VANCOUVER - The focus will be on levelling the playing field for working people as the BC Federation of Labour’s 58th convention opens this morning at 11 am, with more than 1,300 labour activists on hand at the Vancouver Convention Centre East.
Delegates will discuss ways to work with the BC NDP government to undo 16 years of damage caused by the BC Liberals in key areas like the labour code, employment standards, workers’ compensation, and apprenticeship and skills training. They will hear Tuesday morning at 9 am from Premier John Horgan, and on Thursday, delegates elect a new president to take over from retiring BCFED leader Irene Lanzinger.
In her final convention address today at noon, Lanzinger will highlight important changes advocated by the labour movement and adopted by the Horgan government.
“In a short timeframe, we have made amazing progress for working people on issues like a $15 minimum wage, a $10 per day childcare program, the elimination of MSP premiums and measures to protect vulnerable foreign workers, just to name a few,” Lanzinger says.
Reflecting on her decision to retire, Lanzinger says BC’s labour movement is in good shape. “We are in a time of incredible opportunity, and we are strong, united and focussed on levelling the playing field for working people,” she says. “It’s a good time to pass on the leadership torch.”
In other highlights, delegates will hear from Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh Monday at 2:00 pm. On Wednesday, representatives of BC’s First Nations leadership will attend the convention and sign a new protocol agreement with the Federation for joint cooperation.
The BCFED convention runs through Friday in Exhibition Hall A of the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre East. Media attending the convention can register on site in the main lobby outside the hall.