Over the past few weeks many CUPE members, staff and leaders have been working hard to support New Democrats in several by-elections, both federally and provincially.

The CUPE Manitoba members, including the executive board, volunteered for our party’s candidate in the Brandon-Souris, Cory Szczepanski. Many members in the Toronto area worked on the Linda McQuaig campaign in Toronto-Centre, along with more volunteers and support in Bourassa, Quebec for Stéphane Moraille and in Provencher for Natalie Courcelles Beaudry.

Provincially, CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador put its support behind Charlene Sudbrink, running for the NDP in that province’s Carbonear-Harbour Grace by-election.

These by-elections took place in ridings that are strong-holds of the other parties. While the NDP didn’t win any new seats there were significant gains in Toronto-Centre, a seat the NDP has never held.

But even though we didn’t end up ahead at the polls, CUPE’s support of our party ensures the best interests of workers are well represented in election campaign.

We cannot ever let there be an election in Canada without a strong voice for workers.

I want to thank all the CUPE members, staff and leaders for giving their time and donations to these by-election efforts. Your energy and dedication to our party is vital, and will be much needed as we prepare for the 2015 federal election, when we will help elect our first federal New Democratic government.