For the past 7 years, I have been a regular contributor to the Labour Views column. It has been my pleasure and honour to write about issues as they relate to the Environment, Labour and Social Justice. My submissions, I felt, reflected the general sentiments of many of you as it related to these topics.
In the twilight of my years I’m preparing to start a new chapter as I retire to enjoy the fruits of my life’s labour. And, I do so with much appreciation and gratitude for those who preceded me and fought the battles to ensure that right was not lost. It is my wish the fight continues so those who follow can do likewise with relative comfort.
The unfortunate belief is that once you have something you can never lose it. Sadly, with but the stroke of a pen, governments can take away hard earned rights. So many issues remain to be addressed while many wins need to be safe guarded. Complacency is the killer that will see future generations lose and render redundant the sacrifices of those who now represent our past and who paid heavy prices.
Democracy is fickle and requires that we stay ever vigil to keep safe the wins of our past and expand them to encompass the needs of the present and future. This never-ending battle truly requires little on the part of working class people everywhere. Even while retired, I’ll still sign petitions, join rallies, volunteer some of my time and above all… Vote!
These few small things may seem trivial but have a huge impact on outcomes. You can rest assured the powers that be will take notice when the numbers are on our side. Politicians and rich alike shake at the sight of large numbers of people voicing displeasure with being taken for granted or not heard. It’s all about choice and the choice is yours to do something, however small to help make a difference.
Even doing nothing is a choice and one that favours the oppressor. It’s regrettable that we often are forced to choose between left and right when the real objective is actually up or down. Whether left or right leaning, politically speaking, I think it safe to say we all want to move up.
The things that matter most to us can differ greatly from one person to another. Despite our differences, I believe we all aspire for a better quality of life and as such we must work together to achieve common goals. I do believe there is a great deal more that unites us than divides.
I have thoroughly enjoyed these past 7 years in Yellowknife and the people who call her home. As the REVP for the North region of the PSAC, it was a privilege to represent members across all three of our Northern Territories. I’ve travelled to every province and territory in Canada and Northerners are second to none.
I will continue the fight into retirement and hope you will too. The future is ours if only we are brave enough to fight for it.
This article originally appeared in the Yellowknifer on May 5, 2021