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Toronto – April 24, 2017 – UFCW Canada activists joined Ontario New Democratic Party (ONDP) members from across the province this past weekend to participate in the party's biennial convention. With dozens of activists in attendance, UFCW Canada represented one of the largest labour union delegations at the ONDP gathering, held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from April 21 to 23.
With the 2018 provincial election just over a year away, the convention delegates discussed the need to elect a progressive government next year in order to strengthen workers’ rights, tackle rising student debt, keep hydro public and affordable, and reduce the cost of prescription drugs in Ontario. The convention-goers also passed a number of resolutions dedicated to building a better and fairer Ontario that works for everyone, including a UFCW-backed resolution that calls for industry-specific health and safety standards for cannabis workers.
Over the course of three days, activists heard from prominent speakers such as Toronto City Councillor Mike Layton, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, and public health care champion Dr. Danielle Martin, and also explored “what it means to win” as a New Democrat with Joe Ceci, MLA for Calgary-Fort and current Minister of Finance for Alberta, and Theresa Oswald, former cabinet minister in Manitoba’s NDP government.
At the convention, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath unveiled the party’s bold new plan to introduce a publicly-subsidized pharmacare system in Ontario aimed at making prescription drugs more affordable for seniors and other Ontarians struggling to pay for their medications.
In addition, the party released its 2017 New Democratic Vision for Ontario, which calls for a $15 an hour minimum wage, guaranteed sick days for all workers, and supporting the right of workers to join and belong to a union, among other progressive ideas.
During the three-day, action-packed event, delegates also voted for the ONDP Provincial Executive, re-electing Mary Rita Holland as President, Cindy Hackelberg as Treasurer, and UFCW Canada National Representative Andrew Mackenzie as one of six Vice-Presidents of the party.
The next Ontario NDP convention is scheduled for 2019.