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Canadian Labour Congress elects new president to lead nation’s biggest labour group

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Members of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) have elected a new president and leadership team, who will take the reins of the country’s largest labour organization for the next two years.

Bea Bruske of United Food and Commercial Workers was elected president in a Friday evening vote featuring more than 4,000 delegates affiliated with the CLC.

“I am honored to be elected as CLC’s new President and I’m looking forward to working with a dedicated team committed to advancing the interests of the nation’s workers and their families,” said Bruske in a news release issued by the CLC.

Bruske is joined by successful candidates Lily Chang, who was elected secretary-treasurer and Siobhan Vipond who was elected as an executive vice-president.

Returning executive vice-president Larry Rousseau was re-elected for a second term, the CLC said.

The organization represents more than three million workers affiliated with a variety of unions and labour councils.

Bruske replaces outgoing president Hassan Yussuff, who led the CLC for the past seven years.

Yussuff has been credited with helping to achieve numerous labour advancements, including expansions to the Canada Pension Plan and the implementation of a $15 per hour federal minimum wage.

However, some critics have said Yussuff aligned the CLC too closely with the governing Liberals during his tenure, and moved the organization away from its traditional political partner, the NDP.

Delegates of the CLC also approved resolutions around Islamophobia and anti-Asian racism during the Friday convention. They also called on the federal government to fulfil the 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

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