13 October, 2020 6:42 PM

Oct 13 News

In this weeks' Toronto & York Region Labour Council news: 

  • Ford Conservatives fail Ontarians again

  • Coming Up: Lobby Week – Canada Plan

  • Canada’s unions support Mi’kmaq treaty rights

  • Register Now: Covid-19: Reality, Resilience & Recovery

  • SPOTLIGHT ON… Action Anniversaries

Want to stay up to date? Sign up here! 



The chaos in our schools continues as some school boards  move to hybrid learning while the rollout of digital learning in the TDSB is buckling under increased requests for online learning.

Stressed educators are pushed even further as they try to adapt to “lecture” style teaching that fails both the kids in class and those online halfway through the fall term. All the while, anxiety mounts for the many families who can’t afford to keep their kids home or provide the resources needed.

In addition to failing on schools, the Ford government is trying to make sneaky changes to child care regulations that would place more young children into larger groups with fewer staff and lower qualification requirements. Join the #RisingUpForChildCare campaign, putting the focus on frontline ECEs and staff, parents and families who are experiencing the child care crisis.

Tell Premier Ford and Minister Lecce that this is not the way expand child care.



October is Women’s History Month in Canada and the pandemic has amplified existing barriers to women’s economic justice, like wage discrimination, sexual harassment and violence, and the lack of affordable child care.

To address the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women, Canada’s unions are calling on the federal government to take immediate action to:

  • Fix the Child Care Crisis
  • End Wage Discrimination
  • End Sexual Harassment and Violence
  • Make Work Fair


More than 4,000 Chinese workers died building the country’s first transcontinental railroad, even as the Chinese community faced discrimination and outright racism. Laws were specially created to oppress and exclude them. Yet they persevered.

Join the Toronto Workers’ History Project in this special livestreamed presentation as the panelists will take us through more than a century of the experiences of Chinese-Canadians: fighting back, organising and leading the way for many others.


  • Winnie Ng: Activist, scholar, Chair Emeritus, Ryerson-Unifor National Chair in Social Justice and Democracy.
  • Jennifer Huang: Chinese Workers’ Network, Toronto and York Regional Labour Council
  • Justin Kong: Executive Director, Chinese Canadian National Council, Toronto

Date: Wednesday, 14 October, 2020
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Where: Zoom or via livestream on Facebook



Canada's national labour film festival celebrates the stories of workers and the conditions under which they live, work, fight, and succeed in their daily lives! Now in it’s 12th year, CLIFF has gone virtual and features a range of on-demand screenings and special events including watch parties, Q&As with filmmakers and more. In a world of increasing polarization and a plethora of content, CLIFF believes it is more important than ever that working people be able to tell their own stories in their own words and with their own images. Their mission is not just to showcase the stories of workers, but to encourage film-making by partnering with other organisations friendly to the cause.

Highlights this year include:

Company Town… a film about the Oshawa GM Plant

Aguan-Sun Behind the Horizon… about a rickshaw-puller, who breaks traditional gender roles while supporting her two children.

Gathering Circle… a documentary about the Indigenous architects and collaborators behind the new Indigenous public space built in Collingwood



Last month’s virtual Climate Jobs and Just Transition Summit brought American labour, climate activists, social and racial justice advocates together to map out the clean-energy economy of tomorrow with strong union jobs. There was one Canadian speaker - our President John Cartwright – on a panel that focused on how climate change and inequality are inextricably linked and how to build intersectional solidarity between these two fights for justice.  

Also check out John’s review of A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency. Written by Seth Klein, the founding director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, this hopeful offering is structured around the lessons from World War.

“[The] antidote to the relentless efforts of the fossil fuel giants and their political servants to limit our ambition for effective action on climate…  a perfect read for anyone who wants to be well-armed in the struggle for the survival of humankind on this planet.” – John Cartwright



Every week, we will bring you a snapshot of an initiative or organisation doing great work within our labour community. 

The Council of Canadians is the country’s largest civil society organization, formed 35 years ago to challenge the disastrous Free Trade Agreement. The Council’s campaigns have evolved since then, expanding into areas such as clean water, fair trade, public health care, democracy, Indigenous rights and the urgent action that is needed to address the climate crisis. The organization has been chaired by our own President John Cartwright since June 2019.

With a mission to challenge corporate power and hold governments to account by organizing for collective action, it’s never been a better time to get involved. Join now if you share the belief that real and lasting social change is made when ordinary people – from across generations, across political stripes and across the country – come together to act for the common good.

Check out their latest campaign for a national pharmacare program. 






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