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November 26, 2019

(TORONTO, ON)  In an historic election, Patty Coates is the first woman to be elected President of the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL). Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) delegates have elected Coates and her team, Secretary-Treasurer Ahmad Gaied and Executive Vice-President Janice Folk-Dawson to lead the Federation’s fight against the Conservative austerity agenda.

Patty Coates, President, Ontario Federation of Labour

“It is a great honour to be elected by the OFL delegates to carry the Federation’s vision forward,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Patty Coates. “Ahmad Gaied and Janice Folk-Dawson have been instrumental in organizing to demand decent work laws, mobilize the Power of Many and build the resistance to the government’s austerity agenda.”

Ahmad Gaied, Secretary-Treasurer of the Ontario Federation of Labour

“In my new role at the Federation I vow to continue the work we’ve done through the Power of Many campaign to stand up for working people in this province. We will keep up the fight, escalate our actions, and build an Ontario for all,” said Ontario Federation of Labour Secretary-Treasurer Ahmad Gaied.

Janice Folk-Dawson, Executive Vice-President of the Ontario Federation of Labour

“I will continue the Federation’s work to build local capacity to resist Conservative cuts,” said Ontario Federation of Labour Executive Vice-President Janice Folk-Dawson. “Together we are stronger, and we can stop the cuts and privatization that hurt workers and their families.”

The team was elected on a platform of stopping Conservative cuts, building local capacity, organizing to win, creating safe space, and stopping Doug Ford.

From 2015-2019 Patty Coates served as Secretary-Treasurer of the OFL and Ahmad Gaied served as Executive Vice-President. Along with outgoing President Chris Buckley, Coates and Gaied led the OFL as it pressed for and won new rights for workers during the first comprehensive review of labour and employment laws in more than 20 years. Since the election of a Progressive Conservative majority, they have vigorously resisted the erosion of workers’ rights.

Janice Folk-Dawson served as a Vice-President on the Executive Board of the OFL representing Labour Councils, and served 14 years as President of the Guelph & District Labour Council, working tirelessly to bring affiliates together with allies to advance a progressive agenda for the Guelph community.

Outgoing OFL President Chris Buckley announced in July 2019 that he would not seek re-election. 

The OFL represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario.  For more information, visit and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.


For further information

Meagan Perry, Director of Communications 
Email:  l Phone: 416-894-3456

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