Premier of British Columbia
Langford – Juan de Fuca Community Office
122 – 2806 Jacklin Road
Victoria, BC V9B 5A4
Dear Premier Horgan,
As a trade unionist, born and raised in British Columbia, Ginger Goodwin has always had a special place in my heart. Ginger was murdered in 1918, after leading the first strike for the eight‑hour day in this country. He was a prominent socialist, anti-war activist and union leader in his day, and has become immortalized as a martyr of British Columbia’s labour movement. To this day, Ginger Goodwin inspires many who dream of a better world.
I remember the gut-wrenching insult felt by the entire labour movement when Gordon Campbell’s newly elected government removed the signs from the stretch of Highway 19 that was named Ginger Goodwin Way. Highway 19 runs right by Ginger Goodwin’s final resting place, in Cumberland.
It seems that every town in BC has a street or a park named after Robert Dunsmuir, the coal baron that owned the mines in Cumberland. But any attempt to honour BC’s rich history of working class struggle is met with disdain and scorn from the right-wing. It is not enough for them that Ginger is dead; they try to kill his memory as well.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Ginger Goodwin.
I’m writing to ask you to mark this occasion by restoring the name of this stretch of highway: Ginger Goodwin Way.
Ginger’s legacy reminds us that nothing was ever “given” to workers in this country. The rights that we have today were fought for, were bled for, by courageous people like Ginger. People who had the fortitude to refuse to accept the conditions imposed on them by those in power, and who organized collective actions to demand better. This is why, 100 years later, the bosses still fear the memory of Ginger Goodwin.
National Executive Board of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers
Irene Lanzinger, President, BC Federation of Labour