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‘A bad day for women’: OPSEU President cries foul as Ford demotes female Cabinet ministers

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas speaking into a microphone in front of an Ontario flag.

Toronto – OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says it’s clear that Doug Ford hasn’t learned a thing during his first unpopular year as premier, making the terrible rookie mistake of demoting almost every one of his female Cabinet ministers.
“Ford was happy to send out Lisa MacLeod, Christine Elliott, Caroline Mulroney, and Lisa Thompson to defend all of his cruel and chaotic cuts. And how did he reward them? By throwing them under his man-cave van,” said Thomas. “The only woman who seemed to get a promotion was Kinga Surma, who isn’t very well known except as a ‘close friend’ of Ford’s from Etobicoke.
“That one’s a real headscratcher.”

OPSEU First Vice-President / Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida said it’s clear Ford is desperate. Barely a year after taking government, and just days after being loudly booed at the Raptors rally in Toronto, Almeida said that Ford’s massive Cabinet shuffle – along with his hiring of longtime Liberal insider Earl Provost – shows that he’ll try anything to lift his sagging poll numbers.

“A year ago, Ontario had its most unpopular Premier in history who was being advised by backroom Liberal operatives. Now we’ve got an even more unpopular Premier, and he’s being advised by backroom Liberal operatives,” said Almeida. “With this Premier, money talks. Everybody else gets demoted.”

Thomas said that if Ford really wants to win the trust and respect of the people of Ontario, there’s just one person who should be shuffled: Dean French.

“You say Phillips, I say Fedeli. With this government, it doesn’t matter who has the title of Finance Minister,” said Thomas. “We all know that everybody in Cabinet is taking marching orders from Ford’s chief of staff. He tells them when to stand. He tells them when to clap. He tells them when to take selfies. And he tells them when to put the interests of the rich over the interests of the rest of us.”

“He’s got to go. And until he does, the booing is just going to get louder and louder.”

Thomas added that Ford isn’t doing himself any favours by lavishing Cabinet posts – and salaries — on MPPs from the 905.

“Rural Ontario. Urban Ontario. Northern Ontario. Eastern Ontario. Southwestern Ontario. They all matter,” said Thomas. “But judging by this new Cabinet, you’d think the world ended at Vaughan.”

For more information:
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931