Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

April 18, 2005 10:11 ET

Irresponsible to Waste One Full Year of Legislative Activity

Canadian labour demands commitments on post-election agenda Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, World News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA--(CCNMatthews - April 18, 2005) - The Canadian Labour Congress views with alarm the prospect of losing all of the work done on working people's legislative agenda since the last election, just nine and a half months ago.

"It would be irresponsible to waste a full year of national debate and legislative activity on important issues such as a national childcare program, same sex marriage, pay equity and urban renewal," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. "We want assurances that this will not happen."

On Parliament Hill today, Georgetti was accompanied with some of Canada's most prominent labour leaders to make the point that Canadian working families want action on their priorities and a clear commitment from the political parties that they will support the re-introduction of a number of ongoing initiatives, whatever the outcome of an early election.

Basil (Buzz) Hargrove, president, Canadian Auto Workers, Paul Moist, president, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Robert Bouvier, president, Teamsters-Canada and Hassan Yussuff, secretary-treasurer, Canadian Labour Congress joined Georgetti to deliver a letter to the leaders of all four political parties in Parliament, demanding their commitment. (See letter below.)

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 137 district labour councils. Web site:

Contacts: Jean Wolff, 613-526-7431 and 613-878-6040
Jeff Atkinson, 613-526-7425 and 613-863-1413

TEXT OF LETTERS to The Right Honourable Paul Martin, the Honourable Stephen Harper, the Honourable Gilles Duceppe and the Honourable Jack Layton

April 18, 2005

The 3 million working Canadians and their families of the Canadian Labour Congress view with alarm the prospect of losing all of the work done on their legislative agenda since the last election, nine and a half months ago. This is why we seek a commitment, from you and from your party, that you will support the re-introduction of the following initiatives, whatever the outcome of a possible early election.

• A national child care program based on a commitment to standards and accountability financed by a minimum of $5 billion over five years;

• The 28 Recommendations of the HRSDC Committee on amendments to the Employment Insurance program particularly the reduction of qualifying hours, the increase of the maximum period to receive benefits and an increase in the benefit rate;

• Training insurance initiatives that are being discussed in Ministries in order to develop a program to assist Canadian workers to improve their skills;

• Protection of workers's pensions and wages in the event of bankruptcy that has been promised by MP's in all political parties;

• The labour-management review of Part III of the Canada Labour Code which is barely underway and is the first review of Part III over the existence of the Code;

• The funding for the anti-racism initiative which is extremely important due to Canada's changing demographics;

• Legislation that confirms equal marriage;

• Legislation to provide protection to whistleblowers;

• The federal Task Force Report on Pay Equity which was tabled and needs to be implemented to remedy ongoing discrimination against women workers;

• The Kyoto protocol and just transition for workers affected by any initiatives;

• The gas tax transfer promised to Canadian municipalities and a comprehensive agenda to renew our cities' public infrastructure.

Canadian working citizens value these initiatives and they must not disappear in the event of an early federal election.

On behalf of Canadians, we are asking a commitment from your party and from you as a leader that, if there is an election and these issues have not been resolved, these initiatives be reintroduced in next Parliament.

Yours truly,


Contact Information

  • Jeff Atkinson, Canadian Labour Congress
    Primary Phone: 613-526-7425
    Secondary Phone: 613-863-1413