OPSEU Summer of Action 2019
Doug Ford’s government has been very busy since last summer at this time, privatizing and drastically cutting public services, eroding labour rights, and leaving chaos and uncertainty in his wake. Every day they announce new ways they plan to screw over Ontario workers, including our members.
It’s almost summer – a time for friends, family, and vacations. But it’s also the time when MPPs leave Queen’s Park to spend the summer in their ridings, where they travel the BBQ circuit, hold fundraisers, go to fairs and festivals and local events, and stage photo ops everywhere they can. Summer is when MPPs spend quality time with their constituents.
This summer, let’s spend some quality time with our Conservative MPPs!
Choosing issues that resonate
Some issues resonate province-wide and other issues resonate strongly in local areas or regions due to local factors.
Let’s pick a main issue or two to focus on this summer, and build pressure on our local PC MPPs on those issues. Here are some things to consider when picking an issue to champion:
- On which issue(s) do you think your targeted PC MPP is most vulnerable locally?
- Which issue is resonating province-wide at the moment? (E.g. education cuts, autism funding, climate crisis, etc.)
- Which issue do you and your region’s members consider to be a priority? (E.g. public sector wage restraints, beer and wine in corner stores, etc.)
Disrupting PC Party events and fundraisers
The PC Party has one central page on their website where they list upcoming events and fundraisers in ridings across Ontario. You can find it here: https://www.ontariopc.ca/events. The Together to Win team in the Mob Room are monitoring this list and will send events to Executive Board Members in the regions where they are happening.
Let’s be visible at PC Party events this summer! If you need any help from the Mob Room with book offs, ordering materials, creating flyers, announcing events online or creating local media advisories, email them at TogetherToWin@opseu.org.
Lobbying PC MPPs
The Ford government has shown that they are vulnerable to pressure if enough is applied province-wide. Targeting PC MPPs in their constituencies creates local pressure on them to stand up to the Premier at Queen’s Park. Particularly vulnerable MPPs include backbenchers as well as those who won by close margins. (Please see the next page for a list of the most vulnerable MPPs in each region.)
This summer, let’s coordinate our members to meet with Conservative MPPs, especially the vulnerable ones, and demand that they respond to the issues most important to us.
The Together to Win campaign has lobbying materials available. These resources will help you from the organizing and planning stage to the visit itself, to follow up afterwards. Contact the Together to Win office for these materials at TogetherTowin@opseu.org.
Supporting NDP MPPs
Every region has at least one NDP MPP in it. It’s also important to build and maintain solid relationships with our local NDP MPPs, as they are our strongest labour allies at Queen’s Park. Since last year, they have been a strong, activist voice and ally opposing the Ford government cuts.
Let’s build our relationships with our NDP MPP allies this summer by doing the following:
- Keep our local NDP MPPs as well as the NDP critics in the loop on any lobbying or rallies or protests we plan locally, even if it’s not in their riding;
- Encourage our members to attend NDP events and discussions as supporters.
Building relationships with local media/getting local media coverage
Outside of Toronto, smaller local news outlets are often quite receptive to covering local events and political actions, and they are widely-read. MPPs are quite concerned about unfavourable media coverage in their ridings, and it’s an excellent way to build pressure against them.
- Get to know the reporters in your area who cover politics and current events and make a contact list.
- Follow those reporters on Twitter and tag them on event notices.
- Send them event notices by email with an invitation to attend your event.
- Let them know you’re available for comment.
- If you need a media advisory drafted for an event, contact the Together to Win team at TogetherToWin@opseu.org.
List of PC MPPs who won by close margins
Most of the following PC MPPs won by less than 10% over their nearest competitor(s):
There are no PC MPPs who won by less than 10% in Region 1. The closest races were:
- Bob Bailey, Sarnia-Lambton – won by 15.4% over the NDP
- Rick Nicholls, Chatham-Kent-Leamington – won by 16.2% over the NDP
- Will Bouma, Brantford-Brant – won by 1.1% over the NDP
- Amarjot Sandhu, Brampton West – won by 1.3% over the NDP
- Mike Harris, Kitchener-Conestoga – won by 1.6% over the NDP
- Amy Fee, Kitchener South-Hespeler – won by 1.8% over the NDP
- Belinda Karahalios, Cambridge – won by 4.5% over the NDP
- Deepak Anand, Mississauga-Malton – won by 6.3% over the NDP
- Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, Brampton South – won by 7.2% over the NDP
- Rudy Cuzzetto, Mississauga-Lakeshore – won by 7.3% over the Liberals
- Donna Skelly, Flamborough-Glanbrook – won by 9.4% over the NDP
- Dave Smith, Peterborough-Kawartha – won by 3.6% over the NDP
- Rod Phillips, Ajax – won by 8.1% over the NDP
- Jeremy Roberts, Ottawa West-Nepean – won by 0.3% to the NDP and 3.5% over the Liberals
- Robin Martin, Eglinton-Lawrence – won by 1.5% over the Liberals
- Vijay Thanigasalam, Scarborough-Rouge Park – won by 2.3% over the NDP
- Christina Mitas, Scarborough Centre – won by 5.1% over the NDP
- Christine Hogarth, Etobicoke-Lakeshore – won by 5.5% over the NDP
- Kinga Surma, Etobicoke-Centre – won by 8.3% over the Liberals
- Ross Romano, Sault Ste. Marie – won by 1.3% over the NDP
- Greg Rickford, Kenora-Rainy-River, is the only PC MPP in Region 7. He won by 10.5% over the NDP.