Anti-globalization protesters take to the streets of Quebec to protest the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA). Women protest against the lack of protections for social policies in the controversial agreement.
In 2003, Sister Audette became the first full-time President of UFCW Canada Local 1869. She was re-elected as President in 2005 and 2009. In 2016, Local 1869 merged with UFCW Canada Local 832, where Sister Audette now oversees the entire health care sector throughout the province. Audete also sits as a co-chair of the Manitoba Council of Health Care Unions (MCHCU).
For more than two decades, Sheila Watt-Cloutier has worked to protect the health and cultural survival of the Inuit and other Arctic Indigenous peoples. In 2007, the longtime Inuit leader, activist, and environmentalist was nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Chantal Petitclerc, a wheelchair athlete since 1992, wins five gold medals and sets three world records at the Beijing Paralympic Games. She caps her career off with a total of 21 medals from five meets, including 14 gold medals.
Andrea Horwath, MPP for Hamilton Centre, Leader of the Ontario NDP
In 2009, Andrea Horwath became the first-ever woman leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party.
A longtime social housing advocate and labour activist, Horwath began her political career as a three-term Hamilton city councilor (1997 - 2004). She moved to provincial politics in 2004 with a landslide by-election victory that took the riding of Hamilton East away from the incumbent Liberals. Currently she is the MPP for the riding of Hamilton Centre, and the Leader of Ontario's Official Opposition.
With strategic support from the UFCW Canada caucus, Horwath was chosen as the Ontario NDP leader at the party's leadership convention in March 2009.
Huguette Plamondon dedicated over five decades to building the union, improving the lives of working families, and breaking down barriers for women in Canada. She died on September 29, 2010 at the age of 84. Plamondon started out as a secretary in the Montreal office of the United Packinghouse Workers of America (UPWA), a predecessor union of UFCW Canada, in 1945.
Shortly after entering the workforce, Sister Plamondon found herself embroiled in a massive strike that involved Canada’s entire meatpacking industry. Motivated by a strong belief in social justice, Huguette became an ardent supporter of the strike. She led pickets, and became a source of inspiration and encouragement for her sisters and brothers in the labour movement. She was 21 years old.
Because Sister Plamondon possessed a rare combination of intelligence, passion, and eloquence, she rapidly rose through the labour movement’s ranks. And she made history every step of the way.
Huguette was elected president of the Montreal Labour Council in 1955, and in doing so became the first Canadian woman to lead a major labour organization. A year later, Sister Plamondon became the first woman in Canada to achieve a national union executive position by becoming a vice president of the newly-formed Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).
In 1961, Huguette took another place in Canada’s history, nominating Tommy Douglas as the first leader of the New Democratic Party at the NDP’s founding convention. She served UFCW Canada as an International Vice-President and Executive Assistant to the National Director for many years, and was the long-time president of UFCW Canada Local 744P in Quebec.
After three decades of activism, Suzanne Hodge was elected as President of UFCW Canada Local 247 in 2010.
Sister Hodge first became a member of UFCW Canada when she began working as a cashier for Safeway in December 1975. In 1982, she was elected to the UFCW Canada Local 1518 Executive Board and also worked for Local 1518 as temporary staff. In 1991, she joined the UFCW Canada National Office as an International Representative assigned to British Columbia. Three years later, Suzanne joined UFCW Canada Local 777 as a Staff Representative, and a year later became Assistant to the President. UFCW Canada Local 777 and UFCW Canada Local 2000 then merged to become UFCW Canada Local 247, where Sister Hodge was elected Secretary-Treasurer in 2006. Now as President, Sister Hodge leads a Local Union with more than 14,000 members. She also serves as an International Vice-President on the UFCW International Executive Board.