Nov. 14, 2023
GSU was represented by many members from across the country at the recent PSAC Equity Conferences in Montreal. Four of the conference delegates are members of the GSU Human Rights / Equity Committee and have shared their reflections below.
The conference featured a broad spectrum of speakers and information sessions and some of the highlights for me were the discussions around reconciliation and acknowledgement of indigenous treaties and land by Dr. Hayden King ; the role of race based trauma in the workplace by Lana Mclean; Janet Conway on the rise, influence and implications of the far right in Canada and its effects on women’s rights; Chris Bergeron who described trans experience and the consequences of workplace discrimination and violence and finally, Max Brault on accessibility barriers and legislation.
- Will Tait, National Vice-President, Equity
For me, the most significant advantage of attending the 2023 PSAC National Equity Conference in October 2023 was the opportunity to connect with activists who share my lived experiences. I have never had the opportunity to be in a room with so many 2SLGBTQIA+ and persons with disabilities before. The experience of being among so many people like me was honestly emotional. The conference’s ally sessions also gave me the opportunity to reflect on the role I play in equity spaces as a white settler. I came away from the conference questioning how I can be an effective ally. How can I leverage the privileges I hold to support my racialized and Indigenous comrades? Am I caught up in concerns about looking like a good ally instead of taking meaningful action? These reflection questions will help fuel my activism going forward.
- Jade Conrad, Local 70017, Shared Services Canada
The 2003 PSAC National Equity Conferences provided a platform for all delegates/participants to connect and exchange ideas. Networking sessions and workshops allowed us to forge new relationships and discuss issues that are relevant to our forever journey to Equity. A very remarkable gathering of minds, I would like to thank and congratulates PSAC as well as all the participants for such a fantastic job!
- Daniel Tapar, Equity Officer, Local 50057, Royal Canadian Mint
I got to meet great activists in the equity movement and made lasting connections and friendships. The caucuses passed several resolutions to develop separate conferences for the equity groups including 2SLGBTQIA+, indigenous and access members. Currently, PSAC has a conference for racially visible and women. During the debates on resolutions, we got to learn firsthand the lived experiences of some of our members from numerous equity groups. It was difficult hearing some of the stories but the experience will make us better activists for all our members. During the conference, we also participated in a anti hate counter protest and a rally for indigenous rights. Overall, the conference was extremely well organized with only a few little hurdles to overcome.
- Sarah Bolger, Regional Vice-President, Newfoundland & Labrador
To learn more about the speakers and presenters mentionned above:
Hayden King - https://yellowheadinstitute.org/author/hayden-king/
Chris Bergeron – https://en.adn-conferenciers.com/conferenciers-chris-bergeron
Max Brault - https://www.bdo.ca/our-people/max-brault