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Canadian Congress Meets in Windsor

Journal: Issue 3 - 2014


From left, BAC Canadian Congress delegates: Local 1 Prince Edward Island Business Manager Clarence Gallant; Local 8 New Brunswick President Gerald Reinders; Local 1 Nova Scotia Business Manager James Moore; Local 1 Saskatchewan President Mike Weigl; Local 4 Quebec Business Manager Jeannot Levasseur; Canadian Co-Chair and Local 7 Canada Business Manager Oliver Swan; Local 1 Alberta Business Manager Alan Ramsay; Local 6 Ontario Business Agent Mike Gagliano; Local 1 Manitoba Business Manager Frank Krauthaker; BAC Canadian Director Craig Strudwick; and Local 1 Newfoundland Business Manager John Leonard.

The BAC Canadian Congress met September 11th in Windsor, Ontario. Canadian Congress Co-Chair and Local 7 Canada Business Manager Oliver Swan and BAC President James Boland presided. Joining the nine delegates (see group photo, below) from provinces across the nation were BAC Secretary-Treasurer Henry Kramer and Executive Vice Presidents Gerard Scarano and Tim Driscoll.

During a roundtable discussion, delegates shared organizing activities and work conditions in their respective Locals. Other agenda items included updates from the International benefit fund directors, and reports on IU finances from Secretary-Treasurer Kramer and on membership and collective bargaining from Canadian Director Strudwick.

Guest speakers included Chris Smillie, Senior Advisor for Government Relations and Public Affairs for the Canadian Building Trades, who gave a legislative and political overview and Bob Collins, a senior economist with BuildForce Canada, who spoke about construction labour market trends. Collins said that while construction is among the country’s fastest growing industries, momentum has slowed with the scope of economic activity narrowing. Major projects, however, will continue to create market pressures at peak periods, reinforcing the need to address the challenges of an aging workforce. During his remarks, Smillie noted a victory for labor with the withdrawal of anti-union Bill C-377 from active consideration.  

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