June 6, 2019 (FREDERICTON) – A safe blood supply advocate, two prominent nursing union leaders and the President of the CLC have been honoured for their advocacy at the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions’ 2019 Biennial Convention today.
BloodWatch.org Executive Director Kat Lanteigne, P.E.I. Nurses’ Union President Mona O’Shea, and United Nurses of Alberta Second Vice-President Daphne Wallace received the CFNU’s prestigious Bread & Roses Award this morning. Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff’s award was delivered at the CFNU convention’s opening reception on Monday evening.
“Every one of us is inspired by the work of these tireless advocates for the safe, fair and public health care system that all Canadians deserve,” said CFNU President Linda Silas.
Lanteigne, a Toronto-based writer and advocate, is one of the co-founders and Executive Director of BloodWatch.org, a not-for-profit organization advocating for a safe, voluntary and public blood system in Canada. BloodWatch is committed to upholding the recommendations of Justice Horace Krever’s 1993 inquiry into the origin of Canada’s tainted blood scandal. Since 2013, her tireless advocacy has helped achieve landmark legislation to protecting our voluntary public blood system in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.
O’Shea was elected president of PEINU in the spring of 2010 and has been known since as the voice of nursing in the island province. Now in her fifth term as President, O’Shea has served on the executive of PEINU since 2000. During her tenure, O’Shea fought for patients and nurses when the province began eliminating vacant positions. She has overseen the expansion of PEINU through the inclusion of primary care nurses in the province and shown leadership in supporting PEINU’s affiliation with the PEI Federation of Labour and the success of the PEI Health Coalition.
Wallace began her nursing career in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, and was a union activist within weeks. After working as an RN and union ward rep in Nova Scotia and British Columbia, she came to Alberta in 1990 where she has been active in her union ever since, holding office at every level until her election as Second VP in 2013.
Yussuff started his career as a heavy truck mechanic and soon became active with the Canadian Auto Workers union. First serving at the local level, he was later appointed director of the CAW Human Rights Department. In 1999, he was elected Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress and, later in 2002, Secretary-Treasurer. In 2014, Yussuff was elected President of the Canadian Labour Congress and is credited as having led the Congress to embrace and champion the cause of a public pharmacare program for all in Canada.
The CFNU Bread & Roses Awards are given every two years by the CFNU to honour outstanding contributions to policy, decision-making, patient advocacy and raising public awareness of issues important to nurses.
The phrase “bread and roses” is associated with the successful textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, between January and March 1912. The strike was largely led by women, and the strikers’ demand or both fair pay and dignified working conditions was summed up in the slogan, “We want bread, and roses too!”
Journalists who wish to arrange an interview with CFNU President Linda Silas or any of the Bread & Roses Award winners should contact:
Lauren Snowball, CFNU Communications Officer, 613-868-5702, firstname.lastname@example.org