Four of Canada’s major unions are coming together to get more than just an “I’m sorry” out of the Conservative government for the horrific abuse that Canada’s Aboriginals endured while in the residential-school system.
The “Sorry is Not Enough” campaign has brought together the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the United Steelworkers (USW), Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which together represents tens of thousands of unionized workers across the country.
John Gordon, national president of PSAC, announced in a press conference on October 29 that an apology is simply inadequate when Aboriginals in many respects are some of the most marginalized individuals in the country.
Beyond an apology, the unions are looking for the Conservatives to make it right by addressing Aboriginal poverty. While an apology was a good start, the unions have pointed to how there is no access to clean drinking water on many reserves and that the living conditions there are also subpar in comparison to the rest of Canadian society.
In support of the four unions, MP Jean Crowder, the NPD’s native affairs critic, is urging all Canadians to write the Conservative government to pressure them into signing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as it could improve the lives of many in Canada.