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Labour Day brings out crowds

Thousands march in Toronto; Victoria celebrates as well

Thousands of people took to the streets in downtown Toronto on Monday to celebrate in annual Labour Day festivities.

The theme of this year's march and rally was "Unite Against Austerity" and brought together members from various unions across the province.

Parade organizer John Cartwright said it was important for workers to send the message that they will not accept an austerity agenda from the provincial government.

"People are here to express their anger," said Cartwright, president of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council.

"The politicians are happy to give billions in corporate tax cuts and say to ordinary people, 'You have to tighten your belts' while the rich are getting richer every day."

In the past few weeks, Ontario's teachers have been in a labour dispute with the provincial government over new legislation that will freeze their wages for at least two years.

The Liberals have also warned that other publicsector workers may also face a similar fate.

Cartwright said the large turnout was a signal that the labour movement is still going strong in Canada.

Labour Day events were also held in several other locations across the country, including Victoria.

The Victoria Labour Council marked Labour Day by holding a picnic at Irving Park in James Bay, with food, children's activities and music from local musician Daniel Lapp.

For more than a century, Labour Day has been celebrated on the first Monday of September each year.