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article imageLabour Day barbecue: Unions, politicians serving less fortunate Special

By Paula Kirman     Sep 8, 2015 in World
Edmonton - An annual barbecue on Labour Day saw unions and politicians in Edmonton feed the less fortunate while connecting with the community.
EDLC Labour Day Barbecue for the Unemployed and Underemployed.
EDLC Labour Day Barbecue for the Unemployed and Underemployed.
The Edmonton and District Labour Council's 26th annual Labour Day Barbecue for the Unemployed and Underemployed feeds several thousand visitors each year in Little Italy's Giovanni Caboto Park, located in the inner city neighbourhood of McCauley. The food was cooked up and served by members of the EDLC's executive and member unions, as well as a number of local politicians. Many of the politicians were part of Alberta's new NDP Cabinet, while others were candidates running for office in the upcoming federal election.
MLA Brian Mason (Minister of Infrastructure and Minister of Transportation). EDLC Labour Day Barbecu...
MLA Brian Mason (Minister of Infrastructure and Minister of Transportation). EDLC Labour Day Barbecue for the Unemployed and Underemployed.
From left: MLAs Marie Renaud  Shaye Anderson  and Nicole Goehring. EDLC Labour Day Barbecue for the ...
From left: MLAs Marie Renaud, Shaye Anderson, and Nicole Goehring. EDLC Labour Day Barbecue for the Unemployed and Underemployed.
Volunteers also helped with crowd control, picking up garbage, and children's activities which included face painting and a bouncy castle. This year, there was also a seed giveaway for those who enjoy gardening, and free books.
Free books at the EDLC Labour Day Barbecue for the Unemployed and Underemployed.
Free books at the EDLC Labour Day Barbecue for the Unemployed and Underemployed.
The EDLC Labour Day Barbecue has been a source of controversy in recent years in McCauley. The community league felt it was a source of noise, garbage, and crime in an area already stressed by poverty and an abundance of free meals from agencies and worked towards having the barbecue moved elsewhere. However, that particular version of the community league was completely voted out in 2014 by a landslide, the barbecue being one of the contentious issues that led to that decision by those who attended the 2014 AGM, many of whom were union members who live in the community.
Live entertainment at the EDLC Labour Day Barbecue for the Unemployed and Underemployed.
Live entertainment at the EDLC Labour Day Barbecue for the Unemployed and Underemployed.
At the 2015 McCauley Community League AGM, the community voted overwhelmingly in favour of keeping the barbecue in Giovanni Caboto Park. "When they [the community] bring up a concern we do deal with it as best we can and try to alleviate the concern. We do undertand they are issues but we try not to make them the community's issues," says Len Legault, an executive member of the EDLC and an Ironworker.
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