If the provincial Young New Democrats had their way, every Dunsmuir street and park in the province would be re-named after labour activist Ginger Goodwin. That was one of four resolutions passed by the youngsters at an annual general meeting and retreat held in Cumberland last month. According to meeting minutes leaked to Public Eye, the 20 Young New Democrats in attendance, including co-chairs Miriam Martin and Aaron O'Keefe, passed the resolution because British Columbia coal baron Lord Dunsmuir was an "oppressive, racist slave driver, union buster, and an all around excellent example of the Capitalist class." In another resolution, the Young New Democrats decided to eat their own and "criticize the poor leadership of the HEU, BC Fed, and the BC NDP" during the recent Hospital Employees' Union strike. The following is a copy of the Cumberland annual general meeting and retreat policy debate minutes.
Minutes of Policy Debate
Saturday, June 19th
YND Members: Allyson Roussy, Shea Dewar, MacKenzie Orcherton, Aaron O’Keefe, Rebecca Goldstein, Ian Backus, Michelle Orzechowski, Mathieu Poirier, Dylan Hughes, Kerri Kenna, Chuck Plante, Linsie Landa, Chris Palecek, Brent MacVicar, Mike Palecek, Miriam Martin
Guests: Alex Grant, Rob Lyon, Cory Johnson, Angela Johnson.
Chair: Aaron O'Keefe
Minutes: Allyson Roussy
A. BC YND
1. Resolution on Annual Cumberland Event
Whereas there is a burning need for young British Columbians to learn their labour history and how to fight back against the corporate agenda; and,
Whereas the story of Ginger Goodwin and Miners’ Memorial Day are rich in lessons for working class activists;
Therefore be it resolved that the BC YND make the Cumberland Retreat an annual educational event, aimed at educating youth in labour history, socialist ideas, working class activism, and fight back strategies;
Therefore be it further resolved that from now on, a standing budget item of at least $1500 be allotted to this event, and that this amount increase proportionately to increases in the total BC YND budget;
Therefore be it further resolved that if the BC YND executive council has not delegated a committee to organize the event by March 1st, then a minimum of three interested rank and file members of the BC YND may take on the organizing of the event, with the funds allocated to it in the budget. In the event that more than one group expresses interest, all those committed to working to organize the event will form a committee and elect a committee chair.
Submitted by Miriam Martin
2. Resolution on the Youth Rights Charter and Campaign
Whereas the BC Young New Democrats must attract new activists; and,
Whereas the BC Young New Democrats must have a clear statement of our principles in order to attract new activists; and,
Whereas the Youth Rights Charter is a clear statement of our principles; and,
Whereas the Youth Rights Charter and Campaign have received wide support in the YND and the NDP, including Provincial Council; and,
Whereas the BC YND is an autonomous body with its own constitution and program which may not contradict the provincial or federal parties’ constitutions and programs; and,
Whereas the Youth Rights Charter and Campaign in no way contradict the constitutions and programs of the provincial or federal NDP;
Therefore be it resolved that the executive be directed to proceed with the Youth Rights Campaign as planned.
Submitted by Brent MacVicar
B. BC FIGHT BACK
1. Resolution on reversing Liberal attacks
Whereas the BC Liberals cut taxes to the rich and corporations by $2 billion, and to finance this tax cut, made cuts to every section of society, privatized, and ripped up collective agreements; and,
Whereas it is NDP Federal Platform to reverse the Federal Liberal corporate tax cuts; and,
Whereas we can only win a provincial election by giving concrete examples of how we are going to improve the lives of working class British Columbians; and,
Whereas nobody will bother voting NDP unless we stand by the positions that we held while in opposition;
Therefore be it resolved that the BC YND lobby the next BC NDP government to, at minimum, reverse all of the cuts and privatizations enacted by the BC Liberals;
Therefore be it further resolved that the BC YND lobby the BC NDP to campaign on this issue in the 2005 Election.
Submitted by Mike Palecek
1. Resolution on the HEU Sellout
Whereas labour victories set precedents and have positive repercussions for the living standards of all working people, and labour defeats and sell-outs set negative precedents and serve to lower the living standards and working conditions of all workers; and
Whereas it is a basic tenet of union democracy that no contract is settled on until the workers involved get to vote on it; and
Whereas if workers were not prepared to defy unjust laws then we would not have Unions and democratic rights today;
Therefore be it resolved that the BC YND condemn the dictatorial actions of the Gordon Campbell Government;
Therefore be it further resolved that the BC YND strongly criticize the poor leadership of the HEU, BC Fed, and the BC NDP for being complicit in accepting an unacceptable deal without it being voted on by the workers themselves.
Submitted by Mike Palecek
Amendment moved to separate first and second “be it resolved”.
D. BC GENERAL
Resolution on re-naming of Ginger Goodwin Way
Whereas Ginger Goodwin is infinitely more worthy of praise than Lord Dunsmuir, and yet there are Dunsmuir Streets throughout British Columbia; and
Whereas Lord Dunsmuir was an oppressive, racist slave driver, union buster, and an all around excellent example of the Capitalist class; and
Whereas the name of Ginger Goodwin represents the fight of thousands against this heartless oppressor for the cause of workers;
Therefore be it resolved that the BC YND lobby current and future governments to formally rename the highway formerly known as Ginger Goodwin Way "Ginger Goodwin Way";
Therefore be it further resolved that the BC YND lobby current and future governments that all Dunsmuir streets, roads, avenues, boulevards, parks etc be renamed "Ginger Goodwin" street, avenue, boulevard, park etc.
Submitted by Chris Palecek