2020 Labour Appreciation Award Winners

Labour of Love

The needs in our community grew exponentially this year and local Labour Activists stepped up to the challenge! Each of our nominees represents an unhailed hero who went above and beyond to help their neighbours in need.

Dawn Leroux, Labour Appreciation Award Winner

Dawn Leroux


Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Dawn is a truly dedicated activist. She is the past President of UNIFOR Local 2163 and has recently joined the staff as a National Representative. A mother of five, Dawn has a heart that reaches into the community. When COVID-19 struck, Dawn was first in line to get back to work to help her isolated and lonely clients at a long-term care facility. She is the key organizer for the International Women’s Day in Oxford and spends every Tuesday evening feeding the most vulnerable in our community at Project Hope.

Masood Karimi, Labour Appreciation Award winner

Masood Karimi


Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Masood Karimi always shows up for his community. A true activist, he takes a stand at every protest and rally and always has the back of his fellow workers, activists, and friends. Masood is quick to draw attention to issues of equity and justice both at home and abroad, and is always willing to take a stand for what is right.

Scott Balazs, Labour Appreciation Award Winner

Scott Balazs


Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Scott Balazs works as a representative for the Employee and Family Assistance program at GDLS-Canada. His compassion and leadership extends well beyond his members and into the community. Scott is a Board Member at St. Stephens House and Turning Point and is currently creating a committee at the Local to encourage and foster knowledge sharing with other units.

Joe Davies, Labour Appreciation Award Winner

Joe Davies


Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Joe Davies works selflessly to support and protect his fellow workers. He is employed at Craigwood Children, Youth & Family Services which supports young people in an intensive out-of-home setting as well as in the community. Joe worked closely with his employer throughout COVID-19 to ensure the safest measures were in place for his colleagues. Joe is a team player and is working to ensure that no one is left behind due to the pandemic. Joe is a true blessing to his friends, colleagues, and workplace. Because of Joe’s efforts, we are all more supported.

Tanner + Patti Simpson, Labour Appreciation Award winners

Patti Simpson & Tanner Simpson


Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

This mother and son super-duo has been putting themselves out there throughout the pandemic to help their neighbours in need. Patti, an Officer with the RCMP, has been volunteering her time through United Way for years. Tanner, her son and a teacher with the TVDSB, has taken a page from his mother’s book and together they have worked together to help those less fortunate throughout the height of the pandemic.

Together they rallied their friends and family to collect food, toiletries and other essential and basic needs items for families struggling in the community. Not only did they utilize social media to drive their collection efforts, but they made pick-ups, and personally and safely delivered items to eight families in our community system.

Nancy McMurphy, Labour Appreciation Award Winner

Nancy McMurphy


Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Nancy McMurphy is a leader that leads because there is work to be done. As President of UNIFOR 302, she fights for justice and safety for her members. Nancy has spent countless hours working throughout the pandemic to ensure her members receive the fairest treatment possible from their workplaces in these difficult times. She continues to fight for change in long-term care, seeking the protection and well-being of our community’s vulnerable groups. Every Christmas, she creates care packages to bring a little holiday cheer to families in need.

Krista Vincent, Labour Appreciation Award winner

Krista Vincent


Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Krista Vincent works as a social worker in a rural high school. When COVID-19 struck our community in March, she stepped up to support young people, knowing many would need additional help in this unique time. Krista worked diligently to make sure her students could access the resources they would need. During lockdown, Krista went weekly to the school to sort and bag donations for students, personally delivering them to those with the most urgent need. Krista is a team-player who advocates for everyone around her, especially her most vulnerable students.

Leslie Chouinard, Labour Appreciation Award winner

Leslie Chouinard


Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Leslie Chouinard is a JK/SK teacher at a school in London. Her enthusiasm mixed with her gentle manner touches everyone around her. When the pandemic started Leslie made a point of connecting with her students personally to support them. She put together teaching packages to support parents and students and used her incredible talents to create meaningful activities for her students. Leslie dedicates herself to others and blesses everyone around her with her generosity and selfless service.

