By Cameron R. Goodfellow, Registered Technologist Nuclear Medicine (RTNM) & Member of SEIU-West
By day I work alongside many of you in Saskatoon as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. I recently became more involved with our Union as a Shop Steward and I put my name forward to be the SEIU-West representative on the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) Pride and Solidarity Committee. In my spare time, I volunteer on the Board of Saskatoon Diversity Network (SDN), the group that plans the local Pride Festival in Saskatoon.
At the beginning of February, I had an opportunity to attend the Fierte Canada Pride (FCP) Conference in Ottawa. FCP is an organization of Pride Festivals across Canada from coast-to-coast-to-coast that hosts an Annual Conference. This year, Ottawa played host and also enabled Pride Organizations a day of meeting MPs on Parliament Hill to advocate and lobby for strengthening the role of the LGBTQ+ Secretariat. The conference itself consisted of panel discussions on various topics but a first for the FCP Conference was a panel discussion on the Role of Labour and Unions with Pride. Though very Ontario-centric, UFCW and OPSEU were invited to give presentations on how Labour and Pride are not separate entities. Rather, the rights for one are the rights for all.
The one takeaway that I want to stress is how important an annual conference like the FCP is. It is an opportunity for Prides to come together and share their experiences and you learn a lot of different things. Montreal actually has the largest budget in the country, Vancouver gets charged excessive municipal fees, and Saskatoon has one of the better relationships with police in the country.
Personally, I would love to see more involvement of Saskatchewan unions in Pride events this year. Saskatoon Pride Festival takes place June 14-22, 2019. Email [email protected] for more information.