An Election Message from D3 CPAC
This year, election decisions will be challenging! There doesn't seem to be any clear indication how the results will play out. The polls keep changing, different promises are being made, yet no one is providing any details as to where the cuts/spending/funding will come from. As educators, having been "burned" by all the parties in the past, the question becomes, where do we go from here? In order to help you make an informed decision, here are some interesting tidbits of information that were collected from reading platforms, listening to speeches, and just watching events unfold.
- Promised to take $6B out of the Ontario budget while stating there would be no job loss. Where will this $6B come from? Since the two largest ministries are Health and Education, one can assume that's where the cuts will come from.
- Another of Ford's favourite strategies for cost cutting is based on dramatically renegotiating or voiding union contracts; there is anti-union sentiment throughout his platform.
- Ford went to a $250/plate PC fundraiser, contrary to election Ontario fundraising guidelines – was forced to return the money
- Paid millions to OECTA and other unions who were not even a part of the Bill 115 Charter Challenge while telling OSSTF they had to drop all outstanding grievances in order to attain a remedy. Even paid money to some principal associations and non-union groups.
- Promised to fix the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act. Held hearings and took NO suggestions from OSSTF. We are back where we started.
- Have been promising to fix the funding formula for the past 15 years, but have not, so our rural schools continue to get closed and underserved.
- Promised not to de-stream high school while allowing pilot projects last year in Southern Ontario.
- Sold majority stake in Ontario Hydro and rates are skyrocketing!
New Democratic Party
- Promises to fix the funding formula.
- Have argued for a moratorium on school closures.
- Will continue with the minimum wage increase, which was their original idea.
- Pharmacare for ALL Ontarians, not just those under 24 and over 65
- Buy back Hydro through allocation of dividends
- High priority on workplace safety through legislation
So what does this all mean? It should be fairly evident from the information gathered above that OSSTF is endorsing the NDP party both locally and in most ridings provincially. OSSTF is NOT telling any of its members they HAVE to vote for a specific party. What OSSTF IS asking of its members is to: GO OUT AND VOTE!! Be mindful of the impact your vote will have. Vote wisely, vote conscientiously, vote to protect and improve our public education system.
James Clyke Lynne Montpellier
OSSTF President D3 CPAC Chair