Quebec’s Second Largest Union To Campaign Against Harper During 2015 Federal Election

by: Obert Madondo  | Apr 10, 2015

PM Stephen Harper during historic visit to Israel in January 2014. (Photo: PMO)

PM Stephen Harper during historic visit to Israel in January 2014. (Photo: PMO)

Stephen Harper is in real big trouble. One more formidable group has joined Anything but Conservative or ABC, the political movement mobilizing Canadians to vote for any party other than the Harper Conservatives.

The Confederation of National Trade Unions, Quebec’s second-largest labour federation, will campaign against the Harper Conservatives during the 2015 federal election.

The Canadian Press reports, “Confederation of National Trade Unions president Jacques Letourneau said Friday one of its affiliates, which represents 6,000 prison guards, will campaign against the Tories in certain Quebec ridings and in Ontario, particularly in the Toronto area.”

The Canadian Press adds that, in vote-rich Quebec, the 325-member union “will target three specific regions where it believes the Tories are vulnerable: the Eastern Townships; Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, about 250 kilometres north of Quebec City; and Chaudiere-Appalaches, near Quebec City.”

The Confederation of National Trade Unions joins several organized groups that have already announced that they will actively campaign against the Conservatives during the election, scheduled for October 19. Most of the groups are aligned with ABC.

Danny Williams, the outspoken former premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, started the ABC movement in 2007 in response to the Harper government’s broken promises regarding equalization payments to the province. Williams, a Progressive Conservative, sought to defeat Conservative candidates in Newfoundland and Labrador during the October 2008 federal election. The campaign reportedly hurt the Conservatives.

Th Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, which represents Canada’s prison guards, announced joining ABC last May.

Last fall, iPolitics reported that “only 20 per cent of second generation Canadians said they would vote Conservative”. The ethnic vote is widely credited for giving the Conservatives their undeserved majority during the 2011 federal election.

Public broadcasting watchdog, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, has been sniping at the Conservatives for a few years now. Friends accuses the Conservatives of planning to “turn our national public broadcaster into a government propaganda machine – a state broadcaster!” The Confederation of National Trade Unions represents represents employees of Radio-Canada, the CBC’s French affiliate.

In November, the Canada Coalition for Veterans announced that it would join ABC. The group has been campaigning against the Conservatives’ recent closure of nine Veterans Affairs offices across Canada, a move that has significantly reduced veterans’ right of access to pensions and disability benefits.

Also in November, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) announced that it would abandon its “tradition of neutrality in elections.” The union representing 55,000 federal scientists and related professionals in the federal public service will actively campaign against Harper.

RELATED: Brigette DePape and the youth insurgency against Harper

Earlier this year, game-changing activist Brigette DePape kicked of Get Out the Youth Vote tour, a much-needed youth democratic insurgency against Harper, sponsored by the Council of Canadians. The campaign, which is part of the Council of Canadians’ democracy campaign, encourages Canadian youth to vote against the Conservations. The campaign supported by numerous youth-oriented organizations and movements, among them: ShitHarperDid, the Canadian Federation of Students, LeadNow, and Apathy is Boring.

To survive, Harper would have to rig the 2015 federal election on a more massive scale than witnessed during the 2011 election.

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Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based progressive blogger, and the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive. Follow me on Twitter: @Obiemad

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Obert Madondo

Publisher and editor
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based blogger, activist, photographer, digital rights enthusiast, former political aide, and former international development administrator. He's the founder and editor of these independent publications: The Canadian Progressive, a political blog dedicated to progressive Canadian journalism; The Zimbabwean Progressive, a political blog dedicated to producing fearless, progressive, adversarial, unapologetic, and activism-oriented Zimbabwean journalism; and Charity Files, a publication dedicated to journalism in the charitable public's interest. Follow Obert on Twitter: @Obiemad