Ottawa – November 7, 2023 – UFCW Canada activists recently congregated in Ottawa to participate in a series of political action meetings with government ministers and Members of Parliament.
The November 2 meetings saw activists from UFCW Canada Local Unions and the National Office meeting with MPs and ministers on Parliament Hill and discuss key issues facing workers and their families. Throughout the day, UFCW activities met with MPs and Senators from various political parties.
As part of the Young Workers Internship Program (YIP) Phase 2, the class of 2023 “Young Workers on the Hill” spent the week learning about political activities and participated fully in the meetings with officials.
The meetings provided activists with an opportunity to speak with Members of Parliament about key issues affecting UFCW members: the need for a national pharmacare system, the food retail price freeze, and the need for affordable housing.
Canada’s largest grocery stores have committed to rolling out various actions with the intent of lowering grocery prices. These initial commitments would include price freezes and price-matching campaigns. However, workers, unions, and labour advocates need to be included in these discussions. UFCW is urging the Canadian government to include protections for workers and union members within these prices.
In addition, the rising cost of homes and high rent is taking a toll on workers whose wages are not keeping up. The government must introduce robust legislation that can address the urgent needs of workers by building purpose-built rental housing, providing rent support for Canadians, and introduce a national standard on rent control.
Lastly, Canadian are paying higher drug costs and different dispensing fees and prices for the same medications. Canadians need universal accessible public prescription drug plan.
During the course of the day, UFCW activists met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, and dozens of MPs across different parties. In addition to meeting with MPs, YIP participants observed question period on Parliament Hill.