In January, PSAC offered Prairie Region members the opportunity to attend the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) Political Action Conference in Toronto, March 22-24, 2013, as part of the PSAC delegation. Three Prairies members were chosen to attend the largest conference the CLC has ever organized and the first National Political Action Conference in its history.
- Paul Daigneault, USGE Local 40023, was chosen as one of two Prairies activists to participate in the conference. Daigneault is passionate about indigenous issues and was instrumental in the creation of both the Local Aboriginal Peoples’ Circle for Local 40023 and the Regional Aboriginal Peoples’ Circle (RAPC) in Northern Saskatchewan. He organized a Round Dance as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission national gathering in Saskatoon last summer, facilitates Aboriginal cultural training in communities and is active with the Idle No More movement.
“We are faced with right-wing governments who want to tear this country apart and don’t seem to care about the Canadian public. They have used propoganda via social and maintream media to promote their interests and discredit unions in Canada. We need to let people know the very important role that unions play in enhancing and maintaining the social fabric of our country,” says Daigneault of issues facing unions today.
- Shannan Little, Agriculture Local 30048, was also chosen as one of two Prairies activists to participate in the conference. The past year has been a busy one for Little, who has been involved in various campaigns and has supported local events including Occupy, Idle No More, Take Back the Night, Sisters in Spirit, and the “Womb Swarm” protest against Bill M-312. She has also coordinated various social justice projects within her Local, including the Food Bank’s Giving Garden, Holiday Giving Project, awareness movie lunches, and Movember button fundraising campaign.
“We have begun to create momentum in our community and are being recognized as valuable community members and essential allies. We have laid the groundwork and now are ready to position ourselves to bring forth real political change. lt is time to generate strategies,” says Little of her interest in participating in the conference.
- Sean Friesen, USGE Local 30010, was selected to represent young workers in the Prairie Region at the conference, due to the pending election of PRC Young Worker. Relatively new to the labour movement, Friesen has wholeheartedly embraced his union involvement, being elected as Vice-Chair on the Edmonton Area Council and to his local bargaining team.
“As Vice-Chair on the Edmonton Area Council, it is my personal goal to actively encourage members and their Components to become more politically engaged. The information and contacts I gain from this conference will be invaluable in my political action work,”says Friesen of his participation in the conference.
PSAC members across the region can track updates of the Prairies delegates’ experiences throughout the weekend on Twitter. Follow @PaulDaigneault1, @ShannanLittle, and @friesen_s. You can also follow live conference updates at #clcctc13.