Premier Dalton McGuinty says the Liberals will do whatever it takes to ensure teachers start the school year with a new contract.

The province has given school boards until the end of the month to reach new agreements with teachers that freezes wages for 2 years, “If we cannot secure those agreements on the ground, as a result of negotiations between teachers and our school boards, then we will take the necessary measures as a responsible provincial government to secure the agreements we need to have in place.”

McGuinty says there are a number of options they could consider as far as legislation they could impose, but wouldn’t go into specifics, “We have a shared responsibility, government, school boards, teacher federations, everybody who’s looking to secure a new agreement, to exhaust every avenue, before we turn to possible legislation.”

Not only is the start of the new school year just over a month away, but McGuinty says on September 1st, teachers contracts, under the current terms, will receive an automatic pay hike, something he says they can’t afford, “What we’re calling upon boards and teachers at this stage is to rise to a considerable challenge. But I feel that if there is a will, there is a way and we can find our way forward.”

There’s the possibility McGuinty may recall the legislature, telling reporters even with a minority government, he still has the right to recall the legislature for an emergency session.

The Liberals want school boards to model any deals on its agreement with the Catholic teachers, something the Conservatives say would still give some teachers a raise.