2016—2017 · V. 44 No. 3


2016—2017 · V. 44 No. 3



CPAC Conference

The Communications/Political Action Committee (CPAC) hosted its biennial conference on November 4 and 5 in Toronto. This year’s theme was Hear We Go, which was designed to get local CPA Officers and local leaders to think about the importance of improving our skills in reaching and engaging members, and then inciting them to action.

The conference was attended by about 170 delegates from across the province, who participated in plenary sessions and training workshops to improve their skills in communications and political action. Erika Shaker, from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, opened the conference with a retrospective look at the effects of precarious work on young adults and the broader community, especially in the education sector.

During her presentation, entitled “Feeling the Burn of the ‘Job Churn,’” Erika provided a number of statistics showing that Canada has an ever-growing problem with child poverty and a lack of stable work for Canada’s youth, and the overall negative impact these issues have on our communities.

At the conclusion of her presentation, Erika noted that the issue of precarious work is, “neither new nor inevitable: devaluing workers, undermining those supports that provide people with the opportunities to collectively demand better, and attacking public institutions as old fashioned or outmoded is hardly an innovative strategy.”

Delegates also attended a panel discussion where they received advice and ideas from three former MPPs on what makes for effective lobbying. Rosario Marchese (Trinity—Spadina), Garfield Dunlop (Simcoe North) and Carol Mitchell (Huron—Bruce) all provided insights into best practices for engaging and influencing members of the legislature.

Nine workshop options were made available to delegates in the areas of communications and political action. They included both basic and advanced practices in communications to better reach local members, as well as how to get members out to support community events. In addition, training was offered in lobbying skills, how to get involved in local labour councils, and the basics of how the provincial level of government works.

Next year, CPAC will host regional training sessions for local officers and leaders.

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