||Volume 19, Number 3, Nov./Dec. 2006
I had the honour of representing the BC Teachers’ Federation at our first meeting of the Canadian Labour Congress on October 27 in Ottawa. This was the first time the BCTF has been represented at a national labour centre since 1956.
Prior to and during the council meeting, I was involved in direct lobbying of Members of Parliament on the anti-replacement-worker legislation, Bill C-257. At the second reading, 167 MPs voted for the legislation and 101 voted against. I want to thank all members who lobbied the MPs—please continue. The lobby was a good example of the CLC working on an issue of importance to all trade unionists across the country. If the legislation had been in place last year, Telus would not have been successful in their strike-breaking activities.
We also dealt with issues that will be important in the next federal election—health care, education, child care, women’s rights, and many others. We have seen cuts to skills and literacy programs, the Court Challenges Program and cuts to Status of Women Canada. Teachers have a proud history of advocating on equity and access issues. Teachers understand the impact on students and families when access, support, and equity are denied and barriers are placed in the way of participation and success.
The face of Canada has been changing under the current minority government; we have to take stock of the type of Canada we want and advocate freely and actively for it in the months to come.
Teachers have an important role to play in helping to build a just and civil society. I know we will all be working with the CLC and others for a better Canada.
– Jinny Sims