Ottawa – UFCW Canada joined with Canada's progressive leaders at the Broadbent Institute's 2023 Progress Summit. This annual event brings together progressives across the labour movement, academia, media and more to strategize how to face the challenges of the present and future in this time of increasing inequality and divisiveness.
The focus of this year's summit was "Stronger together: Forging Unity in a Time of Division", asking questions such as: In this time of inflation, economic uncertainty, and rising right-wing populism: how can we meet the challenge? How can we reclaim the mantle of affordability, and recommit ourselves to the task of making life materially better for every working Canadian? And how can we forge the solidarity between political parties, between organizations and between individual working people to make that vision a reality?
The Progress Summit kicked off with a fireside chat between Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan and Canadian Labour Congress President Bea Bruske on the labour movement’s most important issues, such as labour law reforms, wages versus inflation and how institutions can build greater trust with working people.
Keynote speeches included Chris Smalls, the founder and president of the Amazon Labor Union who sat down for a fireside chat with federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh discussing how to empower workers to fight for better working conditions, better wages, and a better world. Other keynote speeches included Faiz Shakir, Bernie Sanders 2020 Presidential Campaign Manager and founder of More Perfect Union, and Sophie Ota, the Digital Director of US Senator John Fetterman's 2022 campaign. Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and former Toronto Mayor Dennis Miller held a fireside chat on progressive mayors, governing across urban divides.
UFCW Canada's Pablo Godoy lead a panel discussion on migrant workers and collective justice with Syed Hussan, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, Dr. Vasanthi Venkatesh, University of Windsor, and Nicholas Adams, LIUNA Canada. Together, they took a hard look at Canada's present-day immigrant scheme and how it continues to enable exploitation of workers and widens social fissures.
Other topics included indigenous economies, just transition, women in politics, organizing in a digital age, building progressive media, mental health in the workplace, and more.
You can learn more about the Broadbent Institute and the Progress Summit here: https://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/