All signs point to another busy year for the North Okanagan Labour Council as the Liberal government in Victoria continues its assault on the local economy by cutting jobs, services and attacking those who need the government's help the most.
"We've been going full tilt almost from the day this government was elected fighting to stop cuts that have hurt our economy, hurt families and cost this region hundreds and hundreds of decent-paying jobs," said David Doran, who was re-elected NOLC president at the organization's annual general meeting Wednesday in Kelowna.
"It has been difficult fighting a government that seems so determined to destroy our economy, but it's a fight our communities can't afford to lose."
Under Doran's leadership, the NOLC last year was instrumental in organizing community rallies and marches that let the Liberals at least know there was strong opposition to their policies.
The NOLC worked with community groups in Vernon and Kelowna that have also been formed in response to the Liberal cuts and joined with the Telecommunications Workers Union in opposing cuts at Telus that are costing the Okanagan hundreds of its best jobs.
The NOLC has lobbied politicians at all levels directly on economic, social and health-care issues and was active in civic elections from Armstrong to Westbank.
As well, each year the council organizes activities to mark the annual Day of Mourning on April 28 that remembers workers killed and injured in the workplace and put on its annual spring labour school, this year taking place March 29-30 at the Okanagan University College North Kelowna campus.
Returning to the NOLC executive with Doran are vice-presidents David Mitchell, Cathy Seagris and Ron Bobowski, secretary-treasurer Judi Filion, recording secretary Pat Bulmer and sergeant at arms Trudy Ames.
Three long-time NOLC supporters and community activists join the executive: Karen Abramsen as southern delegate and David Porteous as trustee from Kelowna and Louise Turner, northern delegate, from Vernon.
"It's important we continue to speak out," said Doran. "Somebody has to fight for our communities and while it sure hasn't been our elected provincial and federal representatives, we'll keep trying to make them realize the damage they're doing."
The NOLC meets monthly with meetings alternating between Vernon and Kelowna. The next meeting is March 5 at the Village Green Hotel in Vernon, beginning at 7 p.m.