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Canada's Building Trades Hold Policy Conference

Journal: Issue 2 - 2013

Hundreds of representatives of Canada's building trades unions met in Gatineau, Quebec in May to exchange views and deliberate on the legislative and political agenda affecting the nation's organized construction industry as part of the 2013 Policy Conference organized by the Canadian Office of the Building and Construction Trades Department. The BAC delegation included BAC Canadian Congress Co-Chair and Local 7 Canada President Oliver Swan, Craig Strudwick, BAC Regional Director – Canada, and BAC Director of Organizing, Steve Nelms.

The big difference this year compared to past Conferences, says BAC Regional Director Craig Strudwick, was the added objective of setting policy for Canada's building trades for the next three years. This was achieved through a prescribed submission process for resolutions from the affiliated unions, after which, resolutions were considered in accordance with the Conference's committee structure. Strudwick served as Chairman of the Reports Committee, which issued recommendations on enhancing the strategic development and planning of the trades at both the national and provincial levels.

The three-day Conference also featured an impressive line-up of high profile speakers, among them several Cabinet Ministers and politicians from all parties who discussed a range of federal and provincial issues. Lobbying activities on Parliament Hill allowed participants the chance to raise their respective members' concerns directly with Members of Parliament and Senators with respect to a range of policies related to energy, immigration, temporary foreign workers, and employment insurance.

Photography by Michael Bashamt

Opposition leader Thomas Mulcair, PC MP of the NDP told the assembled building trades leaders, "Workers are the key component to our society… Together, we can work to build a Canada that is the best in the world, not just for ourselves but for generations to come." Mulcair also noted the NDP's support for tax credits to workers who must travel to work.
Photography by Michael Bashamt

Craig Strudwick, BAC Regional Director – Canada and Chairman of the Conference's Reports Committee, introduces the Committee's report and recommendations.



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