President’s Report on the 2017 Canadian Labour Congress Convention

Fellow members,

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of attending, along with some thirty PIPSC delegates, the 28th Constitutional Convention of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), in Toronto.

The Convention, which is held every three years, featured the theme of “Together for a Fair Future”, and was dedicated to the memory of former CLC President and famed Canadian Labour activist Bob White, who passed away in February.

The PIPSC delegation consisted of several Board members and a number of active PIPSC members, as well as Institute staff such as my Special Advisor, Emily Watkins and Kiavash Najafi, our Director of Policy and Communications. Together, we sat on several committees, including:

  • Credentials Committee: Debi Daviau
  • General Resolutions: Shirley Friesen
  • Social and Economic Policy Resolutions Committee: Emily Watkins
  • Constitutional Resolutions Committee: Kiavash Najafi

The Institute presented resolutions on some of the key issues facing its members, most notably those of Public Science, Contracting Out and Tax Fairness.

Public Science:

The Trump administration’s communications restrictions on officials working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other government departments are a chilling reminder of the Harper government’s muzzling of federal scientists in our own country and the harm done not only to individual Canadian scientists, but to science, the public interest, and democracy.

Our resolution asked the CLC to stand in solidarity with our colleagues and fellow government scientists in the United States, as many in the international community did for Canadian federal government scientists, and to condemn the current restrictions on U.S. government scientists imposed by the Trump administration.

This resolution was referred to the CLC’s Canadian Council, which is made up of the Presidents of all its affiliates.

Contracting Out:

The contract between public employees and the federal government is breaking down as more and more services are outsourced for longer and longer periods of time. Outsourcing does not ensure Canadians get the best expertise available, more efficiently or at a lower cost.

Our resolution asked the CLC to call on the federal government to reduce reliance on outside IT and other professional services, as well as to work to raise awareness of the harms of contracting out/outsourcing and continue to lobby the federal government to reverse the trend towards an over-reliance on private sector solutions.

This resolution was part of a composite resolution on the outsourcing of public services that was passed by convention delegates.

Tax Fairness:

The legitimacy of an advanced democracy’s tax system is predicated on its integrity and fairness. Restoring public faith in the integrity of the tax system means investing in the staff and structure needed at the Canada Revenue Agency to catch international tax cheats and provide much-needed revenue for federal government programs.

Our resolution asked the CLC to call on the federal government to establish a world-class tax fairness initiative, to investigate complex cases and prosecute offenders, and to target corporate tax cheats.

This resolution was covered by the convention policy paper “Working for a #Fair Future”.

Finally, I was particularly moved by the tribute commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Westray mining disaster, which was attended by families of the deceased. The ceremony was an especially poignant illustration of the role that unions can and must play in helping to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future. The neglect of safety regulations in the workplace can never be accepted.

All in all, the event was an excellent opportunity for us to network with our fellow unionists, discuss issues of common interest, develop new partnerships, and make new allies.

Better Together!

Debi Daviau,


7 February 2023
On January 30, 2023 PIPSC President Jennifer Carr, accompanied by Jordan McAuley, our specialist on outsourcing, testified before the House of Common Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates (OGGO) about the now-infamous McKinsey contracts awarded by the federal government.

16 January 2023
Any return to office policy must “consider the nature of each department’s work and the services they provide to Canadians.” Those are Treasury Board President Mona Fortier’s own words, and we urge her to heed them, said presidents of PIPSC and CAPE in an opinion letter published in The Ottawa Citizen.

4 January 2023
The New Year is here and I want to take this opportunity to sincerely wish you all the very best in 2023. Our challenges can definitely lead to positive outcomes for our members.

3 November 2022
On October 28, 2022 President Carr met for the first time with Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier to discuss a number of important issues that affect our members, public services and Canadian taxpayers.

2 November 2022
On October 24, 2022 President Jennifer Carr appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates (OGGO) to discuss the nefarious effects of outsourcing on our members, public services and Canadian taxpayers.

1 November 2022
PIPSC President Jennifer Carr urges all Canadians to stand in solidarity with their fellow workers at CUPE.