Local 793 meets with the QIA (Qikiqtani Inuit Association)

Local 793 met with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) at the OETIO Morrisburg campus on Monday, February 10th, 2020.   Business manager Mike Gallagher sat down with PJ Akeeagok, the president of the QIA, to speak on shared interests, and establish an amicable relationship going forward.   The meeting, organized by Carla St. Louis the […]

Local 793 met with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) at the OETIO Morrisburg campus on Monday, February 10th, 2020.

 

Business manager Mike Gallagher sat down with PJ Akeeagok, the president of the QIA, to speak on shared interests, and establish an amicable relationship going forward.

 

The meeting, organized by Carla St. Louis the Director of Marketing and Indigenous Affairs, had been long in coming. Prior to his visit, president Akeeagok was attending the Northern Lights Conference in Ottawa and recognized a good opportunity to tack on a site visit to Morrisburg while eleven QIA students were there.

 

The Morrisburg campus is currently hosting and training these students in the 6-week Q-STEP heavy equipment program which consists of loader, haul truck and skid steer.

 

Also in attendance from the QIA was Q-Step Program Manager Romeyn Stevenson, and Director of Communication Sima Sahar Zerehi.

 

Additional members of Local 793 present at the meeting included Executive Director of OETIO and Vice President of IUOE Local 793 – Joe Dowdall, and Assistant Executive Director of OETIO and Area Supervisor of IUOE Local 793 Eastern Ontario – Rick Kerr.

 

Seen here from L to R wearing new OETIO hats is Romeyn Stevenson, PJ Akeeagok, Mike Gallagher, Joe Dowdall, and Rick Kerr.

 

 

The QIA is the Regional Inuit Association for the Qikiqtani Region of Nunavut and represents 51 percent of Inuit living in the territory located in the Canadian Arctic. They are committed to advancing the rights and benefits of Qikiqtani Inuit through protecting and promoting their social, political, economic and cultural interests.

 

“It’s our job to take the holistic approach” said president Akeeagok. “We need to balance our economic goals with our environmental ones”.

 

Proper environmental assessments prior to any proposed projects are an important measure to ensure environmental sustainability. The QIA is committed to ensuring no commitments or decisions are made regarding the Qikiqtani region without conducting studies to evaluate the environmental impact and mitigate negative effects of potential projects.

 

Gallagher could empathize with the environmental concerns of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.

 

“I’m not going to lie to you, we always like to see work go forward because it benefits our members.” He confessed. “But not without taking proper measures to preserve the natural environment. Sustainability holds importance to each of us”.

 

The QIA recently received $20 million in program funding from the federal government in atonement for systematic efforts to colonize Inuit of the Qikiqtaaluk region.

 

Akeeagok was eager to see the training facility in person as it serves an example of what can be accomplished with the appropriate allocation of government funding.

 

“We are really impressed with the facility and continue to receive great feedback from our youth about their time here” said Akeeagok.

 

Since the QIA youth joined the OETIO, ‘country food’ – a term for Inuktitut cultural meals – began being shipped to the facility on a regular basis, given that it is an important part of their diet.

 

“It is the little things you do for our youth that make all the difference in their time here” complimented Akeeagok.

 

Here’s a view of the snow covered training yard from the facility’s dining hall.

 

 

After a site tour led by Director of Marketing and Indigenous Affairs Carla St. Louis, Local 793 and the QIA had an opportunity to sit down with the eleven students as they shared about the communities they were from and their positive experience at OETIO.

 

“These are the times of my life that are the most memorable” remarked Patrick, one of the students, before looking over his shoulder at his fellow trainees.

 

Before leaving he scrawled the word ‘Tapiriit’ in pen on a napkin for Gallagher, which expresses the concept of ‘united’ in Inuktitut.

 

 

Local 793 was happy for this opportunity to connect with the QIA and learn a bit about their culture.

 

“I think it’s important we maintain communication like we are doing here today” said Gallagher.

 

In 2014, Local 793’s charter was expanded to include the entire Territory of Nunavut, as well as Baffin Island in Northern Canada. Local 793 and the OETIO have been training Inuit people from the Territory for several years now.

