A delegation of 49 OSSTF/FEESO members, local leaders, Provincial Executive members and staff attended the triennial convention of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) in Toronto from May 7 to 13. An additional eight OSSTF/FEESO members were also in attendance as delegates from various labour councils around the province.
On the evening before the convention was called to order, much of the OSSTF/FEESO delegation was in attendance at the CLC Human Rights Forum, where they heard a keynote address by author, professor and activist icon Angela Davis. Davis spoke with eloquence and passion about economic, racial and gender justice, and proclaimed that we must all stand with those “at the very bottom of the economic hierarchy.”
The convention also featured a number of prominent speakers, including comedian, author and social activist Mary Walsh, broadcaster and comedian Candy Palmater, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, and First Nations child welfare advocate Cindy Blackstock.
An election is held at every CLC convention for the Congress’s executive officers. At this year’s convention, Hassan Yussuff was acclaimed for a second term as CLC President. Marie Clarke Walker was elected Secretary-Treasurer, and elected to the two Executive Vice-President positions were Larry Rousseau and Donald Lafleur. All of the successful candidates had been endorsed by OSSTF/FEESO and supported by our delegation.
Jessica Burnie of OSSTF/FEESO District 17, Simcoe, was re-elected as Equity Vice-President representing workers with disabilities, and Anthony Marco of District 21, Hamilton-Wentworth, who is also the president of the Hamilton and District Labour Council, was elected as the Ontario Labour Council Representative. Both Burnie and Marco will be members of the Canadian Council, which is the governing body of the CLC between conventions.
The next CLC convention will be held in Vancouver in 2020.