Labour Day Message

Sep 3, 2016

Our Labour Day message has been on a variety of themes over the last few years. We would like to think that those themes were pretty important and related to you, your family and your workplace. The idea of the message at Labour Day is to get you to think about things that matter both in your work life and that impact you and your community at home. We have a bit of a change of pace for the 2016 Labour Day message!

As a part of our Canadian Policy Conference in May we dedicated the site for the Construction Worker Monument. We had the government of Canada, the artist and a number of dignitaries from our industry. An aboriginal elder (who was also a member of the Bricklayers) spoke to the purpose that the Creator has for all of us and about how our work, in building and maintaining Canada, impacts others as well as speaking about how rewarding the trade is personally. The artist has designed the monument to be timeless and to represent what we do every day. That is taking a site in its natural state and beginning to create such structures as are required to bring that site to the use required; it is applying the timeless principles that generations of our predecessors lived by – Doing work which is plumb, level and square. The Monument is a salute to those tradespersons who came before us and celebrates their achievements as well as providing a thoughtful remembrance of the sacrifices that they had to make in order to achieve. The idea of timelessness also looks forward to those men and women who will come after us to develop and maintain the entire infrastructure that maintains modern society.

You should make sure that your children and grandchildren, the people over the fence and those that you might stand in line next to at Tim Horton’s know that what you do is building a nation. Every building, factory, industrial concern, residence and any other structure you can think of is built by the members of our crafts, trades and occupations in the construction industry. Every other endeavour is built on a foundation and edifice that we must first create. Society collapses if we do not do our work and do it well. You, the men and women of Canada’s Building Trades Unions have so much to be proud of. It was my privilege to be on a number of major projects over the course of the year and what you do is actually miraculous. It is no different than the work you do every day on so many other smaller projects. You do the job right the first time and every time.

As indicated, we have the artist who will oversee the design and the sculptural elements of the Monument. We have contractors who will employ our members to execute the design. There are materials on both the Building Trades’ website ( and the Canadian Construction Worker Monument website ( and a video is being released as a part of Labour Day 2016. The video is on the site so take some time and have a look. When people come to Canada’s capital they get to see the sights and a lot of those sights are monuments to the mighty, the brave, the politicians and a host of other people. Finally, there will be a place to celebrate and remember the men and women who give so much to physically build and maintain our great country.

On behalf of the Chairman and members of the Canadian Executive Board, the staff of the Canadian Office and on behalf of our members, we wish you the best for the holiday that your skill and work has earned!! Happy Labour Day!!