‘Best kept secret’ of Canadian labour movement is an internal war that’s eating up members’ money and dividing allies

VANCOUVER—Dozens of labour leaders clad in turquoise scarves marched in near unison behind their chosen leader toward a microphone on the floor of the B.C. labour movement’s biennial parliament this November, with more than 1,000 rank-and-file union members looking on.

At the helm were Laird Cronk, the down-to-earth electrician set to be coronated as the head of the province’s most powerful movement, and Stephanie Smith, the woman in charge of B.C.’s second-largest union, who did the honours of nominating him.


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