MFL Executive Council Report (Feb. 2012)


Report of the Regional Executive Vice-President, Prairies to the Manitoba Federation of Labour Executive Council submitted for the February 16-17, 2012 meeting. This report covers the period from the last MFL meeting.

Robyn Benson, Regional Executive Vice-President
Public Service Alliance of Canada, Prairie Region
Report to the Manitoba Federation of Labour, February 2012

We are well into our new national public engagement campaign, the Third Choice Campaign, and public reception has been very positive to date. The first two films have accumulated more than 90,000 views on YouTube and our Facebook community continues to grow. We’ve also just released our latest video on search and rescue.

Now, our activists are helping to spread the important message behind the campaign using campaign business cards and several new campaign posters which are available on the PSAC Prairie Region website. I encourage you to print, post and circulate these materials to your own networks. This campaign isn’t just for PSAC members; it’s for any Canadian who shares our concerns about the damaging effects of Harper’s no deficit agenda.

Among the services most impacted as of recently have been the EI and OAS programs at Service Canada. EI processing and the EI call centre are being removed from Manitoba as EI recipients continue to see a backlog. Meanwhile, the department has yet to address the state of the OAS and Supplement area, where more than 2,000 applications received prior to July 2011, and 10,000 more since, remain outstanding.

In response to this, PSAC, together with CEIU ­– a component of the PSAC, launched a new transit advertising campaign that sheds light on the disturbing effects of Service Canada cuts to Canadians, and asks the public to take action. The campaign will run on Winnipeg Transit buses during February and March.

With the upcoming release of the federal budget, we will all need to be ready to mobilize and fight back against what will undoubtedly be devastating public service cuts. We are planning different activities to get the membership engaged in the budget release and look forward to collaborating with labour affiliates across the Prairies.

Finally, our thoughts are with our PSAC brothers and sisters at the Salvation Army’s Booth Centre shelter in Ottawa who have been on strike since January 6, 2012 after walking off the job to protest poverty wages. Visit for more information.

In Solidarity,

Robyn Benson
Regional Executive Vice-President
Public Service Alliance of Canada, Prairies