Message From President Bilous RE: False Statements In Media By Mayoral Candidates Klein & Motkaluk
September 19, 2022
To: All Members of Local 867
While some of your UFFW board and I were away this week with the families of our fallen, honouring their ultimate sacrifices in Colorado Springs, I was made aware of some attacks on the United Firefighters of Winnipeg. I would now like to respond.
In supporting Glen Murray for Mayor, we are merely exercising our democratic right to be involved in elections. Kevin Klein and Jenny Motkaluk have both met with us several times over the years and at times we have supported both of them. It is unfortunate that they feel the need to air their sour grapes in such poor taste as I feel it belittles them both.
UFFW makes no apologies for being involved in politics. In our world, political decisions can mean the difference between life and death not only for the citizens of Winnipeg, but also for our Firefighters who fight fires and respond to medical calls on an unprecedented level across Canada. As essential service providers, we do not have the ability to strike. As such, having strong, vocal and well informed politicians becomes all the more crucial.
We chose to decline endorsing Mr. Klein (and many others) this time around, because they were not candidates we believed would be the best choice for the safety of our members and in turn the good citizens of Winnipeg.
It would seem that Mr. Klein is now desperately trying to make himself relevant. This in itself only validates our decision to not support this candidate in the race to be the next Mayor of Winnipeg.
Secondly, as for Ms. Motkaluk’s statement that “It’s time for UFFW to give back” What an insulting, untrue and ignorant statement. As Fire Fighters, we know who we are, the enormous amounts of charity work we do year-round and what our uniform stands for. Ours is a career based in pride and protection – not a fleeting election symbol.
We felt we owed a response to our members as well as to Glen Murray as he continues to work tirelessly for Fire Fighters, the citizens we protect and above all, those whom need it most. We are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with anyone like that.
President, United Firefighters Of Winnipeg