Sunday, 24 February 2013

Black History Month 2013 at Workers’ History Museum

In honour of Black History Month, the Workers' History Museum would like to announce that work has begun on a documentary about Calvin Best, a prominent Black union pioneer, public servant, activist and diplomat. 

Interviews and research are currently underway for the video and a travelling display. Arthur Carkner and Wasim Baobaid are working on the project, which will be available for Black History Month 2014. The Museum is providing the research, production and documentary making work while two regions of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (Ontario and National Capital) are providing funding. The project was initially endorsed by the Racially Visible Action Committee (NCR) of the same union.

Calvin Best was the multi-term president of the Civil Service Association of Canada, one of two employee associations which merged to form PSAC. Born in Nova Scotia, he was active in the first newspaper for Black Nova Scotians, which was founded by his mother, Dr. Carrie Best. She is the subject of many archival and historical articles, and was honoured with a postage stamp in the 1970’s. 

Calvin Best was fined for refusing to sit in the Black’s only section of a movie theatre in his youth. His strong sense of social activism led him to the CSAC, which he was elected president of while working at the Department of Labour. He was central in the merger talks, which led to formation of a union and collective bargaining, with all of the benefits that has provided since.

He subsequently held a number of senior posts in government, ending as Canada’s ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago. After retirement from his regular work, he headed up a federal study commission on amateur sport, and was a member of the 1999 Treasury Board committee studying visible minority participation in the Public Service of Canada. He has since passed away, but his many great contributions to create a better Canada will have a lasting effect on present and future generations of Canadians.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Workers' History Museum will be held on Monday, February 25, 2013 at PSAC National Office, 233 Gilmour Street, Ottawa.

The Institutional members' caucus will start at 6:00pm. During this time, four WHM Board representatives of the institutional members will be selected by the institutional member delegates.

The Annual General Meeting will start at 7:00pm.

Business will include a review of the museum's activities over the past year, the presentation of financial documents for 2012, the adoption of a budget for 2013 and the election of the Executive and Board members at large for the up-coming year.

All members and supporters are welcome to attend.  Only members in good standing will have the right to vote.

We hope to see everyone there and a few new faces as well.

Robert Hatfield, President
Naomi Gadbois, Vice-President
Barb Stewart, Treasurer
Dave Bennett, Secretary

Workers' History Museum

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


The following email addresses are once again available and we ask that you resume using them for any correspondence and inquiries with the museum.

General Inquiries and President:
Exhibits and Education:
Membership and Fundraising:
Oral History and Video Productions:

We thank you for your patience while we underwent our technical updates. 

Friday, 8 February 2013

Historic canals in jeopardy

Winterlude is in full swing here in the National Capital Regions as thousands of people flock to the Rideau Canal, the world's longest outdoor skating rink and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Interest in the on-going preservation and celebration of the Rideau Canal clearly falls within the mandate of the Workers’ History Museum. Unfortunately, cuts to the Rideau and Trent- Severn canal systems may put the future of these historic Canadian canals in jeopardy.

The Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE), launched a campaign over the summer of 2012 to raise awareness about the negative effects of the $29.2 million in cuts to Parks Canada. UCTE is a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and an institutional member of the Workers’ History Museum.

The Rideau Canal alone will lose $2 million annually, despite being designated a National Historic Site of Canada and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cuts will affect several other canals, including Lachine, Carillion, Chambly and Saint-Ours.

With reduced staff to maintain and manage the canals, along with proposals to shorten the operating season and hours of service, our region’s tourism industry is under threat.
“For communities along these canal systems, this means the loss of tourism dollars and millions in economic spin-offs for small businesses, such as marinas, hotels, restaurants and boat operators.”Christine Collins, UCTE National President.

Lira Buschman, UCTE Communications Officer - 613-558-4003 

Lino Vieira, PSAC Communications Officer - 416-577-0238