Sisters, brothers,

As president of Teamsters Canada, I’m very happy to welcome you to the twelfth Teamsters Canada Convention to be held here in Vancouver, from July 2nd – 6th

Every four years, we hold a convention that brings together your representatives (delegates and local officers) to hold discussions about the issues of the day, to share and debate your ideas, and to look at the problems in industries where our members are active.

Because you, our members, are at the heart of what we do every day, this year’s theme is “Our Members, Our Strength.”

We chose this slogan in the wake of recent events on the Canadian and international scene that we see as reality checks for progressive forces. More than ever, your union leaders must be in tune with your reality in order to help you, and all members, meet the challenges that affect us all.

To this end, we need concerted actions both in the political sphere and in our negotiations with employers in order to ensure your well-being and improve your working conditions, and those of all workers.

We must also improve our communications with Canadians to restore the critical link between the labour movement and the middle class.

Over the coming months and years, we will be tackling issues like automated vehicles, rail safety, working conditions in retirement homes, and building and maintain the crucial infrastructure that sustains Canada’s economic growth. These are all issues that impact you directly.

The strength of our union lies in open, honest discussions and I look forward to hearing your representatives’ views on these topics – as well as on many other issues. With you and for you, we will forge ahead to improve your working conditions and quality of life and to ensure the common good.

I wish you all an inspiring and enriching convention.

I look forward to seeing you there!

François Laporte
Teamsters Canada