Labour Day in Canada began in 1872, when workers held a demonstration parade campaigning for fairness in the work place, a 9 hour work day, and the right to join a union and go on strike without being imprisoned.
The huge public support for the ongoing demonstrations prompted Prime Minister John A Macdonald to promise to repeal all laws against trade unions.
Trade unions brought safer workplaces, improved working conditions and higher wages and benefit plans. By 1883, the Canadian Labour Congress was founded.
*source: Surrey Now newspaper & www.timeanddate.com