Election Debrief Speakers

 

   

Bea Bruske was elected as CLC President at the CLC’s 29th Constitutional Convention in June 2021.

Over the past three decades, Bea Bruske has served workers and families as an activist, workers’ advocate, negotiator, community organizer and union labour leader.

Bea’s passion for the rights of working people was ignited in 1987, when she and her UFCW Local 832 co-workers held the line strong for 125 days to achieve a fair contract at the Westfair grocery chain in Manitoba. Over the next seven years, Bea took on roles as a shop steward, health and safety committee member, and was elected by her fellow members as a vice-president of the Local’s executive board.

In 1994, Bea was hired as a full-time union representative, and later, full-time negotiator. Over two decades, she serviced and bargained for tens of thousands of Local 832 members in the health care, food production, retail, non-profit and security sectors.

In 2011, Bea Bruske was elected UFCW Local 832 Secretary-Treasurer. In her role as Secretary-Treasurer, Bea was responsible for administering the largest private-sector local union in Manitoba, with 20,000 members. She also continued as a negotiator — bargaining contracts with some of Canada’s largest cross-country employers.

Nationally, Bea Bruske was a Vice-President of the UFCW Canada National Council, which sets the strategic direction for the national union and its more than 250,000 members across the country.

In addition, Bea served on the UFCW Canada National Council Human Rights, Equity and Diversity Committee; as a trustee on a number of health and welfare trust funds; served as trustee on the Manitoba Council of Health Care Union HEPP (Health Employee Pension Plan); three terms on the Manitoba Federation of Labour executive board, as well as an employee representative to the Manitoba Labour Board from 2007 to 2018. Bea was also a member of the executive board of the Manitoba NDP and is a graduate of the University of Manitoba in Labour Studies.

 
         
   

David Coletto is CEO and a founding partner of Abacus Data a full-service market research and strategy firm based in Ottawa and Toronto.

With over a decade and a half of experience in the industry, David and his partners founded Abacus eleven years ago and since then it has grown into one of Canada's most respected market research firms. David has worked with many of Canada’s leading associations, corporations, and non-profits including Cooperation Canada, Oxfam, Shaw Communications, the Canadian Medical Association, the Bank of Canada, and the Canadian Real Estate Association.

He earned a PhD in Political Science from the University of Calgary in 2010 and is an adjunct professor at Carleton University. He is the host and producer of inFocus with David Coletto a new podcast that explores the intersection of public opinion, politics, public policy, and consumer behaviour. He’s a Millennial, a foodie, a cyclist, and an avid traveller. He’s been tracking Canadian public opinion and consumer trends on technology, news consumption, and public policy for years and is one of Canada’s leading experts on generational change and Millennials in particular.

 
         
   

Judy Duncan founded ACORN Canada over 16 years ago in August 2004. Under her management, the organization has now grown to over 140,000 members, 24 chapters and 9 cities across the country. Before moving back to Canada, Judy worked as a lead organizer for Washington ACORN for 1.5 years. Judy received her M.A. in Community and Regional Planning from the University of British Columbia in 2003.

 
         
   

Alejandra Bravo is the Director of Leadership and Training at the Broadbent Institute, where she builds backbone for progressive organizing in Canada. She is also the Director of the Power Lab, a leadership learning initiative focused on local organizing for a fair economy.

Active in the community benefits movement, she supports leaders working to build campaigns and coalitions organizing for economic opportunities for historically disadvantaged and equity-seeking groups. Alejandra contributes to movement building as a facilitator, trainer, mentor and strategist with various social change efforts.

Previously she was Manager of Leadership and Learning at Maytree, where she designed and delivered political and civic training for emerging and diverse leaders. Alejandra has a 25-year history of working for progressive social change with grassroots, immigrant, and labour groups. She has worked as a community organizer, political staff and has been a City Council candidate in Toronto.

 
     

 

 
   

Amira Elghawaby is a human rights advocate and journalist. She is a contributing columnist for the Toronto Star and Press Progress. 

Amira has had an extensive career working in human rights and supporting initiatives to counter hate and to promote inclusion, including as a founding board member of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network and past board member at the Silk Road Institute. Her 2019 TEDXOttawa talk was titled “Multiculturalism: Worth Defending”.  

She currently serves as a Commissioner on the Public Policy Forum’s Canadian Commission on Democratic Engagement and is a delegate of the 2022 Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference. 

Amira obtained an honours degree in Journalism and Law from Carleton University in 2001.