Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

February 11, 2011 12:17 ET

Ontario Federation of Labour: One Million Ontario Workers Celebrate Egyptian Victory and Denounce Harper's Shameful Support for Mubarak Regime

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 11, 2011) - Today, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned amid a massive popular uprising for democratic reform and equal rights, making pressure from the international community for meaningful democratic reform more vital than ever. The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) today called on Canada's Members of Parliament to condemn the Harper government's shameful support for the Mubarak regime. The OFL also pledged support to the independent Egyptian trade unions whose members are taking action for democracy.

"Today's victory in Egypt is proof that people can topple a dictatorship, even without the support of Western leaders, like Stephen Harper, who chose to side with the hated Mubarak regime over the people of Egypt," said OFL President Sid Ryan. "The whole world is celebrating the start of a democratic revolution in Egypt. Canada must now use every diplomatic and economic tool at its disposal to ensure that democracy and justice are delivered to the people of Egypt."

Egypt has been ruled by a military dictatorship for 59 years and the people have demanded a true democracy in which they can freely elect their own government. Since the democratic revolution began 18 days ago, the Harper government has steadfastly refused to join the international call for the resignation of President Mubarak. In defiance of the will of the people, Harper supported a so-called transition plan that would have allowed Mubarak, or his designate, to retain brutal control for another eight months. This shameful position sought to bolster a regime known for oppression, torture and human rights abuses.

"The popular uprising of youth and workers in Liberation Square has been truly inspiring. We are witnessing the birth of free and independent trade unions, the cornerstone of any legitimate democracy," said Ryan. "Millions of workers have defied the emergency laws and staged strikes and sit-ins throughout the country to send a message that never again will a privileged elite be allowed to run their country—be it a corporate elite, a military elite, or a religious elite."

"It is not enough that Mubarak has been deposed. There is now a very real danger that his regime will continue under one of his accomplices like Vice-President Omar Suleiman," said Ryan. "Canada has a responsibility to support the demand for a genuine civilian-run government and to ensure that no vestiges of the Mubarak regime are allowed to remain. Our international reputation–and our conscience–requires it."

The Ontario Federation of Labour represents 54 Ontario unions and over one million members.

Contact Information

  • OFL
    Sid Ryan
    President
    416.209.0066 (mobile)
    or
    OFL
    Joel Duff
    Communications Director
    416.443.7665 or 416.707.0349 (mobile)
    www.ofl.ca