This is our time

October 16, 2023

As we reflect on Labour Day 2023, let’s remember the reason for the holiday.

Labour Day is a day to mark workers’ sacrifices and contributions to our country. It’s a day to show our pride in the things we build, and what is possible because of what we build — hospitals, schools, skyscrapers, homes, factories and much more. Canada is powered by workers.

With the rising cost of living, workers and the value of work have gotten more attention recently, and with growing support for organized labour, let’s remember that it was workers and their unions who fought for many of the rights that Canadians now enjoy, like weekends, benefits, the eight-hour workday and health and safety at work. These protections are the result of advocacy and sacrifices made by working Canadians decades ago.

As Parliament reconvenes, we are entering an important time for Canada’s skilled tradespeople. The government is holding consultations on Investment Tax Credits introduced in the 2023 budget earlier this year. Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU) are currently advocating for skilled tradespeople by urging the federal government to pass legislation on Investment Tax Credits — financial incentives for employers who adhere to labour standards outlined in the 2023 federal budget.

To support workers and industry, the government should quickly follow through on implementing the Investment Tax Credits.

We commend the Canadian government on its commitments to implementing Investment Tax Credits for green technologies, which are tied to strong labour conditions. Now, CBTU needs your support to make these commitments a reality.

To support workers and industry, the government should quickly follow through on implementing the Investment Tax Credits, the strong definition of prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements, which will help grow our industry. These credits and their labour conditions will help create good-paying jobs for all workers and make sure that no worker is left behind in the transition to net zero.

To show your support and to ensure legislation is tabled that includes a strong definition of prevailing wage — based on union compensation — send a letter to your local member of Parliament and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. We need you to make your voice heard.

On a related note: The theme of this year’s SMART Leadership Conference was “This is Our Time,” and that couldn’t be truer. With wildfires burning across the country and health advisories being issued almost daily across North America, our skills have never been more important. Fresh air and ventilation verification are more crucial than ever. We must collectively use our expertise and meet with local, provincial and federal government leaders to ensure that our members’ skills are recognized and utilized in constructing healthy buildings and homes.

It is our time: our time to organize, our time to grow and our time to expand our contractor base. We must bring everyone that works in our trades and who carries the tools into our membership. We must use all our means to organize, and we need you to get involved in organizing by adopting the SMART Incentive Program. With you, our members, recruiting the next generation of sheet metal workers and roofers, we will strengthen our locals and set the standard for decades to come.

We have been building momentum as we strive for a better Canada and a brighter future. Please continue to stay active, get involved and stay safe!

In Solidarity,

Chris Paswisty
Director of Canadian Affairs