With the minority government of Rodney MacDonald looking increasingly vulnerable, a record number of CUPE activists from across Nova Scotia gathered in Halifax for a first-ever political action conference.
- See also: Conference video (youtube.com)
The NDP is the official Opposition in Nova Scotia, and was the only party to pick up seats – five of them – in the last provincial election.
CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh urged delegates to, “put aside traditional voting patterns and consider which party is really going to look out for the interests of working families.”
The conference was organized by the division’s Political Action Committee.
Speakers focused on the issues facing CUPE members, including the current battle over the right to strike for some 32,000 health and community care workers. Delegates heard from Shawn Fuller, an NSGEU staffer who has been co-ordinating the seven-union coalition currently fighting the ‘Right to Strike’ campaign.
A presentation on Atlantica, the Atlantic Canada/New England trade deal being pushed by the right-wing Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS), alerted delegates to the perils of the scheme.
The conference also had a surprise visit from Alexa McDonough, the former leader of the NDP in Nova Scotia and now the MP for Halifax.
Other speakers included:
- Claude Généreux, National Secretary-Treasurer
- Danny Mallett, CLC Political Action Director
- Darrell Dexter, Leader of the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party
- Diana Whalen, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party