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Ottawa – March 31, 2015 – UFCW Canada activists joined more than 800 labour and social justice allies from across Canada and the United States for the second annual Progress Summit, held in Ottawa from March 26 to 28.
Organized by the Broadbent Institute, the Progress Summit is Canada's largest progressive policy and activism conference. It provides an opportunity for working people and their unions to share ideas, discuss key issues facing the country, and plan next steps for achieving positive and lasting change in Canada.
Over the course of two days, participants heard from a wide range of progressive leaders and policy experts and took in various panels and events aimed at building capacity to win struggles that are important to working people.
Some of the keynote speakers and presenters included Ed Broadbent, Founder and Chair of the Broadbent Institute; Thomas Mulcair, Leader of Canada's Official Opposition; Richard Trumka, President of the American Federation of Labour; Linda McQuaig, author of The Trouble With Billionaires; Armine Yalnizyan, Senior Economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives; and Anita Sarkeesian, Founder of Feminist Frequency.
Utilizing a number of panels, debates, and question-and-answer sessions on shaping the future of Canada's progressive movement, participants explored bold new initiatives to make Canada a fair and just society for everyone, including racialized workers, women, indigenous nations, youth, members of the LGBTQ community, and all equity-seeking groups in Canada.
This year's Progress Summit was particularly crucial since it afforded a chance for progressive leaders, activists, and academics to unite and strategize ahead of the 2015 Federal Election, when forward-thinking Canadians will be working tirelessly to defeat Stephen Harper's anti-democratic and anti-worker government.
"UFCW Canada is proud to stand in solidarity with progressive organizations like the Broadbent Institute which are committed to defeating the Ultra Conservative agenda and building a better, fairer, and more inclusive Canada," says UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema. "A key part of realizing those goals will involve organizing with allies to share useful ideas and strategies, and that's why the Progress Summit is so important," Brother Meinema adds.