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Candace Rennick Elected CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer

CUPE Ontario is celebrating the election of Candace Rennick as the new Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE National at its 30th biennial convention today.

“I want to thank the members in Ontario for the trust and confidence they have placed in me over the last 12 years as CUPE Ontario’s Secretary Treasurer,” said Candace Rennick, CUPE National’s Secretary-Treasurer elect. “The support and encouragement I have received from all parts of the organization during this election campaign has been overwhelming.”

Candace, who had served as CUPE Ontario’s Secretary-Treasurer since 2009, will be stepping down from that role as she takes on this new position at CUPE National. This marks the first time, in almost two decades, that a woman or a representative from Ontario has occupied one of the two top spots in Canada’s largest union.

“This is an important day for all the members of CUPE,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario. “While we are going to miss Candace enormously at CUPE Ontario, we know our national union’s resources are going to be steered by an amazing Secretary-Treasurer. After more than a decade working with Candace, I have every confidence her experience, determination and organizing skills are going to ensure that all CUPE members, from coast to coast to coast, have the resources they need to fight back and move our union forward.”

CUPE Ontario’s Executive Board, as per the Constitution, will be electing a new Secretary-Treasurer at its meeting next week. The interim Secretary-Treasurer will serve until elections at the CUPE Ontario Convention in April 2022.

“I have been humbled and honoured to serve as the Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE Ontario for the last twelve years,” said Candace. “It is bittersweet to be transitioning out of a role I have loved at CUPE Ontario, but I have always believed that, as union leaders, we are all only temporary stewards of our collective work and resources. Our primary focus should always be to leave the union better than we found it, stronger for the members, and I leave this position with the full confidence that, together, we have done exactly that.”

Candace had served in several positions on the CUPE Ontario Executive Board since first being elected in 2002. She became an active CUPE member at the age of 16 when she began working as a long-term care worker in Peterborough and was elected President of CUPE Local 2280 at the age of 22. During her time at CUPE Ontario, Candace made trade union history, becoming the youngest and first ever woman elected as its Secretary Treasurer. She has also become one of the province’s foremost advocates for long term care residents.

“Candace has not only made history in our union, but also in our province,” said Hahn. “For close to two decades, she has been leading our collective work demanding a legislated, minimum standard of at least 4 hours of hands-on care for residents in long term care. She never wavered from organizing and advocating for what residents and workers needed, even when the political odds were stacked against us. I can’t think of a better tribute to her hard work that, as she leaves CUPE Ontario to take on this exciting new challenge at CUPE National, a legislated standard of care is about to become the law in Ontario.”