QUEEN'S PARK – In recognition of Black History Month, NDP MPP Dr. Jill Andrew (Toronto-St. Paul’s), Official Opposition critic for Women’s Social & Economic Opportunities, Culture & Heritage has been honoured by Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) in partnership with the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) for her ongoing contributions to Black communities and the labour movement.
Yolanda McClean, Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE Ontario, said: “I am delighted that my friend, sister and fellow activist Jill Andrew is being honoured by the OFL, CBTU and CUPE. She is an author and an advocate for the "people" not to mention a former CUPE member and has made enormous and important contributions to our communities. These recognitions are a wonderful and fitting start to Black History Month and I can’t think of anyone who deserves this more than Jill. Congratulations to her!”
Each year, CUPE honours an ancestor from the Black communities for their historical achievements and their commitment to fighting anti-Black racism. This year, for the first time, CUPE will be honouring a living activist.
“CUPE is proud to celebrate Jill Andrew for all the ways she’s making history and sparking change. Whether it’s on the floor of the legislature or at the grassroots in her community, her leadership, passion and strength are inspiring,” said Mark Hancock, CUPE National President.
Andrew’s continued work in advancing equity through pro-labour legislation includes calls to repeal Bill 124, mandate the application of an intersectional gender-based analysis to all legislation, amend the Hairstyling Program Standard to include mandatory training for Black and racialized hair and to address race-based hair discrimination in film, TV, and live performance, as well as Bill 16, Racial Equity in Education Standards Act, brought forward by MPP Dr. Laura Mae Lindo and co-sponsored by MPP Andrew and MPP Lise Vaugeois.
Each of these are part of her advocacy work for the Black communities and her ongoing commitment to equity through the protection and expansion of workers’ rights across Ontario.
“I am deeply honoured by this recognition. I will continue to do my level best to listen to, represent, and advocate for, and with, our community without reservation for the rights we deserve. Our elders and ancestors got us here. It's our privilege and our responsibility to do all that we can to honour them and to make life better for those coming after us,” said Andrew.
Candace Rennick, CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer
“When it comes to supporting workers, Jill shows us how it’s done. She connects the dots between our struggles for racial, gender and economic justice, and is a powerful voice against discrimination in all its forms.”
Ahmad Gaied, the Secretary-Treasurer for the Ontario Federation of Labour
“We are proud to honour MPP Dr. Jill Andrew for her unflagging commitment to advocating for the rights of workers, protecting our public services, and fighting to end the cost-of-living crisis, which has a disproportionate impact on Black, racialized and other equity-deserving communities.”