Loading articles...

Local MPPs share views on back-to-work legislation for faculty strike

Teachers and faculty staff of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union walk the picket line at George Brown College in Toronto on Thursday, November 16, 2017. The Ontario government will try again today to introduce back-to-work legislation to end a nearly five-week strike by college faculty. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

When the Ontario legislature resumes sitting on Friday for back-to-work legislation to deal with the college faculty strike, the NDP is expected to still block the bill.

The NDP MPP for Kitchener-Waterloo, Catherine Fife, defends her party’s decision, saying it would be irresponsible to let Premier Kathleen Wynne do whatever she wants without holding her accountable.

Fife tells the Mike Farwell Show that of course her party is going to debate legislation that removes the rights of citizens.

Fife wants to hear debate to make sure the Liberals are held accountable for a plan to save the semester, and make sure student finances are looked after.

But she admits, the Wynne Liberals have a majority, and they’ll pass this bill, and the students will likely still go back to class on Monday.

But Fife adds when that happens, the faculty will be in the same crisis they were before.

She says colleges have no choice but to only hire faculty on a contract basis because the Wynne government is grossly underfunding those colleges.

Liberal MPP for Cambridge, Kathryn McGarry says her party does support the bargaining process, but they knew the semester could be lost if classes were not back on by Monday, and it became apparent yesterday the two sides were still not going to sort this out on their own.

And she tells the Mike Farwell Show, it’s because her party supports the negotiation process that they did not bring in this back-to-work bill before now, and “it’s not politicking.”

McGarry was not so confident about classes resuming Monday, but says it will certainly be early next week.