• elder.jpgGary Joseph is originally from the Big River Cree Nation in central Saskatchewan, and since 1994 makes his home on the Sipekinakatic First Nation. In his nearly 30 years as a Maritimer, Gary has been part of many activities, including the recent welcoming of more than 750 indigenous nations in North America to Nova Scotia. Gary is a Sun Dance Leader of a ceremony in its 25th year called the White Eagle Sun Dance, which is held annually on the Elsibogtog (Big Cove) First Nation, near Rexton, New Brunswick. As a sun dancer leader, we follow the path of the sun and strive to treat everyone like the way the sun shines on all of life. To reinforce our respect and sensitivity for understanding the Creator’s role in our lives, our sacred relationship with the Sun, Mother Earth, Water, and the Winds; Gary utilizes and promotes an appreciation of ceremony, rituals, and performance from an Indigenous perspective.

  • Lana Payne was elected National President in 2022, becoming the first woman to hold this leadership office.

    Before her election, Payne served the union as Secretary-Treasurer from 2019-2022. Payne brings three decades of inspired leadership to workers, including through her previous position as Atlantic Regional Director. A proud feminist and activist, she found her home in the labour movement in 1991 with FFAW/CAW.

    A former journalist Payne wrote a newspaper column for more than 20 years and was named one of Canada’s 23 Bold Women of Vision.

    As President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour she utilized her media experience to raise the profile of the labour movement and successfully achieved significant changes to minimum wage and labour laws.

    Since Unifor’s founding, Payne has advocated for stronger union and workers’ rights, helped usher in paid leave for victims of domestic violence in the Atlantic Region and was a leader in the fightback against Nova Scotia’s unprecedented attack on workers.

    In her former role as Unifor Secretary-Treasurer, she co-ordinated Unifor’s pandemic response, including the fight for paid sick days and stronger Employment Insurance, and navigated the union through a financial crisis.

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    Daniel Cloutier was elected as Unifor Québec Director in April 2022. Cloutier first got involved with the union in 1989, during a labour dispute at Purolator that lasted four months. Upon returning to work, he was elected as a steward for Local 146 of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP), one of the founding unions of Unifor.

    He served in various capacities, including as local president before being hired as a CEP service representative in 1997. Covering a broad range of sectors provided him the opportunity to work in several regions of Québec as well as in the rest of Canada.

    Cloutier has led numerous negotiations, including several at the national level, resolved strikes and arbitrations, and worked in the Health and Safety department. He also served as president of the Canadian National Representatives Union.

    Following the creation of Unifor in 2013, Daniel joined the Health and Safety Department, where he worked to make the Service de défense des accidentées et des accidentés du travail (SDAT) an effective tool for defending local unions and their members.

    To request an interview with Daniel Cloutier, contact Véronique Figliuzzi. Media outlets can download Cloutier's high-res photo here.

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    Cyril Cinder is a dynamic and dramatic drag king known for his unique concepts and high energy performances. With experience in television, film, radio, and music, he loves introducing kings to new audiences. A fierce advocate for queerdos and oddballs everywhere, he wins over hearts and minds when he takes the stage and/or microphone as a performer, MC, and professional speaker. Despite facing protests for his drag story time performances, he takes pride in being a positive role model for his community and encouraging others to tap into their unique strengths and abilities.

    Hailing from Ottawa, ON, Cyril Cinder made his drag debut in 2014. Since then, he has performed on stages across the world, from Tokyo, Japan, to the inaugural drag brunch at the Calgary Stampede, alongside many of the world’s top drag talent. Cyril also holds multiple titles from drag pageants and competitions, and is frequently featured as a judge for drag competitions across Canada. When he’s not doing drag, Cyril Cinder is a registered psychotherapist and works extensively with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. He calls from his life experience and education to advocate for queer rights, mental health, disabled rights, and other social justice causes. Cyril is available for workshops and speaking engagements on a variety of topics, including drag, mental health, and activism.

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    Elected National Secretary-Treasurer at Unifor’s Constitutional Convention in 2022, Len Poirier formerly served as Assistant to the National President, Director of Road Transportation and long-time national service representative.

    Poirier first became a professional truck driver at Laidlaw Transport (Laidlaw Waste Systems) in 1986. Elected unit chairperson in 1988.

    Poirier has served as Unifor’s Road/Urban Transport delegate to the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and has sat on the road section steering committee for many years. He is currently the Chairperson for Canada.

