Profile: Trevor Stewart is a CUPE Local 474 custodian and activist who left his native Jamaica as a teenager to make his home in Canada. As a Caribbean teenager, Stewart was influenced by Jamaica’s progressive Manley government and its openness to Cuba and Fidel Castro, while it sought to limit US influence in the region.
In Canada, Stewart spent many years in Quebec immersing himself in French language and culture, as he fought for the primacy of French in Quebec. Some years later, employment in Edmonton Public Schools provided a permanent anchor for Stewart, who became an active member of CUPE Local 474’s Political Action Committee. As a member of this committee Trevor Stewart was able to address the plight of the poor and to work on its anti-privatization campaigns to limit the influence of the private sector in public education. He advocated for public education for people from different economic circumstances, not just for the elite. He considered himself an exemplary Canadian.
Keywords: CUPE Local 474; Jamaica; Privatization; Union Political Action
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