In the 2011 Federal Election, only about 61% of Canadians went to the polls. Stephen Harper & his Conservatives were able to claim a majority victory and form Government with only 41% of the vote, which translates to about 25% of the population of Canada. That’s not a real majority in any sense of the word. If an election is decided by those who choose to show up, it’s equally true that the outcome can be decided by those who choose to stay home.
Choosing not to vote does impact election outcomes; in fact it’s often the same as casting a ballot for a party you don’t support. Taking the time to educate yourself may feel like a hassle but voting is a right that many have struggled to gain. Whether or not you believe your vote matters on the national scene it surely matters in the Territory. Ryan Leef was sent to Ottawa on the strength of 131 votes. Those 131 votes made a huge difference. In our small Yukon riding even a very few individuals can have a profound impact on the outcome of an election.
In October of 2015 we urge you to vote. Who gets your vote is up to you; we hope you ask tough questions and consider the good of working people and families, of the environment and the social fabric that we hold dear as Canadians. We also hope you take the time to review the platforms of the candidates and their parties. 41% of Canadians should not carry the future of this country. It’s up to all of us to join in and move Canada forward.
Look for YEU at the Fireweed Community Market Thursday afternoons in August; we will have our voter registration kiosk set up. Not sure if you’re on the eligible voter’s list for the 2015 election? Please stop by and check. More than 50% of those who stopped by on July 30th discovered (to their shock) that they were NOT registered, despite having voted in many previous federal elections. It’s worth checking out. If you won’t be at market, make sure you visit www.elections.ca and check for yourself. Enumerators are NOT coming door to door this election to make sure you’re on the list… it’s up to YOU!
Download the poster and print it out for yourself. Why are YOU voting?
“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
Image produced with the express permission of artist Ingrid Rice, North Vancouver.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada and its 100,000 Treasury Board members are at the bargaining table with their federal employers. There are greater than 250,000 public servants represented by 17 unions, all united in a solidarity pact; no one union will give in to the federal government’s concession demands on sick leave. The power of many will be needed to fight the intended assault on negotiated benefits.
Tony Clement has come out swinging, spending Canadian tax dollars to damage the credibility of the opponent….workers like you. Clement has made it clear he wants to dismantle negotiated Sick Leave provisions and replace them with a new short term disability model. That means contracting out the administration of earned sick leave to a commercial, for-profit organization whose interests will be very different from those of the workers they are meant to serve.
PSAC & PIPSC have filed formal bad faith bargaining complaints against the government for sending “misleading and false” communications to employees. Rather than bring any demands to the bargaining table, the government announced publicly that it was introducing a short-term disability plan as the key pillar of a new “wellness and productivity” strategy.
Everyone is watching what happens in this tense round of bargaining. If Harper’s team continues to press hard and kill the negotiated sick leave, they will be in conflict with labour law. Sick leave is a negotiated benefit; it can’t be withdrawn from a contract and arbitrarily decided upon by either side.
Treasury Board bargaining seems far, far away and not very important until you consider their contract becomes a benchmark for subsequent negotiations nationwide. Labour can’t afford to stand down on the issue of sick leave; unionized or not, all Canadian workers will feel the effects of the contract between the Federal Government and its public servants.
Yukon Employees’ Union lends our voice to the chorus of support for the bargaining teams and professional negotiators beginning this round. It sounds like a battle is brewing and we know you are up to the challenge. Thank you.
This article by Kathryn May explains it very well, including the clever way the government stripped unions of bargaining power in the last term by slipping anti-union legislation into budget bills.
Read more here from PSAC National President Robbyn Benson.
To mark the first contributions made to the unemployment insurance fund more than 73 years ago (July 1, 1941), the Public Service Alliance of Canada launched today “Employment Insurance in Canada: Hitting Rock Bottom”, a short animated video on the decline of the EI program over the last 25 years. Please share!
Share the video and find out more at http://weareallaffected.ca and http://notothecuts.ca
Visit the YEU booth at the Yukon Trade Show May 2 – 4th and pick up your copy of this postcard. Send one to your MLA and one to Mr. Harper; let them know how you feel about this proposed legislation.