Labour Day parade in Port Elgin returns to in-person

The past two and a half years have been some of the most challenging times Canadians have faced in a generation. The pandemic exacerbated existing inequality and impacted the most vulnerable amongst us.

The pandemic also showed us how resilient we can be when we stand together in solidarity. Since March 2020, we have seen neighbours support each other and communities rally. Individual comfort and self-interest gave way to unity and selflessness. As a nation we have proven that we are ready to work together for the common good.

We must hold onto that solidarity and continue to stand united as we move forward with an ambitious plan for recovery.

In the Grey Bruce region, vast numbers of workers never stopped struggling with employment insecurity and poverty. COVID shone a harsh light on this and reminded us that unions are a vehicle for lifting workers out of this situation and out of poverty. Workers, through the Grey Bruce Labour Council, donated thousands of dollars to the United Way COVID Relief Fund. On top of this, ingenious ways of donating to Ukraine relief and the needs of Indigenous communities were delivered on by Labour Council affiliates, the Society of United Professionals and the Power Workers’ Union (PWU).

And now we are in the midst of an affordability crisis. Workers are worried about the increasing cost of housing, food, medication and transportation.

Canada’s unions help provide stability for workers and their families and we are fighting to make life more affordable for everyone. We stand alongside workers in the fight for better wages and benefits, such as sick leave and dental care. We help organize workers to ensure they are united in the face of greedy employers and regressive governments.

Canada’s union work alongside progressive governments, improving the lives of all workers through universal social programs and income supports. We fight for social justice, climate action, equality and diversity, and a better future for all.

And always at the heart of it all are workers and their families.

As we continue to recover from the pandemic and the economic turmoil it is causing, many workers are still just scraping by, struggling to find good jobs; some have left the job market entirely. This is why labour continues to call for a pandemic recovery that is focused on replacing lost jobs with better ones.

Those who claim our economy has bounced back are conveniently focusing only on a small cross-section of employment data. If a recovery plan relies on leaving some workers behind, it is not much of a plan at all. Canadians need stability, but we will only get there with an ambitious plan that will create good jobs, invest in taking better care of each other through a stronger social safety net, and humanely tackle climate change.

We need significant investments in Canada’s care economy. Care workers in Canada have been sounding the alarm on the state of care in Canada for decades. Care work is vital, but it is often unstable, undervalued and underpaid. Care services were brought to a breaking point under the strain of the pandemic. Our economy relies heavily on paid and unpaid care work, with the burden of care often falling to women. In order to achieve full and equal labour-market participation for all, Canada needs a cohesive plan for providing affordable, quality, public childcare, as well as care for the elderly and people living with disabilities. We need a care strategy, backed by significant investment to ensure that Canadians have the world-class care services we deserve.

Canada’s unions help workers fight for these much-needed improvements and so much more. This Labour Day, we challenge all union members to tell at least one friend and one family member about the benefits of unions. Bring them to your local Labour Day celebration in Port Elgin, and show them the strength and solidarity in your community. This Labour Day let us organize for a better Canada for all workers.

The Port Elgin Labour Day parade is in-person this year. Marshalling takes place at the Shoreline Baptist Church and Home Hardware anytime after 9:30AM. Parade starts at 11:00AM with lunch provided by Unifor along with continuing celebrations and raffle draws at the Unifor Family Education Centre after the parade.

Labour Day Parade Highlights pre-pandemic 2019

Labour Day Parade 2018