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Labour Day message from NS Federation of Labour president Danny Cavanagh

Danny Cavanagh, president of the NS Labour Federation. Photo Simon de Vet

I am very proud to once again celebrate Labour’s accomplishments and re-energize for the year and the challenges to come.

Labour day is one of the most important days of the year as it is an opportunity to celebrate the ways the labour movement has improved the day-to-day lives of working people.

Our Federation can look back on the past year and know our hard work makes a difference for all Nova Scotians.

COVID-19 continues to be very hard for workers across the country. Almost daily we hear more and more stories about worker shortages, that Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is to blame, which deflects the real problems of a low wage economy, poor scheduling, part time hours, and bad jobs in general. $176 Billion to business was the largest expenditure by the Federal government.

We are heading to the polls soon to elect a new federal government. Issues to think about:

Mental health has climbed up as one of the top issues for Canadians. Universal health coverage must cover mental health services in hospitals, medicare centres but also more broadly through community services. The NDP is the only party talking about covering a greater range of mental health services under medicare, starting with mental healthcare coverage for uninsured Canadians.

Why aren’t Canadian leaders talking more about the changing reality of work, and how work from home is here to stay?

Housing cuts actually began under the Liberals.

Labour experts say Erin O’Toole’s proposal to give workers representation on corporate boards is ‘smoke and mirrors’

Life has to more affordable for everyday people. We hearing about the economy doing well for the rich, but they’re not seeing the benefits for their families.

Decades of Liberal and Conservative governments have stripped away the services that made it possible to live a good life. It’s harder to afford a good place to live, to pay for an education, take care of aging parents, and to cover electricity and cell phone bills, prescriptions, and dentist appointments.

Now is time to elect a federal government that’s committed to creating good jobs. A government willing to invest in more public services, services that working families need. A government that will help more people save for retirement so they can live their final years in dignity, not a hardship. Government that understand austerity is a race to the bottom driven by the rich and elite in society.

As we celebrate Labour Day, let’s remember we can all make a difference in making life better for Nova Scotians.

Let’s get to the polls and elect a government which will make a difference in the lives of all Canadians. We can do this at our workplaces and in our communities.

So, on this Labour Day we have a lot to be proud of, and a lot to do. On behalf of the Executive Council, staff and over 70,000 affiliated members of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour I would like to wish all an enjoyable and safe Labour Day weekend.

Danny Cavanagh is president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour

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