Statement by Bea Bruske: Respecting rights is a two-way street

February 2, 2022

OTTAWA––Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress, released the following statement today:

“Canada’s unions believe the right to protest is fundamental to our democracy. This is a right cherished by Canada’s labour movement and one we have fought for many times over many years.

“We respect the rights of all Canadians to hold their own views and express their own opinions. But what we are witnessing on the streets of Ottawa is no longer just a protest.

“We have witnessed bullying on the streets of Ottawa and right-wing extremists flying the Nazi and Confederate flags, symbols of violence and hate.

“We’ve seen intimidation and harassment of workers just trying to serve customers, get by and stay safe in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. Workers are being cut off from their ability to even get to work, suffering economic losses they can ill afford.

“We thank the many frontline workers in health care, retail, social services, transit and so many others who keep showing up for us, even in the face of such adversity. Frontline workers in Ottawa have already sacrificed so much and deserve better.

“Canada’s unions stand unequivocally against hateful and vile messages and condemn the ongoing harassment of workers in our capital.

“We respect everyone’s right to protest and have their say but we ask those protesting to respect everyone else’s rights. Including respecting the outcome of the recent election and letting Canada’s elected MPs get down to work for Canadians.”

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