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It may have been raining cats and dogs but that didn’t put a damper on the hundreds of trade unionists, including many CUPE members, who welcomed NDP Leader Jack Layton and NDP candidates to an energetic election rally in Vancouver yesterday.

Layton was cheered when he talked about child poverty, health care privatization, and the treatment of working people as important ethical issues for elected officials. He also emphasized the need to not be fooled into voting strategically.

The best strategic advice that CUPE can give members is to send the largest possible contingent of elected New Democrats from B.C. and across Canada to Ottawa,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist, who attended the rally.

It is clear that the NDP is the only party that will stand up for working people,” CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill added. “The business community is already well represented by other parties in Parliament.”

Other speakers, including national and provincial union leaders and community activists, stressed the important role that NDP members of Parliament have played on issues that matter to working people, including anti-scab legislation, protecting pensions and maintaining public health care.

A second NDP labour rally will be held in Toronto on Sat., Jan. 14 at 10:30 a.m. (25 British Columbia Rd., Artifacts Room, Liberty Grand, Exhibition Park – Download the poster.)

Monday, Jan. 9, the four main party leaders debate in English, and Tuesday, Jan. 10, in French. Both debates start in Montreal at 8 p.m. EST.

  • CBC live stream of leaders’ debates
  • We’ll watch to see which leader takes up our issues, tackles privatization, says the right thing on child care, health care, municipal infrastructure and other public services.

Go to the “Comments” option at the end of our Tuesday and Wednesday election stories and share your views with CUPE members from across Canada.