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Welcome to Ottawa – and the new Judy Darcy boardroom. It’s a pleasure for Paul and I to host this National Executive Board meeting in our new national headquarters and this boardroom, which will be our home from now on, and a place we can all be proud of.

I hope everyone had a restful summer, for those of you who had summer weather, because all of us are very busy this fall, and will remain in high gear for the rest of the year.

In fact, it was also a busy summer, in many respects. On a high note, and $6.5 million dollars later from the Strike Fund, and thanks to the support from the entire membership base across Canada, we were fortunate enough to finally witness the successful resolution of the nearly 16-month lockout at the Journal de Quebec, that saw our union come together in solidarity and strength like never before from coast to coast. I would like to thank all board members and members in all regions for the support they have shown and continue to show for our sisters and brothers from Locals 1450, 2808 and 1972.

In addition to our already busy labour and activist schedules, as we meet, the entire country is in full election mode, and we are doing what we can, within the bounds of the Federal Elections Act, to make sure our members don’t have to face another Harper victory with all its negative consequences. While we are prevented from making financial contributions to campaigns, we are able to communicate with our members about the issues, and encourage participation in our country’s democratic process. With any luck, at our December NEB meeting, we will be able to celebrate Harper losing his bid for re-election.