Monday 14 October 2013

Saturday 27 July 2013

Worth Preserving: The Family Leave Exhibit Online

The online Family Leave exhibit is on its way, but the Workers’ History Museum needs your help to increase its collection! Find out how you can help us preserve our history.

L’exposition en ligne « Congés parentaux » prend son essor, mais le Musée de l’histoire ouvrière a besoin de votre aide pour agrémenter sa collection! Pour savoir comment vous pouvez nous aider à préserver notre histoire, lisez l’article suivant :

Wednesday 24 July 2013

The Almonte Train Wreck: A Story of People (New DVD)

On a snowy December night in 1942, the town of Almonte, Ontario's Christmas celebrations were cut short when a train transporting Canadian troops rear-ended an Ottawa-bound passenger train that was waiting at the station platform. It is considered one of the worst train wrecks in Canadian history.


En 1942, par une nuit enneigée de décembre à Almonte, en Ontario, l’accident ferroviaire considéré l’un des plus désastreux dans l’histoire du Canada vient troubler les festivités de Noël : un train transportant des troupes canadiennes tamponne l’arrière d’un train de passagers à destination d’Ottawa arrêté à la gare.

En savoir plus...

Monday 15 July 2013

CEP National Women’s Conference

The Workers’ History Museum attended the 10th Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) National Women’s Conference from 20 to 22 June, 2013, at the Delta Ottawa City Centre Hotel.  Our exhibit on the Struggle for Family Leave was well received by the more than 200 conference participants.

The last day of the conference, keynote speaker Mary Walsh, actor, comedienne and activist extraordinaire led a march to Parliament Hill.

Barb Stewart and Arthur Carkner at CEP’s National Women’s Conference.

Barb Stewart et Arthur Carkner à la Conférence sur la condition féminine du SCEP.
Photo:  Bob Hatfield

La Conférence nationale sur la condition féminine du SCEP

Le Musée de l’histoire ouvrière a participé à la 10e Conférence nationale sur la condition féminine du Syndicat canadien des communications, de l’énergie et du papier (SCEP) du 20 au 22 juin, 2013, à l’Hôtel Delta, Ottawa.  Notre exposition sur la Lutte pour le congé familial était bien reçue par les plus de 200 déléguées.

La dernière journée de la conférence, la principale conférencière, Mary Walsh, actrice, comédienne et militante extraordinaire, a pris la parole et a dirigé une marche vers la colline parlementaire

Thursday 11 July 2013

Chance or Commitment: Canada's Family Leave Campaign


Source:, 7 July 2013

On the one hand, Commander Hadfield's observation is bang on. The availability of guaranteed benefits such as paid leave for parents is a crucial indicator of how we choose to treat each other. In Canada, family leave has had a major, positive effect on children's welfare and the career options for workers, especially women.

But with all due respect to Commander Hadfield, "chance" - apart from the accident of birthplace - has had little to do with the establishment of family leave. 


Saturday 6 July 2013

Rideau Canal workers commemorated in new plaque

On Thursday June 20, 2013, President Bob Hatfield represented the Workers’ History Museum as Peter Kent, Minister of Environment and Parks Canada, unveiled a plaque commemorating the national historic significance of the contributions of the Rideau Canal workers.

Hatfield remarked that it was a "moving ceremony," especially noting the speech by Kevin Dooley of the Canal Workers Commemorative Group that made reference to the canal workers - the Irish and French Canadians in particular - who laboured to build the canal, and to the hundreds of workers and family members whose lives were sacrificed during its construction. "He made the connection between those people and workers today who are still being injured and dying at work," said Hatfield, "and how that struggle for better safety conditions for workers is an important one, and an ongoing one."

Kevin Dooley was a prime mover in the bid to have the historical importance of Rideau Canal Workers officially recognized.  19 June 2013, Mr. Dooley spoke at a ceremony to unveil a plaque which recognizes the Rideau Canal workers. Photo by: Bob Hatfield

Ensuring that workers were recognized in this national monument was an important campaign for the WHM. An earlier designation of the Rideau Canal as a site of historical import credited Colonel John By, who supervised construction, but failed to mention those who actually built the canal: the Scottish and English masons and the labourers  particularly  the Navvies” who were largely Irish immigrants and French Canadians.

This oversight was contested by the CWCG. The WHM was among the groups that successfully lobbied Minister Peter Kent and other parties in support of the CWCG's proposal. The contributions and sacrifices of working men and women are now enshrined on the plaque that stands at the Rideau Locks in Ottawa. 

For more information about the ceremony and the campaign for recognition, please follow the link to Kevin Dooley's article at True North Perspective.