Mark Hancock and Candace Rennick re-elected to lead CUPE

Mark Hancock and Candace Rennick were re-elected in their respective roles of National President and National Secretary-Treasurer on Wednesday, and stand ready to lead CUPE in the fights ahead.


“We’ve seen over the course of our history that workers’ rights, strong public services, and social justice are union-made, and I’m excited and energized to keep fighting for progress for our members every single day,” said Hancock. Originally from the municipal sector in British Columbia, Hancock is entering his fifth term as National President. “I’m so grateful to our members for entrusting me to continue representing our great union from coast to coast to coast – thank you, my friends.” 


“I am honoured to have your continued trust and support and I promise to work hard, with you and for you, as we take on the many challenges ahead,” said Rennick. “I promise to always be accountable and transparent while keeping our finances strong.” Rennick, originally from the long-term care sector in Ontario, will begin her second term as Secretary-Treasurer.  

Today's events


Convention Rally

The rally will take place in front of the parliament building and Fontaine de Tourny. This is just across the street from the convention centre.

And more...

Find everything that's happening at Convention, and where, with the online schedule.

Convention updates

Dancing guy makes delegates happy-happy

Gurdeep Pandher, well known online as the dancing guy from the Yukon, roused CUPE delegates with his performance at the beginning of Wednesday’s proceedings.


From his remote, off-grid cabin in Yukon, Pandher has performed bhangra and other traditional Punjabi folk dancing in the wilds of his own territory, as well as in many Canadian cities, towns, and villages from coast to coast.


Pandher told delegates he uses dance in his discussions on joy. “Joy works as a healing experience,” he said. “It is something that can bring a big change in someone’s life.”


Shouting “Happy! Happy! Happy!” as he dances, Pandher’s presence is so irresistibly silly that you just have to go along. He melted the hearts of even the grumpiest union curmudgeons, getting a few up on their feet, and drawing a smile from everyone in the hall. Even President Mark Hancock and Secretary-Treasurer Candace Rennick were seen hopping around the stage.

Forum connects global struggles

Delegates at the Global Justice Forum heard inspiring stories of resistance from three leaders organizing to protect human rights, land, and public services.


Berenice Celeita Alayon of the Association for Research and Social Action (NOMADESC) described the hope she sees in Colombia with the election of a left-wing president and vice-president, as well as the hard work ahead to demand justice and heal from decades of state killings, violence and human rights abuses.


Jean Boland Golinski Fatal, the president of Haiti’s Confederation of Public and Private Sector Workers, described the country’s current economic and political crisis, and the need to rally international support for solutions led by the Haitian people.


Raymond Basilio, general secretary of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, described how the Philippines government targets labour leaders—including him—who are fighting for workers’ rights and defending public services. Threats to his safety mean Basilio hasn’t seen his family since 2022.

Joëlle Ravary: Chalking up the wins for women

This year’s Grace Hartman Award goes to Joëlle Ravary, a trailblazing activist in the Quebec women’s movement whose passionate leadership, rigour, uncommon energy, and contagious enthusiasm have helped build solidarity while shattering barriers for the many women who have followed in her footsteps.


One of the first underground line women hired by Hydro-Québec, Joëlle established women’s committees for her local and provincial union, with both evolving into human rights committees, and was part of the campaign to recognize sexual harassment as a form of gender-based discrimination. She also negotiated parental leave rights for women, fathers, 2SLGBTQI+ parents, and adoptive parents.


Joëlle’s inspiring example has had wide-reaching impacts within our union, the Canadian labour movement, and internationally. Having educated generations of union activists while advancing equity and human rights, she continues to champion space for women in the labour movement and beyond.  

Berenice Celeita Alayon: In Colombia, solidarity saves lives

Colombian labour activist Berenice Celeita Alayon, addressing convention on Wednesday, called on her country’s newly elected progressive government to stop human rights abuses and resource exploitation by global corporations while urging delegates to continue acts of international solidarity that defend communities and save lives.


“The people that have been to Colombia have been able to see clearly what is happening in our country after 212 years of genocide,” said Celeita Alayon, noting that labour and community activists, including youth, continue to be targeted for assassination by new paramilitary groups despite last year’s election of Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez as president and vice-president, respectively.


Celeita Alayon thanked CUPE for the union’s two decades of solidarity and Mark Hancock specifically for his support of human rights defenders—including herself—who have been targeted.


“The way to be in solidarity with countries that are living in genocide is to get mobilized,” she said. “More than ever, the world needs this.”

2023 Communications Awards

At every convention, we take some time to recognize the excellent work coming out of our locals and divisions with CUPE’s Communications Awards. Those awards were presented at the Communicator’s Breakfast Wednesday morning.


Reaching members and the public with our stories and our information matters more than ever. CUPE’s local and division communicators do amazing work in print, online, and in person. They help build stronger locals by engaging and informing members.

Take action

Water is life is an urgent call for solidarity with Indigenous peoples fighting for safe drinking water and working to protect and heal water in their territories.


We stand with Indigenous peoples and demand an end to water injustice.


Take the pledge! Listen, learn and act.