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International issues were on the agenda at the CUPE Nova Scotia 45th annual convention in Wolfville, N.S., April 6-8, as about 200 delegates heard about the impact of water privatization in Bolivia and the murder of trade unionists in Colombia.

The issues came to the floor of convention during a global justice forum on Monday afternoon and the debate Tuesday morning around a resolution that called for a donation to the national fund and the creation of a homegrown, fund-supported project.

CUPE N.S. president Danny Cavanagh spoke of the importance of addressing global climate change and worldwide privatization. Wolfville mayor Bob Stead proudly told convention that his town was the first fair trade community in Canada. He also outlined work that the town is doing to protect its water.

Atlantic region locals have been involved in global justice work in the past, notably through projects in South Africa and Mexico. But this is the first time the division has formed a standing committee to engage in international work. Committee members were being selected at this convention.

In another first for CUPE this year, delegates hoisted plastic water bottles in a toast to public water as a show of support for the CUPE-Oxfam campaign to promote public services as the best way to fight poverty.

National GJ committee Barb Moore, who sits on the division executive, and staff adviser John McCracken will work with the new committee. Locals from the municipal, health care and highways sectors met with Ron Verzuh, staff adviser to the national committee, to discuss contributing to the fund and developing project ideas.

For more photos, go to www.cupe.ca/gallery.