WHISTLER - Last night at the annual convention of the Union of BC Municipalities, CUPE BC hosted a reception for mayors and councillors from all over the province. Secretary-Treasurer Paul Faoro welcomed attendees and delivered the following remarks.
Thanks for the introduction, Trevor. I’m not going to take very much of your time tonight. I don’t think anyone really wants to hear one more speech after several days of listening to nothing but. So I’ll keep this very short.
I just want to extend greetings and regrets from our President, Mark Hancock, who would have loved to be here with us, but is unfortunately in Ottawa.
I also want to bring greetings from our entire executive board, many of whom are here tonight and I hope you get a chance to meet, and most importantly, I want to bring greetings on behalf of all our 85,000 members from across B.C. And I also bring greetings from our national president, Paul Moist and all 627,000 CUPE members across the country.
I was very impressed by Rex Murphy’s speech this morning, particularly with his comments on how municipalities and communities are what make our province and our country so unique in the world.
As Rex said, it’s more than a happy coincidence of geography that makes Canada such a wonderful country—it’s the people, and the communities they live in that make our country so different from so many other places in the world.
I think we all share a strong sense of pride in our country and our communities. And CUPE members are no different. As our former president Barry O’Neill used to say, it’s not like CUPE workers are flown in from a different planet to do their jobs and then leave. We’re your neighbours. We’re your fellow citizens, and we’re proud of what we do. And we’re proud of the contributions we make to our communities.
But this reception isn’t about us, it’s about you. It’s about recognizing the work you do every day to make your communities stronger. We may not always see eye to eye on policy or politics, but we have an enormous amount of respect for anyone who steps up to the plate and runs for office, especially at the local level.
It’s an incredibly important job, and it comes with little recognition of the sacrifices you make for your communities. Less time with your families and friends, and hours of endless meetings. There’s not a lot of glory that comes with the job.
So this reception is how CUPE BC thanks you for your work. I hope you have a good evening, good conversations and get a chance to meet some folks you don’t know yet.
Thank you for the work you do to make our communities better places. As I said earlier, we may not always agree with one another, but what we have in common is far more important than what may from time to time divide us.
Thank you again for coming. Enjoy tonight, and I wish you all the best for the rest of this convention.