Mr. Speaker, 100 years ago, on May 15, 1919, Winnipeg unions declared a general strike.
Reacting to oppressive laws and dangerous working conditions, 30,000 workers rose up to demand basic human rights. Labourers, public servants and even the city police walked off the job. Manitoba's Conservative government declared the strike the work of Bolsheviks and “alien scum”, new immigrants.
Then the federal government sent in the Northwest Mounted Police as strike breakers. On Bloody Saturday, their violent actions caused the death of two workers and ended the strike. Even today we hear the echos of this dangerous thinking, as immigrants are scapegoats and working-class people are marginalized.
Two years later, a Liberal government took power, enacting sweeping reforms to our labour laws.
I, for one, am proud to be part of a government that works to advance the rights of all Canadian citizens.