Red Power Forum to be re-opened, says Trudeau
Posted On July 24, 2021
A forum for Red Power activists in Ottawa will reopen under new leadership after an agreement with the city that allows the Red Power movement to continue operating under the banner of the Canadian Alliance.
The forum, which was closed for the 2015 summer, was originally to be the focus of the first day of a rally held by the CUPE, the union representing Ottawa-area workers, to mark International Workers Day.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Canadian Labor Congress, a national trade union representing the country’s roughly 12 million workers, will continue operating as the governing body for the Red Light Camera Association.
However, the agreement with Ottawa allows the Canadian Association for Red Light Cameras to continue using the Red power banner, which is intended to target drivers who have been caught red-handed by police.
While the union was previously under the umbrella of the Red Party, it has since expanded its reach to include members of the other major political parties.
But the new leadership team that replaced the CLC president, Jean-Marc Gagnon, has made a major change to the CNA, changing the organization’s name to the Canadian Action Network, according to a source familiar with the changes.
“It’s a big change and a real big challenge,” said David Schlosser, an associate professor of sociology at Simon Fraser University who specializes in the intersection of social and economic movements.
Schlosser said the Canadian alliance, which has held rallies and marches in the capital and beyond in support of the protesters, is a key player in the CUSA, the national federation of trade unions, which had been critical of the CLCC.
Although the CRLC and the CMA have been at odds with one another in recent years, Schlossers said, the new CUSA leadership has a “more balanced approach” to the union.
Despite the new structure, the CML has continued to fight the CCC, with an announcement on Monday that it is re-opening the CMP to protest the continued harassment of the activists by police and a campaign by the union to push the CCL to end its role as a platform for the movement.
The CLC, which says it is the only organization in Canada with more than 1 million members, has repeatedly called for a new police review of its use of red light cameras.
A coalition of local activists in downtown Ottawa have been organizing demonstrations, including a sit-in in front of the building where CLC President Claude Lévesque is based.
Meanwhile, the movement has taken on new faces.
This past weekend, the National Post published an article about the “coup de grâce” of the Toronto CUPEs executive board, which resulted in the resignation of one of the board members, David Kalkin, and its replacement by a group of union members.
Earlier this month, members of Toronto’s CUPEF, the largest local union, went on strike to protest what they called a series of anti-union acts by the city.
The CUPEC, which represents a broad range of industries, also announced a weeklong strike that was called by some members to protest a new law that requires employers to provide a grievance procedure for workers who complain of unsafe working conditions.