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Social services delegates were everywhere at Convention 2003, making sure CUPEs priorities for the next two years reflect the importance of defending Canadas social services.

Even before convention began, delegates attending the social services sector meeting shared horror stories of cutbacks, overwork and Canadians being hurt by the actions or inaction of their governments. Vowing to make social services front and centre at convention, delegates at the microphones not only identified the local and region they were from, but proudly let other delegates know they worked in social services.

Delegates from all sectors and CUPE staff joined in protest outside the National Assembly to oppose the Charest governments assault on Quebecs $5-a-day child care program. Quebecs child care program is an example we point to in other parts of the country when we fight for improved child care, said outgoing National President Judy Darcy. The Liberal governments attack on this program is an attack on children, women and families from every region of the country.

We have to let everyone know that governments are slashing important services that touch every Canadians life, said Fred Hahn, CUPE 2191. Social services delegates were a big part of the debate that helped shape and adopt CUPEs Strategic Directions, setting CUPEs priorities for the next two years.

The social services sector working group, with representation from across the country, vowed to help bring the RESPECT campaign to every community in Canada. The plan is to raise awareness and help Canadians understand that social services are under attack in every part of the country, so we must all fight back together.

Robert Lamoureux