The late Jack Layton was honoured Tuesday morning at the CUPE national convention.
“I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to thank so many of you for your comfort, your strength and your commitment to Jack,” said Olivia Chow, Jack’s partner and NDP MP, who joined CUPE brothers and sisters for the celebration of Jack’s life and his legacy.
“It was a great honour for him to be called ‘Union Jack’,” said Chow.
“Thank you for your optimism. It is more important now than ever before, with the continued union baiting we are seeing with this federal government,” said Chow. “Labour has never had such strong representation in Ottawa. We will not be silenced, we will never be silenced. Collectively our voice is strong, and we will never back down.”
Olivia Chow was joined by Anne McGrath, Jack’s Chief of Staff, and NDP MP Peggy Nash to remember Jack’s dedicated to CUPE and all union members. A short video was played for delegates and guests, which highlighted the work Jack did for unions, particularly his leadership filibustering legislation forcing CUPW workers back-to-work.
“He worked tirelessly on behalf of working people,” said Paul Moist, national president of CUPE. “It is entirely fitting that we pause and pay tribute to our good friend for the great Canadian he was and for the work he did for each and every one of us.”
Moist concluded the tribute by asking CUPE members to join the NDP, and help realize a federal NDP government. “Sisters and brothers, together we can not only continue Jack’s project, we can – as he told us – change the world,” said Moist.