Similar to the U.S. Conference, the Canadian Building Trades Conference featured an impressive schedule of presentations from national and provincial leaders from the major political parties, as well as updates from construction industry leaders on major Canadian infrastructure projects.
The highlight of the Canadian Conference was the dedication of the Building Trades Workers Memorial on May 16 to honor the men and women of the Canadian Building Trades. The importance of the dedication of this impressive memorial was evident for several reasons.
First, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended the memorial dedication, and in his remarks, thanked Eastern Canada Vice President Fred Clare for his leadership in encouraging the Trudeau administration to ban asbestos.
Second, General President McCourt and General Secretary-Treasurer Revard attend the Canadian Conference every year, but this year, nearly every General President from building trades affiliates attended the memorial dedication. In addition, the entire Insulators General Executive Board attended the dedication.
Third, in his moving remarks, Canadian Building Trades Director Bob Blakely, made several specific references to the Insulators as he described the work that building trades members do each and every day.
Another outstanding moment for the Insulators was the participation of Vancouver Insulators Local 118 Business Manager (and President of the British Columbia and Yukon Provincial Trades Council) Lee Loftus to lay flowers at the worker memorial.
The Canadian Building Trades Worker Memorial appreciates the contribution of Canadian building trades members to build Canada, but also serves as a reminder of the dangerous and hazardous building trades work, as well as a memorial to our members who have died or been injured as a result of their occupational work. For the Insulators, this is especially true as a result of asbestos exposure.
In addition to the worker memorial, the Canadian Conference also featured announcements by the Trudeau government for national funding for building trades union training. I also want to commend our Summa Strategies partners for their superb advocacy and accomplishments in promoting mechanical insulation in Canada.