You are enough: Candy Palmater

Canadian comedian and broadcaster, Candy Palmater delivered an inspirational and humorous talk to CLC delegates Tuesday morning. Palmater mixed personal life stories and union activism into a thought-provoking presentation that left the audience wanting more.

Palmater talked frequently about the importance of solidarity and the continued need for unions in our society. “As long as my sisters aren’t making as much as my brothers….unions are necessary,” she pronounced. She spoke about joining her first union at sixteen years old and helping to unionize her first workplace at Tim Horton’s. She learned about solidarity as a shop steward with the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU) and is now a proud member of Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA).

Palmater stated that, “If you want to be true to the world of solidarity, you need to roll up your sleeves, and be prepared to be told that you have done something offensive.”

The second theme of Palmater’s talk was more personal. She spoke of the need to love yourself and follow your dreams.

“You are the only person that knows what dreams you have,” she proclaimed, “You are the master of your own ship.”

She reflected on the barriers she encountered in school when she was told, “you people don’t do well in university.” When she graduated as valedictorian of her class, she stated that they “had no idea what I am capable of.”

She continued by saying that it’s bad enough that the world tells people they aren’t enough, that they can’t realize their dreams, or that they don’t serve a purpose.

Palmater concluded: “Sisters and Brothers, you need to love yourself, to forgive yourself and get up in the morning and look in the mirror and say that you serve a purpose…and that you are enough!”

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