Day of Action Regional Report
On September 15 the Public Service Alliance of Canada held a National Day of Action from coast to coast to coast. PSAC members, community advocates and concerned citizens alike gathered together at various events across the Prairies to celebrate the public services they value most. These services are being jeopardized or damaged by the ongoing federal cuts. We are ALL affected by the cuts to federal services and jobs imposed by the Conservative government.
Over 100 people attended the pancake breakfast organized by PSAC members in Saskatoon, with proceeds going to the United Way of Saskatoon & Area. Guest speakers included: Marianne Hladun, Regional Executive Vice-President for the PSAC Prairie Region; John Edmunds, USGE National President; Andrea Howe, Coordinator Labour Programs & Services for United Way of Saskatoon & Area; and Debi Daviau, PIPSC Vice-President VP.
The community really came together to support this event, with PISPC members and Regional Vice-Presidents from CEIU, AGR, USGE, and UTE in attendance, as well as an NDP MLA. We Are All Affected materials such as helium ballons, stickers, decals, and post cards were distributed to attendees. The Harper Hates Me buttons were also handed out.
The Raging Grannies provided entertainment for guests with their original songs “Give Harper the Boot” and “PFRA Pastures,” before closing with “Solidarity Forever.” Games and prizes for the children were a hit and everyone enjoyed the event. The Saskatoon Area Council must be commended for the well-organized event, and a big thanks to all of the PSAC members who volunteered.
In Prince Albert, dozens of members and community supporters attended the Day of Action BBQ. The event was blessed by an Aboriginal elder during a circle prayer. Brother Kurtis McAdam, Northern Saskatchewan Regional Aboriginal Peoples’ Circle Representative, accompanied the singers with drumming.
Prior to the events, a couple of information pickets were held in Prince Albert, Saskatoon, and Regina.
- CTV Saskatoon, Prairies REVP Marianne Hladun is interviewed at the PrinceAlbert event (From 5:00-5:42 in the clip)
- News Talk 650 CKOM, Prairies REVP Marianne Hladun is quoted.
- Prince Albert Herald, Prairies REVP Marianne Hladun and Tracy Burton, Saskatoon Regional Women’s Committee Co-Chair, are quoted.
- CBC Radio was also in attendance. No clip available.
The Edmonton Day of Action was held at Hawrelak Park under beautiful sunny skies. The event was attended by many PSAC members and their families. Attendees enjoyed a BBQ and took part in various games such as potato sack race, three-legged race, scavenger hunt and face painting. Guest speaker Brian Mason, Leader of Alberta’s NDP Opposition, spoke to the crowd about the federal cuts and the impact on all our families.
The Calgary Day of Action was held at Sandy Beach Park and was attended by many PSAC members, allies, and families. Members were treated to a BBQ provided by M&M Meats and some fun games and activities such as the “Harper Hates…” bean bag toss, arts & crafts, and face painting.
Guest speakers included: Timothy Hunt Prairie Region Council GLBT Representative; Kevin King, Regional Vice-President for Union of National Employees Alberta, N.W.T., and Nunavut; and Alex Shevalier, President of the Calgary District Labor Council. The speakers discussed the affects of cuts to government services, including the difficulties workers are having accessing EI.
Members from Agriculture Union Local 30048 in Lethbridge spent their day speaking to local businesses about the cuts to public services and the effect on the local economy and their businesses. These activist intent to follow up with letters to the editor, as well as information and letters to MPs, MLAs, City Councillors, and the Chamber of Commerce. To demonstrate the actual spending power of the nearly 500 PSAC members in Lethbridge and area, an ad will be placed in the Lethbridge Herald drawing attention to cuts and asking for community support.
- iNews 880AM, PSAC Edmonton Representative Oneil Carlier is quoted
- Same story on sister station 630 CHED
- Global News, Deborah Ferguson, PSAC Prairies Alternate REVP, is quoted
- CTV Edmonton, Nina Kiviluoma, Edmonton Area Council Representative on the Prairie Region Council, is quoted.
- CBC TV were also in attendance. No clip available.
- View the photo gallery from the Edmonton event.
- View the photo gallery from the Calgary (Photos by Ray Domeij) and Lethbridge events.
In Winnipeg, PSAC members gathered for a rally at Memorial Park. Over 100 people attended to sign the 100ft banner sending their messages of support for public services to Stephen Harper. Attendees were especially receptive to the “Harper Hates Me” buttons and members heard positive feedback about the We Are All Affected campaign from the community.
The event kicked off with entertainment from the Raging Grannies singing original songs like “Stephen Harper is a Dictator.” The performance was followed by presentations from various speakers including Diane Orihel, Executive Director of the Coalition to Save Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), Karim Ammoumou, Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students, Manitoba, Kevin Rebeck, President of the Manitoba Federation of Labour (MFL), and Robyn Benson, National President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
Kelly Moist, CUPE Manitoba President, Dave Sauer, Winnipeg Labour Council President, Don Rogers, CEIU National President, Cindy Murdoch CLC Manitoba Representative, Component RVPs/NVPs, Prairie Region Council Representatives, Local Presidents, Committee & Area Council members were in attendance. As well as PSAC members and their families, community members and grassroots organizations such as Occupy Winnipeg, Coalition to Save the Experimental Lakes Area, VeganNation Winnipeg.
- Global Winnipeg, PSAC National President Robyn Benson and Daniel Minucci, Alternate National Vice-President CEIU Manitoba and are quoted in this story. No video clip available.
- ChrisD.ca, Prairies REVP Marianne Hladun is quoted in this article posted prior to the event.
- CBC TV and CTV were also in attendance and spoke with PSAC National President Robyn Benson. CKUW Radio was in attendance and spoke with PSAC National President Robyn Benson and CEIU National President Don Rogers. No clips available.