CLC President receives honorary doctorate from Brock University

June 6, 2018

CLC President Hassan Yussuff received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws (honoris causa) from Brock University on Tuesday in St. Catharines.

“It’s an honour to be here, and I am humbled to stand on this stage, at this great institution, and receive an honorary degree,” said Yussuff in his Convocation address to Brock’s Faculty of Social Sciences graduates.

He went on to challenge the young leaders in the room to get engaged in Canada’s democracy, and to fight for change.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport. Progress doesn’t happen if we leave things to other people. Figure out what you’re really passionate about and find an issue that speaks to your core beliefs, that inspires you and that motivates you,” said Yussuff.

Shortly after immigrating from Guyana, Hassan became a union member in 1976. He was elected union chairperson in his workplace at the age of 19. He climbed through the ranks of the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) before becoming the organization’s first Human Rights Director. He went on to serve 15 years as Executive Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress before being elected in 2014 as the first person of colour to lead Canada’s labour movement. His lifelong commitment to human rights has defined his career.

Yussuff encouraged graduates to fight for the change they want to see by working collectively with others who share their values. He also reminded them that there will inevitably be setbacks, but that great leaders never quit.

“Nothing worth fighting for ever comes easily. Those in power are not going to serve up the solutions you want on a silver platter. But true leaders know that it’s important to push on and never to give up. Progress is always possible,” said Yussuff.

Congratulations, Hassan!


Photo: Brock University

Related Articles

Labour Market Snapshot – Q2 2019

In the CLC’s latest Labour Market Snapshot, analysis shows that Canada’s strong job numbers mask the reality of struggling young workers.   While unemployment rates continue to fall overall, many Canadians aged 15-29 are staying in school or giving up looking for work altogether. In particular, the number of people aged 25 to 29 who are not in employment, education,…
Read More

Ralph Klein blinks – conservative plans to slash budgets and privatize health services thwarted by Calgary laundry workers.

On November 14, 1995, laundry workers at the Calgary General Hospital called in sick to protest the outsourcing of their jobs. Enough was enough. It was time to take a stand. Within ten days, about 2,500 workers in six hospitals and nine nursing homes were on wildcat strikes and hundreds of other health care workers joined work-to-rule and other worker…
Read More

CLC President receives honorary doctorate from Ryerson University

CLC President Hassan Yussuff received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws (honoris causa) from Ryerson University on Thursday in Toronto. “I’m grateful and I’m humbled to receive an honorary degree from this important institution,” said Yussuff in his Convocation address to graduates from Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Management and the Yeates School of Graduate Studies. Shortly after immigrating from Guyana,…
Read More