Wynne’s austerity cuts to education throws province into Harris Era labour dispute: NDP MPP Gretzky

QUEEN’S PARK — After joining education workers on the picket line in Durham this morning, NDP Education Critic Lisa Gretzky demanded that the government stop misleading Ontario families by promising not to cut education while doing the exact opposite.

“The Premier claims she cut her teeth in education and now the actions of her government are throwing our publicly-funded schools into chaos,” said Gretzky.

Gretzky read from a long list of Liberal funding cuts: “When you cut $6 million in special education, when you provide $36 million less for textbooks, in classroom support and supplies, when you close 88 schools across the province since 2011, you simply cannot act surprised when Ontarians speak out.” 

The Windsor West MPP compared this government’s management of education to that of the “Harris era,” highlighting the recent layoffs of 21 early childhood educators in Windsor-Essex, 118 education workers in Peterborough, and 50 education assistants in Toronto.

“It’s frankly not surprising that we are seeing Harris era labour unrest, with the first group of OSSTF teachers in Durham on strike as of today, and potentially Sudbury joining them next week,” stated Gretzky.

Gretzky closed by asking, “When will this government stop cutting education, dealing out pink slips, closing community schools all the while calling it progressive?”

Despite Gretzky’s substantial list of education cuts, the minister denied any responsibility for the cuts to education.