Martin O’Hanlon will be the next Director of CWA Canada after emerging the clear winner in national elections.
O’Hanlon, a member of the Canadian Media Guild, captured 440 votes. His challenger, Ron Carroll, a copy editor at The Gazette and vice-president of the Montreal Newspaper Guild, garnered 167.
“I’d like to thank the members for putting their trust in me to lead the union,” said O’Hanlon, 44, who has been Deputy Director for seven years. “I promise to do my best to build CWA|SCA Canada into the most dynamic and progressive union in Canada. And I will always put the interests of the members above all else.
“A huge thank you to all who helped with my campaign. There are too many names to list here, but I’ll be in touch with everyone to thank them personally.”
Outgoing Director Arnold Amber congratulated O’Hanlon on his successful campaign. “It’s certainly good that we finally have a declared winner. Now we can move ahead.”
The voting period was twice extended due to the postal dispute. Results were originally expected to be announced on June 27, in time for the winner to be sworn in on July 12 at the 73rd convention of the Communications Workers of America held in Las Vegas.
Amber, who remains as Director until O’Hanlon can assume office, will conduct the swearing-in sometime in the next few weeks. O’Hanlon will be arranging for a leave of absence from his position as parliamentary editor for The Canadian Press in Ottawa.
Amber has been Director of the union since its inception as TNG Canada/CWA in 1995. He noted that O’Hanlon “was there from the beginning” as one of the delegates to the founding meeting.
This was the first time that members of CWA Canada directly voted for Director of the union. Prior to 2008, the Director and Deputy were elected by delegates to the National Representative Council meeting. (Lois Kirkup, president of the Ottawa Newspaper Guild, was acclaimed Deputy Director at this year’s meeting in April.)
Some Locals arranged for in-plant voting while others opted to have members vote by mail-in ballot.
The National Elections Committee, comprising Scott Edmonds, Gord Holder and Nigel Sones, who gathered in Ottawa on Saturday for the official tally, reported there were 65 ballots not counted because they did not conform to the rules. They included 30 unsigned return envelopes, four spoiled ballots and one that was challenged. A procedural error in one Local’s in-plant voting led to another 30 ballots not being counted.