Community Food Forum


As a result, of many cutbacks to our social programs and resources more and more food banks have been opened and are needed.   More than ever, our society is depending on volunteers, fundraising and donations.

The many people who live in poverty, are not always as obvious to us, as you may think.  There are many families who are struggling to feed their families and they may be our own neighbors.   In BC the number of people living in poverty is above the national average.  The groups affected most are the elderly, differently abled, single mothers, Indigenous people and racialized groups.

A study was put together 20 years ago to track child poverty in BC and to help decrease child poverty, unfortunately, the numbers have not changed.  1 in 5 children in this province still continue to live in poverty.  Not only that, many of our students, who are now young adults in post- secondary education also live in poverty.  The tuition costs and low wage jobs have caused many students to live in poverty.  Thus, students as a consequence forego proper nutrition and as a result their grades suffer, they are prone to depression and worse in some cases suicidal.

Protein for People Project was started in 2006 as an initiative by BC’s labour unions to help support families in need.  Protein for People work with local food banks and the community to connect families and individuals impacted by job loss, low wages, and limited incomes with resources they may need to lift them out of poverty.

Protein for People will also sponsor 10 community food forums a year.  This year, the West Kootenay Labour Council was able to host a community food forum.  We will be partnering with Selkirk College 10th St Campus.  The Chef and culinary students will volunteer to cook a salmon buffet with the salmon WKLC has bought.  They will demonstrate one or two meals for preparation and have some recipes available to take home.   Since there is an increase in student poverty the campus is very excited to join us with this forum.  

This will be an evening for families, a free salmon buffet and music. Various community resources have been invited to come and share their ideas and information.

This event will take place Oct. 18th, at Mary Hall, 10th St Campus, between 6 and 8 pm. Some of the Students of Trafalgar and Monica Markin  made little origami boxes with a little candy for each dinner placement


After the event the rest of the Salmon went to the food banks in the  Communities of  Castlegar, Nelson, Salmo and Trail.

Kootenay Pride


This years Pride Parade will be on Sunday Sept. 4th beginning at 3pm. It will begin at Central School (811 Stanley). We ask that all participants be there at 230 at the latest to get organized and lined up. The route will be similar to previous years, starting at the school and working its way to Victoria Street, then down Baker street and finishing in the 100/200 block of Baker.

We are still looking for parade/traffic marshals, and other volunteers for this years activities, so if you are interested in helping please contact Christopher Moore ( or Stephanie Myers (

A Labour Day Message from the West Kootenay Labour Council (WKLC)

images (3)

For Canada’s unions, Labour Day is a day to celebrate our work and our everyday victories we win to make life better for everyone.  It is also a day to focus on the work ahead and the improvements yet to be won.

Union’s believe in the necessity of good pensions for everyone.  For nearly a decade we advocated for stronger public pensions at the same time as we negotiated workplace pensions in unionized companies.  This year, the federal government and provincial premiers have finally agreed that it is time to expand Canada’s largest defined benefit pension – the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

While today’s seniors still need help to avoid poverty, young workers will benefit most from the expansion of CPP.  Already faced with a hostile jobs market and record levels of debt, today’s young workers need ways to save for retirement.  After a lifetime of work no one should have to struggle just to make ends meet.

With a change of attitude by our government on the need for stable pensions, it is worth noting that unionized workers at Kootenay Savings Credit Union and Canada Post in the West Kootenays are in the midst of negotiations to defend their pension plans. The workers in these organizations, among others, are determined to stop rollbacks that weaken both current and future workers’ abilities to retire in dignity.  The West Kootenay Labour Council will assist those workers, however we can, to protect their deferred retirement wages; just like we supported the fight to improve pensions for all.

The West Kootenay Labour Council and our affiliate unions are also working with Selkirk College and Protein for People to host an event in October in conjunction with the International Day to Eradicate Poverty.  Together, with the support of other organizations, we will be providing product for food banks in our communities and hosting a free salmon dinner.  This event will bring seniors and students, struggling workers and unemployed and social justice activists together to raise awareness about the impact of poverty on many members of our society.  When people join together to solve problems, it becomes a labour of love.  The West Kootenay Labour Council is proud to initiate this event and will provide much more information in the weeks to come.

For Canada’s unions, values like fairness, equality and working together are what drive us to make a difference in our communities and across the country.  Which is why we are also working hard to tackle issues like precarious work and the shrinking number of good jobs.  We believe that the Federal and Provincial governments have a significant role to play by investing in our communities, investing in alternative energy and green jobs for the future, and by raising the minimum wage.  When people are working and earning an income to meet their needs, they boost the local economy, and that benefits everyone.

Good jobs, safe workplaces, fairness and equality are the basic ingredients of a better future.  These are the things that union leaders in our Labour Council believe in and work for every day.  For us, it is truly a labour of love and it’s what motivates us in our negotiations, in our activities and in our celebrations on Labour Day and throughout the year.

Happy Labour Day to All.


Debbie Bird, President WKLC, on behalf of the Council and affiliates