After being introduced by Council President Wayne Kelly, I spoke about my commitment to the labour movement and collective bargaining rights. I talked about how I grew up in a union household - my father was in the Operating Engineers for 35 years, and was the shop steward for many of those years. It wasn't until I was a little older that I realized that whatever middle class prosperity we enjoyed it was due to a combination of my father's hard work (and long hours) and his union wage. After being retired for more than 20 years, my father still collects a generous union pension.
I have also been involved in the union movement; when I worked in the fishing industry on the west coast during my teenage years and now as a university professor. Indeed, I am a member of two unions: the Saint Mary's Faculty Union (where i have served on the executive) and the Acadia University Faculty Association.
My meeting with the Labour Council was the first step in building whatever ties I can between my campaign and organized labour in Kings Hants and to use the campaign to highlight the importance of unions in Canada (and how critical they are to helping ensure a prosperous middle class). Of course, being in campaign mode I made a plea for volunteers, donations and sign locations.
Ultimately, one of the goals of my campaign is to build a coalition of and solidarity with like-minded progressive groups and individuals in the riding, including organized labour, environmental groups, anti-poverty groups, women's groups, the LGBTQ2+ community, etc.