Canada’s unions elect new leaders to help chart a hopeful post-pandemic future for workers

June 18, 2021

(Ottawa – June 18, 2021) Nearly 4,000 delegates at the Canadian Labour Congress’ 29th Constitutional Convention today elected Officers to lead the organization until 2023.

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) is Canada’s major umbrella organization of national unions, provincial federations of labour and local labour councils and represents over three million workers.

Bea Bruske from United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) was elected as the CLC’s President. She replaces retiring President Hassan Yussuff who has held the position for two terms spanning the past seven years. Bruske, who received overwhelming support from convention delegates, was previously Secretary Treasurer and a negotiator with UFCW 832 and a Vice-President of the UFCW Canada National Council.

“I am honored to be elected as CLC’s new President and I’m looking forward to working with a dedicated team committed to advancing the interests of the nation’s workers and their families,” said Bruske. “We are committed to building a Canada that works for everyone. Among our key priorities will be to ensure workers are centered in the post-pandemic recovery.”

Lily Chang was elected to replace outgoing Secretary-Treasurer Marie Clarke Walker. Chang was previously Treasurer of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) local 79.

Returning Executive Vice-President Larry Rousseau was re-elected for a second term. Rousseau was first elected to the position at the 2017 CLC Convention in Toronto.

Newly elected Executive Vice-President Siobhán Vipond replaces outgoing Executive Vice-President Donald Lafleur. Vipond was the Secretary-Treasurer of the Alberta Federation of Labour.

Nearly 4,000 delegates from across Canada participated in the CLC’s first ever virtual convention and debated issues including pharmacare, the creation of good jobs and how to ensure a strong COVID-19 pandemic recovery plan that addresses racial and gender inequities. They also passed resolutions on combating Islamophobia and Anti-Asian racism, as well as a resolution calling for the federal government fulfill the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Delegates to the Convention also elected labour council and equity representatives who will lead for the coming mandate. These positions include representation for LGBTQ2SI, young workers, workers of colour, Indigenous workers and disability rights, as well as regional representatives across Canada.

New Officers and council members were sworn in late Friday just prior to the Convention’s close.

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