VICTORIA—About six hundred delegates arrive in the provincial capital tomorrow to attend the 46th annual convention of the B.C. division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. The event, which runs until Saturday (April 22-25) at the Victoria Convention Centre, starts at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
.This year’s convention, themed “Meeting the Challenge”, will focus on the union’s successful campaigns against privatization and its continuing efforts to promote progressive economic alternatives that keep services public. Following a short video highlighting CUPE’s activities in B.C. since last year’s convention, CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill will deliver the opening night address.
This year’s featured guest speaker is former UN ambassador Stephen Lewis (Thursday, April 23, at 11 a.m.). Other guest speakers are BC NDP leader Carole James (April 23, 2 p.m.) and BC Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair (April 25, 11 a.m.). CUPE National president Paul Moist will present his report to convention on April 23 at 3 p.m. while CUPE National secretary-treasurer Claude Généreux will present his report on April 24 at 11:15 a.m.
On Friday at noon, convention delegates will join a rally in support of striking ambulance paramedics, members of CUPE 873 who are fighting for a fair collective agreement.
This year’s convention is also an election year for the union. The positions of president, secretary-treasurer, general vice-presidents, trustee and diversity vice-presidents are all going to a delegate vote.
WHEN: Wednesday, April 22 until Saturday, April 25, 2009
WHERE: Victoria Convention Centre
CONTACT: Dan Gawthrop, CUPE Communications