The Society delegation spent a week in November at the Ontario Federation of Labour’s biennial Convention. The delegation worked hard to see resolutions come to the floor that support the work of Society members.
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing humanity. We are already seeing the devastating effects of global climate change and if we continue to pump carbon into our atmosphere, conditions will only continue to worsen.
If we are going to reach net-zero emissions, we need to electrify our economy, but we also need to ensure that we are producing clean, emissions-free energy. We know that this means renewables backed by baseload power provided by hydro and nuclear power.
The Society proudly represents more than 5000 workers in the nuclear sector. Across the province, tens of thousands of unionized workers support Ontario’s nuclear sector. The Society has been working very closely with our partners in the labour movement to ensure that the movement recognizes the important role that those workers contribute and the important role that nuclear must play to reach our climate goals.
At the Convention, we put forward a resolution in partnership with USW District 6, IBEW Local 353, and the Grey Bruce Labour Council to support the made-in-Canada nuclear supply chain. The resolution called on the OFL to work with its partners to ensure that new investments in nuclear prioritize CANDU technologies and our domestic Canadian supply chain.
We were extremely pleased to see the resolution pass with unanimous support.
Getting this resolution passed represents the culmination of years of work by Society leadership and staff to build partnerships with our allies and to educate other unions who are mis-informed about the energy sector—particularly around nuclear power.
A resolution put forward by our Legal Aid Ontario Local calling for more funding and resources to be put into Ontario’s legal system was passed with unanimous support from Labour delegates.
The resolution sought to address the urgent need to ensure there are sufficient judges, adjudicators, clerks, court staff, and courtrooms for justice to be done. Right now, there is no justice in Ontario’s justice system, because the sad reality is that many people cannot get a day in court. The backlog in all courts and tribunals across Ontario is significant. Human rights cases are taking years to be heard, criminal charges also do not reach trial for years and are sometimes stayed or dismissed as a result, while landlord-tenant hearings take many months to be heard. In Ontario, for family and civil matters, it currently takes almost one-and-a-half years for a motion longer than two hours to be heard by a judge in Toronto; more than one-and-a-half years after the trial management conference (or more than four to five years from the issuance of the original application) for a three-week family law trial to be heard by a judge in Brampton; and more than four to five years for a civil action to proceed from commencement to trial. Meanwhile, people – accused persons, victims, witnesses, tenants, landlords, and other litigants – are suffering waiting for matters to be addressed, if they are heard at all.
It was important for our Legal Aid Ontario Local to be able to put these issues in front of convention delegates to help make them aware of deep problems that exist in our justice system. Too often only those involved in the justice system know about its challenges. It means so much to our members to be able to bring awareness to the thousands of workers represented on the floor of convention and to know that they have the backing of the entire Labour Movement.
The Society works tirelessly behind the scenes to support our members jobs and interests. Getting these resolutions passed are important wins for our union that will pay dividends moving forward.