 

Pictured below is the eleven QIA students currently training in the Q-STEP heavy equipment program.

 

Improvements to the union’s Life & Health Benefits Plan

Thanks to the plans’ ongoing financial health, the Board of Trustees are pleased to advise of the following improvements to the union’s Life & Health Benefits Plan. The Board has approved the following for the active and retiree plans: LIFE & HEALTH PLAN: Increase in Dental Fee Guide: The Plan will reimburse dental benefits based […]

Thanks to the plans’ ongoing financial health, the Board of Trustees are pleased to advise of the following improvements to the union’s Life & Health Benefits Plan.

The Board has approved the following for the active and retiree plans:

LIFE & HEALTH PLAN:

Increase in Dental Fee Guide:

  • The Plan will reimburse dental benefits based on the 2019 Ontario Dental Association (ODA) Fee Guide, effective January 1, 2020.
  • The Plan will reimburse dental benefits based on the 2020 ODA Fee Guide, effective January 1, 2021.

The purpose of this Fee Guide is to provide guidance to dental hygienists in Ontario in setting the fees that they charge for their professional services.

To view your benefit claims history or to access the My Health section for health-related news and services for union members, log into iueolocal793.org.

If you have not yet registered for an online member account, you can create one by clicking “REGISTER NOW” on the right-hand side of the “MEMBER LOGIN” page.  For member registration, you will need your union registration number, your date of birth and your email address.

CLICK HERE to view information about the benefits plan or to watch tutorial videos on downloading the OEBAC app and how to submit a new claim.

For more information about the Life & Health Benefits Plan, Pension Plan and the Group Legal Plan, contact the OEBAC Member Call Centre at info@oebac.org or toll-free at 1-844-793-1919.

Local 793 in the corner of Olympic hopeful

Boxer Mohamed (Moe) Zawadi just added 16,000-plus people to his corner. The 18-year-old Olympic boxing hopeful was presented with a sponsorship cheque by Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher and his leadership team at head office in Oakville, ON. President Joe Redshaw, vice president Joe Dowdall, director of Toronto area Dave Turple and Simcoe County […]

Boxer Mohamed (Moe) Zawadi just added 16,000-plus people to his corner.

The 18-year-old Olympic boxing hopeful was presented with a sponsorship cheque by Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher and his leadership team at head office in Oakville, ON.

President Joe Redshaw, vice president Joe Dowdall, director of Toronto area Dave Turple and Simcoe County area coordinator Justin O’Neill joined Gallagher for the cheque presentation to ‘Might’ Moe and his father, Mashour (Mark). Mark is an operating engineer and 13-year member of IUOE Local 793.

Business manager Gallagher gave Mark and Moe a quick tour of the newly renovated and expanded OE Banquet & Conference Centre and considered the possibilities of Moe headlining a boxing card in the hall one day.

“I love my union,” said a smiling Mark as he watched his son pose for pictures with business manager Gallagher and his team.

For Mark, this is a dream come true and for the Zawadi family it is a great honour to be recognized for their dedication to Local 793. His brothers Sheher, Abdul and Mohamed, and nephew Alexander, are also Local 793 members.

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Mark often speaks about the support his union has given to him over the years and that support started on day one.

“Justin (O’Neill) is my guy. He was the first person I met when I joined and has always supported me,” said Mark. “He always takes my calls.”

O’Neill considers meeting families like the Zawadi’s as a perk of his job as an area coordinator.

“I consider myself extremely fortunate in that I get to meet so many of our members and their families,” O’Neill said. “The Zawadi’s are a very proud union family and I’m happy that Moe will have Local 793 behind him when he steps into the ring.”

Moe is a six-time provincial champion and three-time national champ, in addition to numerous other boxing accomplishments. His eyes are now set on taking his craft to the next level and a spot on Team Canada in Tokyo, Japan at the 2020 Olympic Summer Games.

For a closer look at Moe’s career, check out the feature story in the Winter 2019 edition of Making Tracks.