1947, and was replaced the following year by Edwin Hansford. The party won only seven seats in the election of 1949, amid a period of generally poor fortunes for left-wing parties in Canada. Hansford resigned as leader in 1952, replaced by Scottie Bryce.

The selection of Bryce was somewhat unusual, in that he was a federal MP without experience in the provincial house. He was apparently chosen as party leader due to fears that his federal seat would be eliminated by redistribution. Bryce ultimately decided against joining provincial politics, and was replaced by Lloyd Stinson before the 1953 election.

Stinson was probably the most adept of the Manitoba CCF's leaders, but he was unable to translate his personal popularity and charisma into victory at the polls. The party fell to five seats in 1953, during the first election to be held after the province's Liberal-Conservative coalition dissolved amid acrimony.

The Liberal government of Douglas Campbell became increasingly unpopular in the mid-1950s, and the CCF was able to tap into some of the public's discontent. Stinson was relatively popular among the province's "centre-left" voters, and the CCF increased its seat total to eleven in 1958.

The primary benefactors of Campbell's unpopularity, however, were the Progressive Conservatives under Dufferin Roblin, who won 26 seats out of 57. The Campbell government initially attempted to stay in power through an alliance with the CCF, which turned down this offer (perhaps due to the disappointment of 1940-43). Roblin was sworn in as Premier later in the year.

Roblin's government put the CCF in a paradoxical situation, as the new Premier initiated long-overdue progressive legislation and outflanked the CCF in a bid for centre-left voters. The CCF was forced to lend support to Roblin's initiatives, thereby providing his ministry with the legislative record it needed to win a majority the following year. The Tories won 38 seats the following year, with the CCF dropping to 10. Stinson resigned as party leader in 1960, and was replaced by Russ Paulley.

The national CCF had fallen to eight seats in 1958, losing much of its support to John Diefenbaker's Tories. When the national party "reinvented" itself in 1961 as the New Democratic Party (via an alliance with the Canadian Labour Congress), the provincial CCF followed suit.

The "New Party" in Manitoba affiliated with the Manitoba Federation of Labour, and Paulley became the first provincial NDP leader later in 1961.

The CCF ceased to exist, having been superseded by the New Democratic Party of Manitoba in much the same way as it had previously superseded the ILP.

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (Ontario Section)

The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (Ontario Section) – The Farmer-Labor Party of Ontario, or more commonly known as the Ontario CCF, was a democratic socialist provincial political party in Ontario that existed from 1932 to 1961. It was the provincial wing of the federal Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). The party had no leader in the beginning, and was governed by a provincial council and executive. The party's first Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) was elected by voters in the 1934 Ontario general election. In the 1937 general election, no CCF members were elected to the Ontario Legislature. In 1942, the party elected Toronto lawyer Ted Jolliffe as its first leader. He led the party to within a few seats of forming the government in the 1943 general election; instead, it formed the Official Opposition. In that election, the first two women were elected to the Ontario Legislature as CCFers: Agnes Macphail and Rae Luckock. The 1945 election was a setback, as the party lost most of its seats in the Legislature, including Jolliffe's seat. The party again became the Official Opposition after the 1948 general election, and defeated the Conservative premier George Drew in his seat, when Bill Temple unexpectedly won in the High Park constituency. The middle and late 1940s were the peak years for the Ontario CCF. After that time, its electoral performances were dismal, as it was reduced to a rump of two seats in the 1951 election, three seats in the 1955 election, and five seats in the 1959 election. Jolliffe stepped down as leader in 1953, and was replaced by Donald C. MacDonald.

The period between the 1951 defeat and the founding of the Ontario New Democratic Party was one of much internal strife, but MacDonald managed to keep the party together, despite the constant electoral defeats. In October 1961, the party dissolved itself and became part of the New Democratic Party.

Donald C. MacDonald

Donald Cameron MacDonald, (December 7, 1913 – March 8, 2008) was a long time Canadian politician and political party leader and had been referred to as the "Best premier Ontario never had." He represented the provincial riding of York South in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1955 to 1982. From 1953 to 1970 he was the leader of the social democratic Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (Ontario Section) and its successor, the Ontario New Democratic Party.

Elmer Ernest Roper

Elmer Ernest Roper (June 4, 1893 – November 12, 1994) was a politician in Alberta, Canada. He served as leader of the Alberta Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, the mayor of Edmonton, and a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. He was also a candidate for the House of Commons of Canada.

Frederick Oliver Robinson

Frederick Oliver Robinson (August 2, 1903–June 26, 1969) was an Ontario machinist and political figure. He represented Port Arthur in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from August 1943 to November 1951 as a Co-operative Commonwealth Federation member.

Harold Edward Winch

Harold Edward Winch (18 June 1907 – 1 February 1993) was a Canadian politician active with the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and its successor, the New Democratic Party (NDP).Winch was leader of the British Columbia CCF from 1938 to 1953, and Leader of the Opposition from 1941. He was called "the best leader of the Opposition that has ever been" by Premier W.A.C. Bennett[1].

Winch was active during the relief camp strike in Vancouver that precipitated the On-to-Ottawa Trek in 1935, acting as a liaison between unemployed protesters and the government. He performed the same role as a new MLA in 1938, and assisted the police in ending a month-long occupation at the Vancouver Art Gallery on what became known as "Bloody Sunday."

Like other CCFers (such as Grace and Angus MacInnis), Winch and the BC CCF supported the internment of Japanese Canadians during World War II. Decades later, he conceded that this position was wrong. [2]

An electrician by trade, Winch joined the CCF at its founding. He was first elected to the British Columbia Legislative Assembly in the 1933 provincial election as the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Vancouver East. He became leader of the party following the 1937 general election and leader of the opposition in 1941. The CCF emerged from the 1952 provincial election with only one less seat than the British Columbia Social Credit Party. Social Credit formed a minority government, but was defeated in a motion of no confidence in March 1953. Winch opposed holding a new election, arguing that the CCF was able to form a new government. When the Liberal Party announced that it would not support a CCF government, a new election was called.

