Author Archives: greybrucelabour

April 22nd, 2019 Rally at Bill Walker’s office a Great Success

People in Bruce and Grey are being heard. About 50 people gathered for a peaceful march and rally in front of MPP Bill Walker’s office. The Ford Conservatives, of which Walker is a Minister, has declared war on social services, the environment, education, healthcare, labour and much more. The next three years will be years of actions and fight back, locally and at Queen’s Park. Bill Walker and the rest of the Conservative Caucus in Ontario must make no mistake that the war they have declared on people in Ontario is going to met head on and their agenda of exclusion and social regression is not going to go unanswered.

walkerrallyapril222019

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Letter to the Editor, Commentary on MPP’s comments on 9AM Drinking

April 19, 2019
Dear Editor
I read the article “Huron-Bruce MPP explains thinking on 9 a.m. drinking”. To know one’s surprise this announcement seems to be a marquee item for both Thompson and Walker, who appeared in the same photo.
Drinking by 9 a.m., buck a beer, changing license plates are all “bait and switch” games used by governments hoping/planning on the populace looking away from the real damage being perpetrated. While the shiny baubles are getting the attention, education, healthcare, the environment and public services to numerous to mention are ravaged. Ravaged, not for the good of anyone other than the corporate leadership holding the collective leashes of the current Ontario government.
For me, the most notable MPP Thompson quote in the article is “I feel we are catching up in Ontario. We are evolving away from the nanny state that was thrust on us over the last 15 years”. “Nanny State”, what a “dog whistle” statement. Regulations, statutes, socially responsible programs, environmental stewardship and all the things that provide for an inclusive and compassionate society are not a “Nanny State”. They are simply the antithesis to today’s Ontario Progressive Conservatives (OPC) and are fair game in the OPC propaganda war.
The OPC of today is a party of profound ideologues without a shred of decency or concern for society or for their own history. Until the repugnant Mike Harris Conservatives, the OPC could be found to be part of progress (not always voluntarily, but at least they could be convinced). They were in government when cornerstone pieces of legislation such the Occupational Health and Safety Act were enacted. The OPC of today sees this statute and its regulations as a so-called barrier to competitiveness. Wonder how it will all go when, as these regulations that have saved lives for decades, are diminished by Doug Ford and his caucus of trained seals and workplace injuries and, tragically, workplace illness and even death escalate in numbers.
Tell Thompson, Walker, Ford and the rest of the OPC caucus that we are not falling for the “bait and switch” and that they will be held accountable for their actions.

Dave Trumble, VP, Grey Bruce Labour Council

OPSEU ready for war after Ford launches attack on public sector workers’ wages

OPSEU ready for war after Ford launches attack on public sector workers’ wages

Publication Date

Thursday, April 4, 2019 – 5:30pm

Toronto – After the Ford government announced its plans to go after public sector workers’ wages, OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says the union is ready to go to war for hard working Ontarians.

After 25 years of austerity – from Rae’s Social Contract to McGuinty’s zeros and Wynne’s compensation freezes – public sector workers have already been hit too hard, for too long, said Thomas.

“Public sector wages didn’t cause Ontario’s financial crisis,” said Thomas. “Corporate tax cuts did that. It’s why balancing the books on the backs of public sector workers doesn’t work. Instead of repeating this failed experiment, Ford should focus on revenue solutions that actually work.”

Thomas also called the Ford government’s promise to consult with public sector unions a complete sham.

“It’s the ‘my way or the highway’ approach with Ford,” said Thomas. “From Sex Ed changes to autism funding and health care restructuring; they haven’t listened to anyone except their high-priced consultants and insider friends.

“OPSEU members are the frontline experts,” said Thomas. “We’ve been requesting a meeting since the election, so if Ford really cared he would have met with us by now. I don’t trust him and neither do most Ontarians.”

In a pre-budget address, Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board announced the possibility of legislating caps on public sector wage increases.

“They’re trying to finagle their way around the Charter,” said Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer. “They’re obligated to consult with unions, not impede their rights to negotiate freely. Thankfully, a large percentage of OPSEU members agreed to contract extensions last year, and they’ll be protected until 2022 from Ford’s destructive agenda.”

“Ontarians already see through the nonsense,” said Thomas. “Ford thinks hard working public sector workers, who are supporting their families, should take a pay cut. But that’s pretty rich coming from a guy who’s been doling out high-paying jobs to his cronies and privatization consultants.

“The people of Ontario are fed up and ready to fight,” said Thomas. “Our movement is growing stronger, and we’re ready to go to war for hard working Ontarians.”

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931

Education Minister’s comments offend local students

Students being offended by Lisa Thompson’s comments just as they should be. While the MoEd suggests that students were put up to the April 4th demonstrations, lets not for one moment lose sight of the fact that it is most likely that Thompson’s comments are simply a parroting of Doug Ford’s vitriolic language. Language that will be remembered just as his gross and profound betrayal of the people of Ontario will be remebered.

https://blackburnnews.com/midwestern-ontario/2019/04/05/education-ministers-comments-offend-local-students/?fbclid=IwAR025tAQTUqY-SKfy_ws-c7wVCQ8JodFrLYX2St1M7wQkx0GcT6Kw6ZMF50

Area students are offended by suggestions by the province’s Education Minister that teachers put them up to yesterday’s walk out.

In a release, Lisa Thompson called the walkouts a “stunt” and accused teachers of “enabling students to skip classes.” She also said in the release, “even when students are in class, too many teachers are choosing to use students as a captive audience for their union’s political agenda”.

Student senator for Walkerton District Community School, Moira Robertson, says she’s angry.

“The comment made it sound as though (we) as youth are unable to make these decisions on our own and we could only possibly have organized 100,000 of us to walk out yesterday if we had some kind of persuasion from teachers.”

The teachers were aware the protests were being planned, as Robertson put it, “because they don’t live under rocks.” But, she says at no time did they make comments during class.

“They obviously could not stop us but they also couldn’t encourage us and they didn’t. There was no encouragement from teachers. It was all done on student time, after hours, during our lunch breaks.”

She says she spent a lot of time communicating with other organizers across the province on social media and also in meetings.

“There were meetings with me and other students organizers…at my school and I also worked with some students from (Sacred Heart High School) in Walkerton so there were meetings that happened there. There were a lot of phone calls. There were a lot of emails that were sent out to media. There were obviously meetings that I had to have with administrators.”

Some school boards sent notes home to parents advising them of the pending student action but Robertson says her school did not with the exception of students in grades 7 and 8 that wanted to participate. She says they had to get permission slips from parents to leave class.