Bea Bruske

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Bea Bruske
President of the Canadian Labour Congress
Assumed office
June 18, 2021
Preceded byHassan Yussuff
Personal details
Born (1969-01-22) January 22, 1969 (age 55)
Political partyNew Democratic Party
Alma materUniversity of Manitoba

Beatrice Bruske (born January 22, 1969) is a Canadian labour leader and the current President of the Canadian Labour Congress, an organization that advocates on behalf of three million working people across Canada.

Bruske was elected President June 18, 2021, at the Canadian Labour Congress's first virtual convention.[1] The convention was originally scheduled to be held in Vancouver in May 2020 but was delayed due to COVID-19.[2]

Bruske is only the second woman to hold the position; the first was Shirley Carr (1986–1992).

In 2022 Bruske was named to Maclean's "Power List", the magazine's ranking of the country's 50 most powerful people[3] in Canada. Bruske is active in national and the international labour movement and participated in the G7's Labour7 which fights for the rights and interests of working people.[4]

Early life[edit]

Bruske emigrated to Winnipeg, Manitoba as a child. Her family left West Berlin, Germany, in 1981, because her father was offered an engineering job with Teshmont Consultants in Manitoba. At 16, she was hired as a part-time grocery clerk at a Westfair grocery store in Winnipeg and became a member of United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) UFCW Local 832. In 1987, Westfair staff across Manitoba went on strike for 125 days,[5] giving Bruske her start in Canada's labour movement. After the Westfair strike, Bruske became a shop steward with UFCW Local 832.

Bruske went on to become a member of the health and safety committee for Local 832 and subsequently was elected to be vice-president of the local's executive board. She served as the local's Secretary-Treasurer, where she was responsible for administering the largest private-sector union local in Manitoba.[6] Bruske was elected vice-president of the UFCW Canada National Council, where she helped set the strategic direction for the national union.[7]

2021 federal election[edit]

During the 2021 Canadian federal election, the Bruske CLC launched a mobilization campaign that advocated for a post-COVID-19 economic recovery plan centred on workers.[8] Under Bruske, the CLC choose not to endorse a party, but instead campaigned for individual candidates.[9]

During the campaign, Bruske was active in the media advocating on key labour issues and holding parties to account for their proposals.[10] Precarious jobs in the gig economy, such as those offered by companies like Uber,[11] became a prominent issue and the CLC pushed for better protections for these workers.[12]

Political career[edit]

Bruske ran as the candidate in Fort Whyte for the Manitoba NDP in the 2019 provincial election. Bruske earned 17.9 per cent of the vote, coming in second to sitting Premier Brian Pallister. She also served as a member of the Executive of the Manitoba NDP.

Personal life[edit]

Bruske is a graduate of the University of Manitoba's labour studies program.[13] She has two adult children.

Electoral record[edit]

2019 Manitoba general election: Fort Whyte
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Progressive Conservative Brian Pallister 5,619 57.19 -8.2 $10,131.35
New Democratic Beatrice Bruske 1,757 17.88 +2.2 $106.40
Liberal Darrel Morin 1,731 17.62 +6.2 $545.68
Green Sara Campbell 665 6.77 -0.4 $0.00
Manitoba First Jason Holenski 54 0.55 -1.1 $1,210.90
Total valid votes 9,826 99.36
Total rejected ballots 63 0.64
Turnout 9,889 60.35
Eligible voters 16,386
Progressive Conservative hold Swing -5.2
Source: Elections Manitoba[14][15][16]


  1. ^ "Canadian Labour Congress elects new president to lead nation's biggest labour group". CBC. June 18, 2021.
  2. ^ "CLC Convention Postponed". Canadian Labour Congress. March 16, 2020.
  3. ^ "The Power List". Macleans. February 10, 2022.
  4. ^ "Labor7 presents recommendations "Want to preserve social cohesion"". G7 Germany. 11 May 2022.
  5. ^ "Fighting for Survival: Manitoba's 1987 Westfair strike". Rank and File. 8 April 2017.
  6. ^ "UFCW 832 activist Bea Bruske announces candidacy for CLC President". UFCW. February 3, 2020.
  7. ^ "Bea Bruske". Canadian Labour Congress.
  8. ^ Mojtehedzadeh, Sara (6 September 2021). "Can the 21st-century workplace be fixed? Two Canadian labour leaders on the post-COVID future". The Toronto Star.
  9. ^ "Canadian Labour Congress president says it isn't endorsing one party". CBC.
  10. ^ McGregor, Janyce (Aug 24, 2021). "Labour movement skeptical of Conservative pitch to workers". CBC.
  11. ^ DESCHAMPS, Tara (30 August 2021). "Uber proposes industry-wide gig worker benefits model in Canada". Canadian Press.
  12. ^ Press, Jordan (6 September 2021). "Canadian Labour Congress president says parties need plan to protect gig workers". CTV News.
  13. ^ "Arts alumni spotlight: Bea Bruske". University of Manitoba. 27 July 2021.
  14. ^ "41ST GENERAL ELECTION, APRIL 19, 2016 - OFFICIAL RESULTS". Elections Manitoba. 19 April 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  15. ^ "Candidate Election Returns General Election 2019". Elections Manitoba. September 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  16. ^ "RESULTS SUMMARY: 42ND GENERAL ELECTION / COMPTE RENDU DES RÉSULTATS: 42E ÉLECTION GÉNÉRALE" (PDF). Elections Manitoba. November 6, 2019. Retrieved 6 October 2021.