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Saskatoon, Sask. – June 3, 2015 – UFCW Canada activists from across the province recently gathered in Saskatoon for the 2015 UFCW Canada Saskatchewan Provincial Council Annual General Meeting. Members, staff and officers from UFCW Canada Local 1400, Local 649, and Local 248P were joined by 24 guest presenters during the two-day meeting, May 28-29, held at the UFCW Canada Local 1400 Training Centre.
With municipal, provincial and federal elections all on the horizon, the subject of taking political action to support labour-friendly parties was a major theme. “We were keen to provide the delegates with the kind of information they need to ask the right questions of the candidates and parties,” says Terry Harris, the Saskatchewan Provincial Council president, and as well as president of UFCW Canada Local 649.
Delegates to the general meeting overwhelmingly resolved to support the NDP as the party best suited to advance the rights of working people and their families, and during the two-day gathering welcomed Trent Wotherspoon, MLA and the Deputy Leader of the Saskatchewan NDP; David Forbes, NDP MLA or Saskatoon Centre; as well as Claire Cards, Sheri Benson, Nial Kuyek and Scott Bell who are all running as Saskatchewan NDP candidates in the next federal election.
University of Saskatchewan Professors Charles Smith and David McGrane later added to the discussion in their presentation of Why the Labour Movement Needs to be Involved in Politics, as did Marc Hennessey, Director of Political Action. Nancy Quiring, UFCW Canada’s director for the Western Provinces, and national representative Pablo Godoy were also presenters at the most-attended Saskatchewan Provincial Council to date.
Campaign issues such as a national child care plan, income inequality, health care and other issues of particular importance to families and workers were also addressed through resolutions, as well as by the presenters.
The next Saskatchewan provincial election is scheduled for November 2, 2015, but with a federal election likely in October, the overlap of those campaigns would, by Saskatchewan statute, push the provincial election to April 2016.