PRC Report (Oct. 2009)


Report of the Regional Executive Vice President – Prairies
to the Prairie Region Council
October 2009

I am pleased to say we had an active summer in the Prairie region.  Our members were out in full force on the Think Public Campaign.  I believe that I covered all of the events in my National Board of Directors report but if I haven’t I will certainly make sure that I do in my next one.

I was privileged to meet with the Edmonton and Regina RWC’s, HRC’s and AC’s since our last meeting.  I understand completely the over extension of our members and that many of them are involved in all of the committees. However I believe that if we do a concentrated membership drive that we will achieve our goal of attracting new members to our committees who will be of assistance to us in our important work.  I realize that often the committees are working on the same issues but I also know there is a need for separate meetings where our time is dedicated to specific issues.  The RWC’s in Dec will be meeting with Sister Patty Ducharme and Sister Andree Cote to form a plan of action for 2010.  We will also be inviting Sisters from our coalition groups and grass roots Sisters to this meeting to ensure a well rounded discussion.  I am looking forward to the meeting to help us re-energize our work.

Overall I thought the Prairie Region School was a great success.  I was really pleased to be able to spend the entire week with the members.  It is the first time for me to have a dedicated time slot on the agenda of each of the workshops.  I was able to stop in to all of the workshops and hear what our members were expressing about our Union, their workplaces and the communities that they live in.  I have had an opportunity to speak with some of our members since the school and appreciated their open, honest input.  I will certainly share with Sister Judy Shannon our REO so that when we are planning our next school we can consider the advice we were given.

I am very honoured to be the United Way co-chair of the Government Division.  This involves many early morning meetings but I have always supported the United Way and always will.  I sent letters to all the Locals to share with their members as well as asked that they be posted on the web site.  I believe in this time of economic uncertainty our members need to give now more then ever.  These agencies and the work they do are crucial to our communities.

I just attended the Manitoba Federation of Labour Convention where we saw a new leader elected.  I believe that under Brother Kevin Rebeck”s leadership we may see our movement rejuvenated.  It is not that long ago that Brother Kevin was attending his first convention as a youth delegate.  Although our delegate numbers were not high, we had more delegates at this convention then we have had at past conventions.  I hope this is a trend that continues.

Oct 17th will see a new leader of the Manitoba NDP as Gary Doer will be moving on to be the Ambassador to the United States.  This came as a surprise to many and I am glad I am not the one organizing this leadership convention.  I am sure whoever is elected will be a great leader and Premier of Manitoba.

While it’s shaping up to be a busy fall and winter I have confidence that we are up to the challenge. I look forward to continuing our work together.