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Protesters against education cuts converge at Sylvia Jones’ office

November 1, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By James Matthews

The Ontario Federation of Labour’s Power of Many campaign against proposed government cuts to education came to Orangeville on Monday (Oct. 28).

A gaggle of about half-dozen people gathered near Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones’ office at the intersection of First Street and Broadway. They waved flags and brandished placards that expressed their opposition to Premier Doug Ford’s proposed cuts to education in the province.

Orangeville’s part in the province-wide No Cuts to Education rally was spearheaded by District 18 (Upper Grand) of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation.

Amy Reinders, the teachers’ federation district secretary, said rallies were held outside Tory legislature members’ constituency offices and Queen’s Park throughout the day.

But, given the Day of Action was also the opening day of the legislature following summer break, Ms. Jones wasn’t at her constituency office.

Regardless, Ms. Reinders said the province-wide effort conveys the group’s unhappiness about proposed cuts to public education in Ontario.

Many social organizations and stakeholder groups say it’s as if the premier has taken a broadsword to the public purse since he’s taken office. Many cuts have been announced or already made to health care, the public service, low-income aid programs, and he’s hacked at initiatives that support families with autistic children and various other needs.

“The end goal that we’re really looking for is to be able to have some communication with our local MPP,” Ms. Reinders said. “I know a number of our members have sent letters and it’s been a pretty standard response back to us.”

The labour and teacher federations are also keen to obtain reports and documentation related to parent-group and public consultations on education that took place earlier this year, she said.

Ms. Reinders said the provincial government is hiding behind cabinet confidentiality as a means of withholding the requested reports.

“They (the reports) have not been released, even though we have asked,” she said. “Multiple groups have asked that this (information) be released, but we’re still waiting.”



         

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