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Bill 28 Passes

By Adam Riley Nov 3, 2022 | 9:42 PM

File Photo

Amid cries of “Shame!” from the gallery which overlooks the Ontario Legislature, Bill 28 passed by a resounding 70 in favour, 30 against.

The Bill uses the notwithstanding clause to impose a contract against CUPE and its passage effectively makes strike action by 55,000 education support workers in Ontario illegal.

Those in the gallery causing disruptions were escorted out but warnings directed at members of the Ford Government could be heard from some of those being ejected. One in particular states, “You have no idea what you have started.”

Premier Doug Ford was not in the chamber at the time of the vote and  Thunder Bay – Atikokan MPP Kevin Holland, who voted in favour of the Bill, was the lone PC representative of Northwestern Ontario.  Also in the chamber were both Thunder Bay-Superior North and Kiiwetinoong NDP MPPs Lise Vaugeois and Sol Mamakwa, who voted against.

Unifor has denounced Bill 28 and has pledged full support for CUPE education workers.

In a release, the union is calling upon its 163,000 members in Ontario to join CUPE picket lines, which are expected to be at the offices of MPPs and not schools.

In Thunder Bay, CUPE represents custodial, maintenance and cafeteria staff at the Lakehead Public School Board, which has assured parents their schools will be open.

Acadia News has reached out to the Lakehead and Catholic boards to see if the addition of Unifor could affect operations.

The public board replied that “…websites News section holds all the latest details pertaining to our Board and schools. Please feel free to consult it anytime”

They did send an email to parents late Friday indicating that schools would be open on Monday Nov. 7.

Meanwhile, schools in the Rainy River District School Board will be closed Friday and students will shift to remote learning next week. But Nestor Falls School, McCrosson-Tovell School, Mine Centre School, Ge Da Gi Binez Centre program, and United Native Friendship Centre Alternative Secondary School Program will remain open. CUPE represents Custodial and Maintenance staff, secretaries, Dedicated Early Childhood Educators, and business staff within the Rainy River District School Board.

Additionally, all schools within the Northwest Catholic District School Board will close effective Friday. CUPE members employed by the Catholic Board include education assistants, early childhood educators, secretaries, child and youth workers and IT workers.

Schools within the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board will remain open on Friday, but the board cannot guarantee the continuance of in-person learning beyond Friday.

With files from Mike Ebbeling

This is a developing story and we will have more details as they become available.


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