There was a gathering at Queen’s Park yesterday. Some of Premier Dalton McGuinty’s former teacher friends came to call. What they called him cannot be printed in a family-friendly blog. It must have had something to do with the reason McGuinty’s government has recalled the Legislature ahead of the fall session. He wants to deny the teachers their right to bargain in good faith or to honour existing contracts.
People ask us why we seem to be so displeased with Dalton. Frankly when Dalton came on the provincial scene, this province was ready to vote for anyone to get rid of the Conservative government. And after the experience with Bob Rae as a New Democrat premier, the Liberal leader could have had two heads and got elected twice.
Regrettably Dalton could have had two heads but he has less than half a brain. The guy always reminds us of a bumbling, skinny and unfunny Mr. Bean. At first, he seemed to know that he was quite inadequate and he went out to gather in some allies. He made very good allies among various unions such as teachers. In a time of economic concerns, those unions stood by him and there was labour peace in Ontario. The unions even stood by him in elections and ran TV commercials on his behalf.
But not any more! You can hardly treat teachers or any union as badly as McGuinty has and ever be forgiven. Some of his most sympathetic teacher supporters had agreed to a no-raise deal. They trusted him to be fair in the future.
But some of the other large groups of teachers had contracts in place and they were due for some increases this September. Dalton told them he would cancel their increases. This, they claimed, was not only unfair but denied them their rights.
And this is why Conservative leader Tiny Tim Hudak is doing a victory dance around his offices these days. The legislation that Dalton’s Liberals will be presenting is even more draconian (with Hudak’s help) and McGuinty gets all the blame.
With the bye-elections on September 6 in Vaughan and Kitchener-Waterloo, McGuinty can kiss any chance of a majority government goodbye. Even voters who do not feel kindly towards teachers will want to know who is next on the McGuinty hit list.
Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry
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