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On behalf of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour, I would like to extend my best wishes to our affiliates and to all New Brunswickers for the New Year. I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank New Brunswick Federation of Labour (NBFL) affiliated members for the work that you do in your communities and within the labour movement. Your contributions make New Brunswick a better place to live and work.

The NBFL continues to work to change legislation to improve the lives of workers. We made some gains over the past years. The provincial government adopted First Contract Arbitration legislation. Workplace violence is being added to the Occupational Health and Safety Act as an occupational hazard.

During the recent provincial election, the NBFL put forward four priorities, namely improving workplace health and safety, protecting public services, adopting pay equity legislation for the private sector and improving basic labour standards such as providing paid sick-days for all employees. During the Higgs government’s mandate, the NBFL will work to educate our elected representatives on labour’s election priorities, to advance these issues. We will also work to protect the gains made during the last mandate that affect workers and their families.

2019 will be an exciting year for the NBFL. We look forward to hosting our 54th Convention at the Four Points by Sheraton Edmundston from Sunday May 26 to Wednesday May 29, 2019. Delegates will debate resolutions that will determine the NBFL’s work agenda for the next two years.

In closing, I wanted to say that the labour movement is critical to the lives of working people, now more than ever. The NBFL is the collective voice of workers in the province – representing 35,000 people who work in every sector of our economy, in every region of the province.

We are a vital voice in shaping our communities. As a movement we tackle issues that impact everyone – safe workplaces, minimum wage, pension and retirement security, protection of public services, and so much more. Our advocacy continues to make significant changes for the better – but we have more work to do. We must remain committed to the long-term project of building a province and an economy that works for everyone.

Our greatest strength is our people and our passion. I look forward to working with all of you in the year ahead, and advancing the campaigns and issues that we know make a difference.