Winch stepped down as party leader, and entered federal politics. He was elected to the House of Commons of Canada in the 1953 federal election as the Member of Parliament for Vancouver East.

Winch survived the 1958 federal election that almost wiped the CCF out, and remained with the party as it transformed into the New Democratic Party in 1961. After winning seven successive elections as an MP, he retired from the House of Commons at the 1972 federal election.

Harold Winch's father, Ernest Edward Winch was also a CCF MLA from 1933 until his death in 1957.

J. S. Woodsworth

James Shaver Woodsworth (July 29, 1874 – March 21, 1942) was a pioneer in the Canadian social democratic movement. Following more than two decades ministering to the poor and the working class, J. S. Woodsworth left the church to lay the foundation for, and become the first leader of, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), a democratic socialist party that later became the New Democratic Party (NDP).

Nova Scotia New Democratic Party

The Nova Scotia New Democratic Party is a progressive, social-democratic provincial party in Nova Scotia, Canada. It is aligned with the federal New Democratic Party (NDP). It was founded as the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in 1932, and became the New Democratic Party in 1961. It became the governing party of Nova Scotia following the 2009 Nova Scotia election, winning 31 seats in the Legislature, under the leadership of Premier Darrell Dexter. It is the first New Democratic Party in Atlantic Canada to form a government. The party faced electoral defeat in the 2013 election, losing 24 seats, including Dexter's seat. The current leader is Halifax Chebucto MLA Gary Burrill, who is credited with bringing the party back to its left-wing roots, after the centrist policies enacted by Dexter. The party currently holds 7 seats in the Legislature, and had its lowest showing in the popular vote since 1993 during the 2017 Nova Scotia general election.

Parti social démocratique du Québec

The Parti social démocratique du Québec (PSD ; English: Social Democratic Party of Quebec) was the Quebec wing of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. It was founded in 1939 as the Fédération du Commonwealth Coopératif and was led by Romuald-Joseph Lamoureux in the 1944 general election, by Thérèse Casgrain from 1951 to 1957 and by Michel Chartrand from 1957 to 1960. The name Parti social démocratique was adopted in 1955.

The party was refounded in 1963 as the New Democratic Party of Quebec (Nouveau Parti démocratique du Québec), however the party soon split over the issue of Quebec self-determination with Quebec nationalists leaving to form, in November 1963, the Parti socialiste du Québec led by former PSD leader Michel Chartrand.

The NDPQ renamed itself the Parti de la Democratie Socialiste (Party of Socialist Democracy) following a 1991 split with the federal NDP over the question of Quebec independence.

Regina Manifesto

The Regina Manifesto was the programme of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and was adopted at the first national convention of the CCF held in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1933. The primary goal of the "Regina Manifesto" was to eradicate the system of capitalism and replace it with a planned socialist economy. The CCF was a democratic socialist party founded in 1932 by farmers, workers and socialist groups against the backdrop of the Great Depression.

The Manifesto was largely written by members of the League for Social Reconstruction, particularly Frank Underhill and F. R. Scott, and called for "a planned and socialized economy in which our natural resources and principal means of production and distribution are owned, controlled and operated by the people". Specifically it called for the nationalization of transportation, communications, electrical power and other services. It called for a planned economy and a national banking system that would be "removed from the control of private profit-seeking interests." It advocated the ability to organize in trade unions and called for a National Labour Code "to secure for the worker maximum income and leisure, insurance covering illness, accident, old age, and unemployment." The Regina Manifesto proposed social service programs such as publicly funded health care, supported peace, promoted co-operative enterprises and vowed that "No C.C.F. Government will rest content until it has eradicated capitalism and put into operation the full programme of socialized planning which will lead to the establishment in Canada of the Cooperative Commonwealth."

The Regina Manifesto remained the CCF's official programme until 1956 when, in the face of the strong anti-communist sentiment of the Cold War, it was replaced by the more moderate Winnipeg Declaration which substituted Keynesian economics for socialist remedies.

Saskatchewan New Democratic Party

The Saskatchewan New Democratic Party (NDP) is a social-democratic political party in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. It currently forms the official opposition, but has been a dominant force in Saskatchewan politics since the 1940s. The party is the successor to the Saskatchewan section of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), and is affiliated with the federal New Democratic Party.

Saskatchewan New Democratic Party/Co-operative Commonwealth Federation leadership elections

This page shows the results of leadership elections in the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party (known as the Farmer-Labour Party from 1932 to 1934, and the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation from 1934 to 1967). Prior to 2001, the leader was elected via a delegated convention. Following the resignation of Roy Romanow, the leader was chosen through a One Member One Vote election.

Thérèse Casgrain

Thérèse Casgrain, LL.D. (10 July 1896 – 3 November 1981) was a French Canadian feminist, reformer, politician and senator.

William Irvine (Canadian politician)

William Irvine (April 19, 1885 – October 26, 1962) was a Canadian politician, journalist and clergyman. He served in the House of Commons of Canada on three different occasions, as a representative of Labour, the United Farmers of Alberta and the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. During the 1920s, he was active in the Ginger Group of radical Members of Parliament (MPs).

Winnipeg Declaration

The Winnipeg Declaration (sometimes referred to as the Winnipeg Manifesto) was the programme adopted by the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in Canada to replace the Regina Manifesto. Its full name is the "1956 Winnipeg Declaration of Principles of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation" and it was adopted at the party's national convention held that year in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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