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Wall Street execs should go to jail, labour leader tells national convention

On Monday, May 9, delegates to the 26th Constitutional Convention of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), being held all this week in downtown Vancouver, heard CLC president Ken Georgetti issue a call for jailing financial executives responsible for the great bubble and crash of 2008.

"Not a single financial executive has gone to jail, and that's wrong," Georgetti said.

The national labour leader was welcoming film director Charles Ferguson to the convention stage when he issued the call for legal accountability, which echoes what Ferguson told the glammed-up crowd at the Academy Awards before accepting an Oscar naming his hard hitting film on the recent financial crash, Inside Job as the year's best documentary feature.

America will endure another crash as serious as the one of 2008 within the next 15 years, Ferguson told the convention.

"The sheer concentration of wealth and political power among a very few people, and the ongoing social and educational distress among so many does not bode well for America," he warned.

Ferguson told the crowd that America was seeing more people getting left behind and consequently, America intself was falling behind other countries. He said Canadians need to be worried about a similar phenomenon of increasing inequality here.

This week's convention brings over 2,000 delegates from across Canada for the constitutional convention the labour body holds every three years to develop and debate policy and elect new officers. The convention comes on the heels of a federal election that saw the labour-linked New Democrats win a historically high number of seats in Parliament and the Harper Conservatives win a commanding majority in the House, results that leave uncertain how much progress will be made in the next Parliament on CLC backed initiatives like improvements in the Canada Pension Plan.

Tom Sandborn covers labour and health policy stories for the Tyee. He welcomes feedback and story tips at tos@infinet.net.

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