The Agriculture Union Social Justice Fund (AUSJF) has announced funding for two projects that meet its mandate of “building capacity in our communities and around the globe for people to participate and flourish fully in their daily lives.”

The first is the High School Carpentry Apprenticeship Program, supported by the Saskatoon Public School Board and Habitat for Humanity. While securing funding is always a challenge, HCAP has successfully operated for a decade. Our AUSJF provided a similar grant to the Program in 2011, with excellent results.

Based on a journeyman-apprentice model, HCAP students learn the fundamentals of all aspects of residential construction. In the process, they earn high school credits, build apprenticeship hours and earn industry certifications to strengthen their resume and to enhance employability.

Our Fund’s financial support will enable HCAP to operate for an entire semester. The donation will be used to provide training courses and materials, tools, work clothing and protective equipment.

HCAP goes beyond practical instruction to ensure students have an opportunity to be of service to their community. This semester’s project is the construction of a ready-to-move home for Saskatchewan’s White Cap Dakota First Nation.

The AUSJF’s second donation was also a repeat – supporting Local 4’s annual gift of approximately 350 lbs of dressed beef to Prince Edward Island food banks. Its generosity means a happier Easter for many of PEI’s less fortunate families.

For the past seven years, Local 4 members have attended the Easter Beef Show and Sale in Charlottetown looking for the best beef on the hoof. In addition to the AUSJF, money for purchase of the steer is donated by Local 4 itself and our bargaining agent, the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

Once purchased, the Local arranges for the beef to be dressed, packaged and delivered to the Charlottetown and Summerside Food Banks. The donation not only demonstrates the Local’s commitment to social justice, but also serves as a goodwill gesture towards the Island beef industry and underscores the important role played by the CFIA and its Agriculture Union members in food safety and security.