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Three candidates are vying to replace Judy Darcy as National President John Weatherup, president of CUPE 4400; Henry Bosch, past president of CUPE 1097; and Paul Moist, president of CUPE Manitoba and a general vice-president.

All three candidates made their pitch to delegates on Monday afternoon. John Weatherup expressed dismay that the three contenders are all white men, and promised to create dedicated political positions for Aboriginal workers. We have to review all funding so we represent what our workers look like across this great land, he said. Weatherup also wants to limit election campaigns to 60 days, and open up the budget discussions at national conventions so that delegates can debate the numbers line by line. As well, he believes CUPE should organize by sector, so that the union can attract 10,000 or more members at once, instead of three or four. Small locals arent viable, he told delegates. Weatherup got a warm response from members when he vowed to continue CUPEs attacks on right wing leaders like BC Premier Gordon Campbell Well take them on and bring them down and promised more political intervention in elections.

Henry Bosch promised leadership that is proactive and forward thinking and said he would lead according to this rule: A wrong to one is a wrong to all. He said CUPE should always remember that the union isnt about one person at the top, its about the half-million strong membership. Bosch said his campaign is focusing on two main issues, communications and representation. The union must keep messages consistent across the country, he said, from British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador. He also said that, if elected, he would work with CUPEs staff representatives to improve their assignments. He also pledged to learn French.

Paul Moist said the CUPE presidency is about leadership. He promised to bring people together and believe in members and the work they do. He pointed out that the main issues at CUPEs first national convention in 1963 were much the same as they are now: fighting for free collective bargaining rights and against contracting out. Those issues remain as relevant in 2003 as they were in 1963, he said. Moist also called on CUPE to reach out to the 2/3 of Canadians who arent unionized, as well as workers all across the world. He said his recent trip to South Africa was a life-altering experience, and told delegates that there is much to learn from brothers and sisters in other countries. Moist also challenged delegates to dare to dream about one union for all the million-plus public sector workers in Canada.