Ontario election ads
While education has been on the back-burner in the Ontario election, at least by the three main political parties, the issue is front and centre for the teachers' federations who are spending members' big bucks on third party advertising. (See here as well.) Many Ontario residents will have seen the Working Families Coalition television ads or those silly Elementary Teachers Federation "Vote Against Kids" ads. The latest to great me over my Saturday morning coffee was this huge ad in the Toronto Star placed by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers. Their Speak for Children campaign print ad states: "Zero days lost to strikes and lockouts since 2003. Ontario's education system is on the right track."
If "no strikes" is their indicator of a successful education system, then there is nothing more to say. Who speaks for children? I think you know the answer.
All of these campaigns are meant to imply that the unions are working for your children's best interests, but what are they really hoping to accomplish? Keep in mind that their collective agreements expire next August and that these unions have been handed salary increases of up to 25% since 2003 when the current Ontario government took power. They got huge raises and increases in benefits while many parents of their students lost jobs or took pay reductions during a serious recession that threatens to return. It's pretty clear that it isn't the kids that are first in line when the gravy train rolls into the station.
SQE does not endorse any party, leader, or candidate, but we do encourage readers who will be voting in Ontario to take a look at each party's education platforms and policies. Our latest September Newsletter contains links to all the parties here. It's not too late to vote in our Ontario election poll as well.