    From 1986 to 1994, he was a member of CBRT & GW, co-founding the Road Transport Council is recognized as one of Unifor’s industry councils.

    Poirier had been one of the longest serving Board of Directors under the Transport Health and Safety Association of Ontario (THSAO), and with the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association of Ontario (IHSA).

    In these roles, he has worked tirelessly to support the needs of the road transportation members of our union and the broader public as well.

    Since 2008, Len has been involved or co-led national bargaining for Loomis Express and DHL with local unions from every province.

    To request an interview with Len Poirier, contact Kathleen O'Keefe. Media outlets can download Poirier's high-res photo here.

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    Jennifer Murray is Unifor’s Atlantic Regional Director, elected at the union’s 2022 Constitutional convention.

    Prior to her election, Murray served as the Atlantic Regional Representative to Unifor Local 4000.

    Murray has served as Recording Secretary and Financial Secretary of Unifor Local 4005, and as a Shop Steward.

    Her union training includes grievance handling, workplace leadership, human rights and women’s activists, in addition to Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees.

    Murray got involved with her union because she wanted to help people, saying the union does amazing work and she wanted to be part of that.

    In her spare time, Murray enjoys spending time with family, especially her niece and nephews, reading, snowshoeing and spending time at her cottage and with her cat Gus.

    To request an interview with Jennifer Murray, contact Shelley Amyotte. Media outlets can download Murray's high-res photo here.

  • Elected Western Regional Director in 2019, Gavin McGarrigle was formerly the B.C. Area Director and served as a National Representative since 2006.

    Active in many elections, McGarrigle oversaw the Unifor campaigns in 2017 and 2020 that led to a change in government and the subsequent re-election of the largest NDP majority in B.C. history.

    He has opposed anti-union legislation in Manitoba and the anti-worker policies of Alberta’s United Conservative Party and supported Unifor Votes efforts in the recent Saskatchewan and federal elections.

    McGarrigle also worked as a union organizer and mobilized members to help achieve important legislative gains including single-step unionization in B.C. to allow workers to organize more easily.

    He continues to press for a sustainable and inclusive foundation for B.C.’s forestry industry and for workers’ voices to be heard in all sectors.

    McGarrigle has been a leader on many picket lines to highlight the need for anti-scab legislation, including the Co-op Refinery lockout in Saskatchewan, and he continues to push for a nation-wide ban.

    Born in Derry, Northern Ireland, McGarrigle has lived in British Columbia for more than 25 years.

    To request an interview with Gavin McGarrigle, contact Ian Boyko. Media outlets can download McGarrigle's high-res photo here.

  • Ross-Marquette is a Queer Acadian living in rural NB. In addition to her role at the New Brunswick Common Front, she is a labour researcher for a large public sector union. She loves to cook and read science-fiction novels.

  • Peggy Nash is an educator, author and long-time advocate for workers’ rights and social justice in Canada and internationally. Her recent book Women Winning Office: An Activist’s Guide to Getting Elected is on the Independent bookstores bestseller list.

    Nash was a senior negotiator with the Canadian Auto Workers (now Unifor) and the first union woman in North America to lead negotiations with a major auto company. She also created pioneering leadership programs for women, and innovative policies on human rights.

    She was a leadership candidate for the federal New Democratic Party and inspired the involvement of many new activists. Elected multiple times as an NDP candidate and twice as a Member of Parliament, she served as Official Opposition Finance Critic and Industry Critic.

    Nash was a founding member of Equal Voice, which advocates for gender equality in public office, and she is co-founder of the ground-breaking Toronto Metropolitan University Women in the House program where she serves as a senior advisor to the Dean of Arts. In addition to her work as an educator in Canada, she has served as an election observer and educator in countries such as Ukraine, Lebanon, Niger, Ghana, Haiti, South Africa, and the DRC.

    She has been named to the Order of Canada, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Brock University, and has been named a YWCA Woman of Distinction.

    Nash is a frequent media commentator in English and French on political, social and economic issues. She lives in Toronto, and she and her partner Carl Kaufman have three sons and two grandchildren

  • Headshot-Rep3-1-scaled.jpgAs a past member of Team Canada’s hockey program, motivational speaker, and firefighter; Kendra shares her personal journey with mental illness and the isolation that cost her the dream of playing in the Olympics. Her ability to invite people into her recovery through vulnerability, authenticity and passion, leaves people understanding our inherent needs for connection and kindness.