Leading journalist, unionist, politician and faith-based organization to be recognized for outstanding advocacy on behalf of Agriculture workers
TORONTO – On Wednesday, November 21, 2012, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW Canada) and the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA) will be hosting their annual award fundraising dinner. The event will be at the Ontario Federation of Labour Building at 15 Gervais Drive in Toronto starting at 5:30 p.m. The four awards will be presented by UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley. The award recipients are being recognized for their outstanding contributions to improving the lives of agriculture workers in Canada (biographies below).
MAUREEN BROSNAHAN, JOURNALIST
Maureen Brosnahan is a veteran National Reporter with CBC Radio. She is assigned to the joint Radio/TV Investigative Unit as a Reporter/Producer.
Maureen studied at St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto where she obtained an Honours BA with Distinction. She completed her Masters in Journalism at the University of Western Ontario where she was awarded the Gold Medal.
Maureen joined CBC in Winnipeg, where she worked as a producer for three years in Current Affairs. She was appointed National Reporter in 1991 and has since been the correspondent for National Radio News in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador. She is now based in Toronto, and has won numerous awards for her work at CBC covering health and social policy issues.
Her coverage and reporting on agriculture workers in Canada has helped to raise the profile of the challenges and hardships faced by tens of thousands of domestic and migrant workers in Canada's agriculture sector.
IVAN LIMPRIGHT, PRESIDENT, UFCW CANADA LOCAL 1518
Born and raised in the Aldergrove, B.C. area, Ivan Limpright joined UFCW Canada Local 1518 in 1975 when he began working at the Overwaitea warehouse. In 1985, he was elected Chief Shop Steward, a full-time position he held until 1994, when he joined the staff of Local 1518. Ivan was first elected to the UFCW Canada Local 1518 Executive Board in 1987, and served on the Board until he joined the Local 1518 staff.
A graduate of the Labour College of Canada, Ivan also served Local 1518 members as Director of Member Benefits. Brother Limpright became Secretary-Treasurer of Local 1518 in 2001 and President of Local 1518 in 2006.
Ivan has worked throughout his career as an activist and advocate for workers' rights, and is dedicated to seeing that the union continues its role as a strong voice for Local 1518 members, including domestic and migrant agriculture workers at a number of Local 1518 bargaining units.
ANDREA HORWATH, LEADER, ONTARIO NDP
Andrea Horwath is the Leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, and the MPP for the riding of Hamilton Centre. She was chosen as the party's leader in 2009, becoming the first woman to lead the Ontario NDP, and only the second woman to serve as leader of a political party with representation in the provincial legislature.
Horwath was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Labour Studies from McMaster University in that city. In 1996 Horwath received the Woman of the Year Award in Public Affairs from the Hamilton Status of Women Committee, in recognition of her work in the community. She also dedicated her time and efforts toward the field of social housing, and was subsequently awarded the Graham Emslie Award for Community Development in Housing by the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association. In 2012, Equal Voice, a non-profit, multi-partisan organization dedicated to electing more women to all levels of political office in Canada, honoured Horwath with their 2012 EVE Award.
As the leader of the Ontario NDP, Andrea Horwath has also been a strong advocate in the legislature and in the public forum for the human and labour rights of Ontario's more than 80,000 agriculture workers. In September 2011, Andrea Horwath signed a pledge that, when elected, an NDP Ontario government under her leadership will fully restore the collective bargaining rights of Ontario farm workers.
KAIROS — CANADIAN ECUMENICAL JUSTICE INITIATIVES
KAIROS is a Canadian faith-based ecumenical organization (Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives) effecting social change through advocacy, education and research programs in: Ecological Justice, Economic Justice, Energy and Extraction, Human Rights, Just and Sustainable Livelihoods, and Indigenous Peoples. These programs are networked with partner organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as grassroots groups and organizations across Canada including UFCW Canada and the Agriculture Workers Alliance.
The KAIROS national Board is made up of representatives from its member churches and religious organizations in Canada including the Anglican Church, Christian Reformed Church, Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian Church, United Church, Religious Society of Friends, Development and Peace, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Canadian Religious Conference, Mennonite Central Committee, and the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund.
KAIROS' primary occupation is to help people to change current structures that allow hunger, poverty, environmental degradation and human rights abuses to occur. As such, it supports positive structural transformation at a grassroots level, rather than providing humanitarian aid.
In addition to its international programs and advocacy, KAIROS has also been a strong and unwavering advocate for the rights of migrant agriculture workers in Canada, and an ally to the community efforts of the Agriculture Workers Alliance Support Centres.
In 2012 KAIROS also increased its focus on Indigenous Rights through raising awareness about the 'Free, Prior and Informed Consent' provision of the UNDRIP, and explicitly engaging in the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada to witness, and support the healing of, those impacted by the Residential School system.