Celebrating Labour returns to in-person in Port Elgin

                                                                    For larger view, Click on Image

Labour Day has been marked as a statutory public holiday in Canada on the first Monday in September since 1894. However, the origins of Labour Day in Canada can be traced back to numerous local demonstrations and celebrations in earlier decades.

In 1889, the Royal Commission on the Relations of Labour and Capital in Canada recommended recognition of an official “Labour Day” by the Federal government and, in March and April, 1894 unions lobbied Parliament to recognize Labour Day as a public holiday. Legislation was introduced in May by then Prime Minister Sir John Thompson and received royal assent in July 1894.

Since then, Labour Day has been a day of formal recognition for the labour movement and a day of rest and recreation for workers. While Labour Day parades and picnics are organized by unions, many Canadians regard Labour Day as the Monday of the last long weekend of summer.

In Port Elgin, the Labour Day parade 2022 returned to in-person following the two year hiatus due to COVID.

For larger view, Click on Image

Hundreds of Union workers and retirees turned out to march in the Parade following which a community BBQ was held at the UNIFOR Family Education Centre.

                                           Gathering in the main assembly hall

Each year, the parade, organized by the Grey Bruce Labour Council, has been the lead-in to a week of meetings and seminars at the Centre for Union retirees who come from across Ontario.  They discuss subjects such as the Rights of the Older Person, Pensions, Affordable Housing, Health and long-term care.

Dave Trumble, Vice-President of the Grey Bruce Labour Council, said that,  “In Grey Bruce the Labour Council is about diversity, inclusivity, equality and accessibility.  It is our affiliate unions and Unifor that make Labour Day what it is in Port Elgin.”


         President Kevin Smith

“Today is not about the pandemic, the June election that took place or the October election coming up,” said Grey Bruce President Kevin Smith. “It is about celebrating those who came before and those frontline workers who went above and beyond for the past two years.  It was the workers who kept this country afloat for those two years.  We must encourage everyone to stand strong with a collective voice.”



Chris Stephens, Vice-President Labour Council Grey County added that “Workers should be able to earn a living with one job not have to work several to live.  Right now, work is precarious.  We are the working class and are willing to extend a hand to pull other workers up with us. Those before us fought for many great things and won – vacation pay, weekends, health and safety, civil rights and equality and all the things that we have today.  We have so much more because of them.  The misconception is that they did it just for union workers and that’s a myth.  They did it for all workers. I encourage everyone to not use self-checkouts for instance as they are replacing cashiers. This Municipal election will have the greatest impact on communities and I encourage everyone to get out and vote.”