1006A activists and staff came together at the 2019 UFCW Canada Political Action Conference to discuss and advance issues affecting workers and families across Canada.
The conference aimed at preparing unions and engaging members to elect progressive governments at the national and provincial level.
"The experience was amazing — it was eye-opening to see how much work our union does when it comes to political action,” said Joshua Robichaud, who works at Summit Food. “It was interesting to learn more about lobbying plans, different issues across Canada and how our union helps lobby government for not just its membership but for people as a whole. Overall, it was a unforgettable experience to be in Ottawa taking part in the political action conference."
The conference took place from May 28 to 29 and drew hundreds of participants from across Canada. Guest speakers included federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Education activist Rayne Fisher-Quann, Manitoba New Democratic Party Opposition Leader Wab Kinew, and Saskatchewan New Democratic Party Opposition Leader Ryan Meili.
“Politics have a direct impact on our lives, from the rights we have at work, to the quality of education at our schools, to the access we have to our universal health care system,” said President Wayne Hanley. “That is why it is so vital that our members learn about the issues, and engage themselves and others they know to participate in the political process. I’m proud of our activists and staff for participating in such an important conference and mobilizing together to create positive change at Queen’s Park and Parliament Hill."
Riley Peterson, who works at Broadbent Institute, was also among those who attended the conference.
"My experience attending the political action conference was outstanding,” said Peterson. "It was empowering to build solidarity with other Local 1006A and UFCW members from across the country. We shared ideas and strategies on how to make our workplaces more just and equitable for all, and I left feeling even more inspired to create political change in my community."
"The biggest thing I took away from the conference was the importance of maintaining relationships, connecting our struggles and building solidarity with each other and across social and political movements,” Peterson said. "I hope to build on the relationships I made at the conference to create positive change in my community as well as in other UFCW members' communities."