IUOE locals across Canada are stepping up activities regarding political action, Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher told a general membership meeting of the union Sept. 27.
He said two very important resolutions were passed at the 57th Canadian Conference of the International Union of Operating Engineers recently in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The resolutions deal with strategic voting in the Oct. 19 federal election and creation of a not-for-profit entity called Canadians United for Change.
The first resolution encourages members of IUOE locals to vote for candidates in a particular riding, be it a Liberal or New Democrat, in order to defeat the Conservative MP.
The second resolution established the creation of a group entitled Canadians United for Change (CUC) that will run campaigns during the current and future election campaigns.
Meanwhile, said Gallagher, Hart Consulting has been hired to do a national survey and the CUC intends to use the Internet and sites like Facebook to get its message out.
“My thought is that we should always have this (group) in place,” said Gallagher. “If we get involved in provincial or federal elections we’ll always be ready.”
Gallagher said Prime Minister Stephen Harper is intent on eroding Canada’s institutions and has stacked the Senate with Conservatives.
“They’re like trained seals. They’re not the chamber of somber second thought. That is not how our Parliamentary system is supposed to work.”
If Harper is re-elected, Gallagher said the prime minister will go after the Supreme Court “because it is the last bastion of civil rights that exist in Canada.”
Gallagher said Harper will start appointing Conservative judges to the Supreme Court and ruin the Canadian system.
The present Tories, he said, are like reformed Tea-Party-type Conservatives and all they’re concerned about is protecting their corporate clients.
Gallagher said he believes that right-to-work legislation is on the agenda of the Conservatives and unions have to stop them.