Canadian building trades present monumental gift to the nation

Date: 
Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU) recently marked a historic occasion with the unveiling of the Canadian Building Trades Monument in Major’s Hill Park in Ottawa on May 16.

The monument was fabricated in Ontario with Cambrian black granite, quarried in Quebec.The most prominent features are a pair of oversized plumb bobs, one of the oldest tools known to mankind.The monument also features 16 iconic ‘tools of the trades’ etched into the granite. Each tool was chosen by one of the 14 different trade unions that sponsored the monument.

“CBTU is proud to offer this monument as a gift to all Canadians,” said Bob Blakely, CBTU’s chief operating officer. “This was a long time coming, we have worked hard and long to create a national monument in Canada’s capital that will celebrate the contributions made to society by the women and men who work in the building and construction trades and commemorates the losses they have endured in carrying out their work.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was present to accept the monument on behalf of the people of Canada.

Working with Indigenous communities

Canada’s Building Trades Unions resolved at the May convention to provide career opportunities in the skilled construction trades for underrepresented segments of the population including First Nations, Metis, and Inuit (FNMI) Peoples. Furthermore, the delegates committed to meaningful consultation with Indigenous communities, building respectful relationships, and continuing to advocate for cultural understanding in an environment of inclusivity and respect.

The resolution was presented by Darrell LaBoucan, the director of Canadian Affairs for the Iron Workers union, and it adopts the principles of #92 of the national Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action.

This is the first step in an initiative designed to recruit and retain under-represented populations in the workforce. Building on the momentum gained from its work with women in the trades, the national building trades will expand its advocacy to include Indigenous peoples, the next generation of building trades workers, and new Canadians.

“This initiative is important to the future of the building and construction trades as well as to the workforce of Canada,” said Lindsay Amundsen, CBTU workforce development coordinator. “We need to recruit and retain a workforce that reflects the country we live in.We are really proud of the work we have done with women in the trades and look forward to creating an even more inclusive work environment, where everyone is respected.”

For More Information: 

Contact the BC Building Trades office
(778) 397-2220

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