BATTLE LINES DRAWN ON ONTARIO EDUCATION DISPUTE

Oct 31, 2022

By Steve Kee

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Ontario today introduced the “Keeping Students in Class Act” that would, if passed; ensure students remain in the classroom during the dispute with Canadian Union of Public Employee education workers across the province.

Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, said, “CUPE has now made the decision to strike, putting their own self-interest ahead of Ontario’s nearly two million children, who deserve to stay in class learning. We are delivering on our promise to parents that our government will do whatever it takes to keep students in class, so they can catch up and get back to the basics of learning.”

CUPE says dispute the proposed law, approximately 55,000 education workers will stage a province-wide protest Friday, meaning they will be off the job despite the Ontario government tabling legislation to impose contracts and ban a strike.

Laura Walton, president of CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions, says whether workers continue to protest after Friday “will be left up to what happens.”

CUPE is going to explore every avenue to fight the bill, but the government says it intends to use the notwithstanding clause to keep the eventual law in force despite any constitutional challenges.

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