Sarvarinder Singh Dohil, Labour Appreciation Award winner

Sarvarinder Singh Dohil


Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Sarvarinder Singh Dohil works at London transit and is a member of ATU 741, but his true calling is President of the Guru Nanak Mission Society (GNMS). Under his leadership, GNMS has served thousands of meal packages to people in the community struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has organized blood donation drives and meal preparation and delivery for people experiencing homelessness. Sarvarinder selflessly gives his time to help those around him.

Emily Cichocki, Labour Appreciation Award winner

Emily Cichocki

PSAC 610 

GenNext Award Recipient

Emily became involved PSAC 610 in 2019 when she became a key member of what was known as the Women’s Committee. After joining, she was pivotal in changing the name of the group to the Gender Equity Committee to be more inclusive of membership. Emily currently serves as the first Gender Equity Representative for PSAC 610 and works tirelessly to advocate for improved rights, resources and working conditions for women, trans, non-binary, and genderqueer individuals at Western University and in the broader community.

Gerry Healy, Labour Appreciation Award winner

Gerry Healy


Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Gerry Healy rolled up his sleeves the moment the pandemic began impacting our community. He has advocated strongly to ensure all staff and clients in his workplace were safe and protected while still capable of providing service effectively. He was quick to offer his support and accompany staff at any hour of day or night to ensure that client interactions were conducted safely for all parties. He is a constant source of support and a resource to both colleagues and members seeking his advice. Gerry is not afraid to challenge anyone and will not back down until he is sure that the health and safety of all has been properly taken into account.

Terri McNair, Labour Appreciation Award winner

Terri McNair


Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Terri McNair works in the operating room at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Terri went back to work immediately following the closures of the pandemic to ensure that her colleagues and people needing help had the support they needed. To ensure the safety of her family while she was at a heightened risk of contracting COVID-19, she opted to live separately from her son and other family members for months. In her limited spare time, Terri made masks for the public to ensure families in our community would be protected and safe.

IVEGOTYOURBACK911, Labour Appreciation ChangeMakers Award winner



ChangeMakers award winners

Jill Foster and Shaun Taylor were selected for the 021 ChangeMaker Award for their ivegotyourback911 social media campaign that is raising awareness around mental health challenges and suicide rates among first responders.

As active frontline paramedics, Jill and Taylor, both UNIFOR local 302 members, worked together to develop the idea of a social media awareness campaign highlighting the fact that suicide by first responders was a very real issue. The duo, along with paramedics Denise Laing and Stephanie Romano, launched the campaign to draw attention to the increase and rise of mental health issues within the first responder community.

London & Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership

Partnering with a Purpose award winners

London & Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership (LMLIP)is this year’s winner of the Partnering with a Purpose award. This award goes to a group of dedicated people that work together to help everyone in our community build a good life.

LMLIP wanted to highlight the generosity that has been displayed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The LMLIP team reached out to our community’s immigrant population to gather stories showing ‘leadership in action’ by individuals in the community working or volunteering on the frontline. It is the hope of LMLIP that the stories shared by this group will inspire and encourage other immigrants and newcomers in the community to get involved and share their stories as well.

Joshua Stewart, Labour Appreciation Awards Night, The Jim MacKinnon Community Builder Award winner

Joshua Stewart

LiUNA 1059

The Jim MacKinnon Community Builder Award

Josh Stewart is a passionate activist that conducts his affairs with compassion and empathy for all. Josh lives by the words “we need to do what we can for those in need because we can”. He is a dedicated member of his community and volunteers his time as a member of the United Way Campaign Cabinet. Josh is passionate about helping those around him and building a better community for everyone.

Together, we are possibility.

Dakota HalfpennyLabour Appreciation Awards Night 2020 winners