The National Executive is the highest authority of the National Union between conventions. It carries out the instructions of the convention. It conducts the affairs of the National Union. With the Constitution as its guide, it shall take all action necessary to carry out the aims and objectives of this
The COPE National Executive is composed of:
David Black – National President
Kateri Lefebvre – National Secretary-Treasurer
Loïc Breton – Vice President, Region 1
Valerie Roberts-Francis – Vice President, Region 2
Kim Wilson – Vice President, Region 3
Gwenne Farrell – Vice President – Region 4
Patty Clancy – Vice President, Seat Reserved for Women
Pierrick Choiniere-Lapointe – Legal Counsel
David Black, National President
David was elected as president of COPE SEPB in June of 2016. He also serves as president of MoveUP (Local 378 of COPE SEPB). He began as a MoveUP’s table officer after becoming vice-president for the ICBC group in 2005. Prior to that, David sat on the MoveUP executive board since he was appointed by the executive council in 2001.
Before being elected as COPE-SEPB president, he also served on the COPE SEPB national executive as Vice-President for Region 4.
David first became a member of MoveUP working at ICBC Head Office in 1995. His current workplace of record is the ICBC 5th and Cambie Claims Centre in Vancouver.
In addition to MoveUP committees, David also sits on the BC Federation of Labour Political Action Committee and the Advisory Committee of the Sustainable Communities Initiative. He formerly sat on the Canadian Labour Congress Political Action Committee and was a delegate to the Vancouver and District Labour Council.
David is also a former member of the Board of Directors for the United Way of the Lower Mainland and in 2012 was awarded the UWLM’s Joe Morris Labour Community Service Award.
In the past David has sat on the Board of Directors for both the Vancouver Foundation and the Margaret Mitchell Fund for Women.
David lives in New Westminster with his wife Maya Russell and their three daughters Kate, Maggie and Rebecca.
Kateri Lefebvre, National Secretary-Treasurer
Kateri Lefebvre earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Relations and was hired as union rep. by SEPB in September of 1985.
During her years with SEPB she has conducted negotiations as Chief Bargaining officer for various groups, mainly professionals such as lawyers, architects and engineers in the public and health sectors, the financial and banking sector, at the municipal level and in the private sector.
She is currently steering the SEPB-Québec Women’s Committee and sits as member on the Information Committee of the Quebec Federation of Labour.
On March 17, 2014 she was appointed SEPB-Québec Assistant Executive Director. This is the first time in the history of SEPB in Québec since its foundation in 1945 that a woman assumes a leadership role.
On June 19, 2016 she was elected National Secretary-Treasurer of COPE SEPB.
Loïc Breton, Vice President, Region 1
Introduction to the Union started for Loïc Breton when he joined Tele-Direct (now Yellow Pages) in 1990 and went straight on an eight and a half months strike! A few months after returning to work he became a floor rep, later on he was elected secretary-treasurer and finally became president of the bargaining unit in 1996. He took part in the renewal of five collective agreements.
Right from the beginning, Loïc got involved in the larger union that was SEPB-57, and afterwards SEPB-Québec, as a volunteer union organizer, trainer and local representative for the labour-sponsored fund Fonds de solidarité FTQ. In 2003, following the advent of SEPB-Québec, he becomes president of composite local 574, which is made up of over 2400 members spread across sixty or so bargaining units. A member of the SEPB-Québec executive board, he is the elected official in charge of the organization social and political action committee and he sits on various standing committees at the Québec labour federation (FTQ).
Loïc was named interim president of SEPB-Québec when Chantal Dumoulin announced her retirement in November 2016. He was officially elected president during the Conseil Québécois in March 2017.
Valerie Roberts-Francis, Vice President, Region 2
Biography to come
Kim Wilson, Vice President, Region 3
As a new employee of SGI I became a member of OPEIU on August 19, 1991. In June of 2004 our union broke away from OPEIU and proudly formed the COPE National Union. Our new local was COPE 397. While working at SGI I was active with the Union and served as a Shop Steward for 16 plus years advocating for the members. I was promoting thru the ranks at SGI and became an Out-of-Province Auto Adjuster. While in this position my desire to be more active with the Union grew.
I attended The National Convention in 2010 as a spectator and then as a delegate to the Mid-Term Conference in Ottawa. In September of 2012 I became a Trustee on the Executive Board and a Provincial Council Member. I was also chair of the Women’s Committee during this time. It was while attending the National Convention in Winnipeg in 2013 my desire and commitment to the Union grew and I decided that I was going to run for President of COPE Local 397. I was honored to be officially elected as President of COPE Local 397 on December 4, 2013.
Gwenne Farrell, Vice President, Region 4
An economist, financial analyst, and longtime union activist, Gwenne Farrell was acclaimed as COPE-SEPB national Secretary-Treasurer at the union’s national convention in June, 2007.
As the Vice President representing the BC Hydro Groups of MoveUP (Local 378), Gwenne is the primary political and union representative for over 3,000 workers in the British Columbia energy sector.
Gwenne has been a member of COPE-SEPB since starting with BC Hydro, the province’s provincially-owned utility, in 1990 as a customer service accounts representative. She quickly rose through BC Hydro financial departments, becoming a senior Financial Analyst in 2001.
Gwenne comes to COPE-SEPB with a strong labour background. She has a degree in economics with a focus on labour economics, from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. She was elected Vice-President of MoveUP in 2005, and previously served as a MoveUP Executive Councillor and a Job Steward. As Vice President, Gwenne was also the spokesperson for MoveUP’s Take Back the Power campaign, the leading voice fighting energy privatization in BC.
Gwenne chairs a number of internal committees at MoveUP and also sits on the Inaugural Executive Council of the Fraser Valley Labour Council, and on the Canadian Labour Congress’ Energy Task Force.
In addition to her labour activism, Gwenne also volunteers extensively in the community. She sits on the BC Elks Association Finance Committee, the Economic and Energy Policy Committee of the BC NDP, the Board of Directors of BC Citizens for Public Power, is a Trustee of HYDRECS, and is on the United Way of the Lower
Mainland’s Campaign Labour Committee. She was also the Treasurer of the White Rock Players Club and sits on the City of White Rock Arts and Culture Committee.
Gwenne lives in White Rock, BC with her husband, Tom.
Patty Clancy, Vice President, Seat Reserved for Women
Patty has been a member of Local 343 for more than 25 years. She worked for approximately 6 years at the Toronto Labour Council. During that time Patty was elected as a member-at-large on the Local 343 Executive Board and subsequently served as President of Local 343 for 2 terms of office. She became a full-time
representative for Local 343 in 1987. Patty is currently a staff representative with COPE Ontario. Patty has represented her union at various levels of the labour movement, including 4 terms on the Toronto Labour Council Executive, OFL Women’s Committee, Toronto Labour Council Women’s Committee, various Local 343 committees, as a Regional Representative on the National Committee of COPE and she currently sits on the National Executive Board as the Vice President, Seat Reserved for Women.
A lawyer by training and member of the Québec Bar Association, Pierrick Choinière-Lapointe also holds a Master’s degree in international law from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).
Specializing in labour law he was hired by SEPB-Québec in 2006 as a union
representative. In that role, Pierrick represented and defended workers and their bargaining units before all judicial and administrative tribunals. On top, he has negotiated many collective agreements in both the public and private sectors. Since 2016, he is deputy director for SEPB-Québec and also legal counsel to our National President.