Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter and New Brunswick Premier David Alward are urging all Canadians to vote for the Bay of Fundy in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign today, Nov. 8, with just three days remaining in the competition. The premiers held simultaneous news conferences on either side of the bay to celebrate the outstanding support and recognition the Bay of Fundy has received to date and to let people know that the campaign isn’t over yet. “Time is of the essence,” said Premier Dexter. “We need all Canadians to vote now and vote often to make our spectacular Bay of Fundy one of the official New7Wonders of Nature on Nov. 11.” In Fredericton, Premier Alward encouraged people to use any of the three voting methods available in Canada. “Let everyone know that the Bay of Fundy deserves to be recognized among the top natural destinations in the world by voting,” said Premier Alward. “You can vote through votemyfundy.com, or through the New7Wonders of Nature page, or vote as many times as you can by texting the word FUNDY to 77077 for just 25 cents per vote.” While the results of the global vote won’t be available until Nov. 11, Terri McCulloch, executive director of Bay of Fundy Tourism, who attended the Halifax event, feels optimistic about the Bay of Fundy’s chances in the contest. “We know that we are receiving a high volume of votes from around the world,” said Ms. McCulloch. “Our Bay of Fundy campaign was one of the most active in the competition. It has captivated national and international audiences, as evidenced by the amount of votes Canada has received from around the world on the New7Wonders of Nature voting map, and our momentum on the website’s voting trends charts. “We hope these positive signs will result in a final seven placement for the Bay of Fundy.” Both premiers urged everyone in the region and across the country to promote the vote to friends and family around the world. Voting ends on Friday, Nov. 11, at 7:11 a.m. Atlantic Time. The New7Wonders of Nature Foundation will reveal the provisional results at 3:07 p.m.
A second union approved plans to create Canada’s biggest private sector union in a vote on Monday, promising to revitalize the labor movement with a merger between the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP) and the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW).Delegates at a CEP convention in Quebec City approved a 45-page blueprint for a new union that will boast more than 300,000 members, leaving representatives of the two unions with the task of naming the new union and determining how it will work.CAW members approved the outline plan in August.We have a lot of work ahead of us to bring our two organizations together and to consummate this marriage of two hell raisers made in heaven“We have a lot of work ahead of us to bring our two organizations together and to consummate this marriage of two hell raisers made in heaven,” CAW secretary-treasurer Peter Kennedy told a news conference announcing the vote.[np-related]Leaders of both unions have pitched the merger as a way to shore up the labor movement in the face of growing pressure for concessions and the increasing willingness of governments to intervene in labor disputes, often to the benefit of management.Organizers promise to increase the size of the union, which will accept unemployed and retired workers and expects to merge with other smaller unions in Canada in the future.“We have to be relevant and this brings us right down to the grass roots of every community,” CEP national president Dave Coles told the news conference.“There are unions right across this country that are following this…I can also say that the world’s watching…”MORE WORK AHEADBut the current proposal leaves a number of potentially divisive issues open, including who will lead the new organization, what it will be called, and which political party it will support.The CEP is closely tied to Canada’s opposition New Democrats, while the CAW takes a more pragmatic approach, supporting Liberal candidates where appropriate.The vote gives a team of union officials the go-ahead to hammer out details like these, ahead of a joint founding convention next year where members will formally approve a final plan.Coles and CAW national president Ken Lewenza would not say whether they will seek leadership of the new mega-union.The new union will span growing resource sectors such as Alberta’s oil sands, where the CEP is active, as well as central Canada’s ailing manufacturing economy.It will devote about 10% of its estimated $100-million annual revenue to organizing, twice the combined spend of the two unions.The CAW, formed in 1985 when Canadian car workers broke away from the U.S.-based United Auto Workers, wrapped up contract talks with Ford Motor Co, General Motors Co and Fiat SpA’s Chrysler Group LLC in September.But mergers and layoffs have changed the face of the union, and only about 20% of its members are now auto workers. Its top leadership, however, is still largely drawn from members who work for the Detroit automakers.The recession has hit industrial unions hard, and CAW membership – now 195,000 – is down 26% since 2005, according to documents released at its August convention.CEP’s membership has fallen more than 20% over five years, to about 110,000, according to government data.Canadian private and public sector unions have also come under pressure as the government several times pushed through back-to-work legislation, arguing that work stoppages could be damaging to an economy that only recently came out of recession.But Canadian private sector workers are still more than twice as likely to belong to a union than their U.S. counterparts, official statistics show.CAW members work at a number of major Canadian companies, including Air Canada Inc, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd and Canadian National Railway Co.CEP, itself the product of a series of mergers, organizes in the news media, natural resources companies, and in Western Canada’s expanding oil sands, It also represents workers at telecom giant BCE Inc among many other companies.© Thomson Reuters 2012