Statement by BC Federation of Labour President Irene Lanzinger on the US election result

November 9, 2016 | Statement

In what will emerge as uncertain times, there is a cautionary message that needs to be heeded in the US election results.

The unexpected triumph of Donald Trump rests on the deep seated desire for change by many Americans—including working people.

And while it remains to be seen what the outcome will mean in terms of the economic fall out for jobs and trade for BC and Canadian workers, one thing rings clear.

Many Americans expressed in their vote that they’re tired of seeing the 1% maintain a stranglehold on the economy while a growing number face poverty and rising inequality.

They’re angered by global trade deals concocted by the rich for their own benefit. Trade deals and economic policies that benefit the few—and leave a path of social and economic destruction across wide swaths of American society to be borne by the many.

Working people have had enough of seeing good jobs, good wages, and opportunities pass them by.

There’s no doubt that many in BC feel that same pent up desire for something different, something better from our government.

Our challenge in the BC labour movement is to help shape and lead the debate for progressive solutions so that better can happen here in our province. We have to come up with viable answers to the pressing challenges facing working families that don’t involve more of the same—or in its worst expressions pit communities against each other, foster hate and division, or build walls.

And as we count down to our own election on May 9, we have to harness all of our creative energy and expertise to come up with the bold ideas and simple solutions that will reset the pendulum and make life better for ordinary people.