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Human rights in the Trump era: OPSEU conference looks at new realities

Human Rights Conference 2016 - New Realities, Different Directions

Toronto – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) will host its fourth human rights conference this weekend, this time under the theme of “New Realities, Different Directions.”

Date: Friday, November 18 to Sunday, November 20, 2016
Place: Chelsea Hotel, 33 Gerrard Street West, Toronto

“This conference is an opportunity for members to think critically about current dangerous misconceptions surrounding migrant workers, immigrants, and refugees,” said Owen Smith, Chair of OPSEU’s Provincial Human Rights Committee. “The weekend will focus on the impact of current immigration laws on the workforce and the labour movement. We’ll also be talking about timely topics like islamophobia and the criminalization and exploitation of racialized communities. In the wake of the US election results, these issues are more relevant than ever.

“I’m pretty sure Donald Trump will be a topic of conversation.”

Renu Mandhane, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, will give the keynote address on Saturday, November 19 at 9:15a.m. in the Mountbatten Salon. The conference will also feature an address by Syed Hussan, an activist and organizer with Migrant Workers Alliance for Change and No One Is Illegal, and a performance by socialist hip hop artist and activist Mohammad Ali Aumeer.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas applauded the work of the union’s Provincial Human Rights Committee in putting together a vibrant conference agenda.

“Everything we do as trade unionists is part of a larger struggle for human rights for all people in Canada and globally,” said Thomas. “This conference will not only be fun and enriching; it will also strengthen important bonds among members, and encourage them to continue fighting for human rights for all.”

For more information: A/Communications Officer Roz Gunn, 416-708-7390