|Posted on October 24, 2015 at 11:10 AM|
The following is a guest blog I wrote for Society for Quality Education:
The Province of Ontario is the most indebted sub-sovereign borrower on the planet. Ontario's population is only a third the size of California's, but our debt load is twice theirs.
Debt is the main reason why Ontario Hydro is being sold off, nurses are being laid off, and schools are being closed down.
Ontario does not have money just to throw around willy-nilly.
Knowing the dire straits of our public debt makes the news that the Ontario government has given $3,741,000 to teachers unions since 2008 so difficult to swallow. This unaccounted money was given to cover the costs associated with labour negotiations, apparently to pay for things like pizza and overnight accommodations.
We already know that $1,000,000 of this amount was taken from a fund for support to troubled students to help them graduate high school. We don't have any accounting where the remaining $2,741,000 was taken from.
Undoubtedly, students have suffered.
We also know that the teachers unions are heavy contributors to the Working Families Coalition, a group that spent millions on televisions ads against the opponents of the Ontario Liberals.
Clearly, the Ontario Liberals learned nothing from the experiences of their federal counterparts and their imbroglio with the Sponsorship Scandal. Public funds are paid to unions, which in turn use money to fund election related ads to support the Liberal Party.
The stench of this arrangement is unbearable to students and parents, who are dealing with underfunding, program cuts, and school closures at our government run schools. That is to say nothing of extracurricular programs withdrawals, dirty washrooms and hallways, piles of accumulating garbage, and no after hours parent-teacher interviews as a result of current work-to-rule job action.
The Society for Quality Education stands with the parents and students. Up to this time, we have resisted in joining in the chorus calling for Education Minister Liz Sandals to step down.
Yet when government run schools are falling into disarray and our public education funds are being diverted from at-risk students to pay for union pizzas, we have to say, "Enough is enough".
The Education Minister has been found using her office to further the political goals of the Liberal Party at great harm to Ontario's students. It is time for Liz Sandals to go.