OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas and First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida are calling on Ford to stop trampling on the constitutional rights of Ontarians, after a group of senior citizens was briskly escorted from the public gallery of the legislature last week in handcuffs.
“Their crime?” said Thomas. “They dared speak up for the basic democratic rights enshrined for them – and for all of us – in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
The seniors were present in the public gallery to express their concern and opposition to Ford’s misguided and hotly-criticized use of the notwithstanding clause to force through his plans to shrink Toronto City Council.
“Use the notwithstanding clause to override a court decision that doesn’t go your way: Where’s the common sense Doug?” Asked Almeida. “Ford’s approach lacks any common sense.”
But according to Thomas, it doesn’t have to be this way. The vote on Bill 31, which brings the notwithstanding clause into play, will be a free vote; Conservative caucus members will be able to vote their conscience.
“With some pressure, I’m sure we can convince these backbenchers to do the right thing,” said Thomas. “I’ve written an open letter to the entire Conservative caucus, and I’m urging all OPSEU members to reach out to the Conservative MPPs near them, telling them to take a stand against Ford’s deMOCKracy.”
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Smokey Thomas @OPSEUSmokey
.@fordnation – democracy doesn’t mean dictating policies for the ppl; it means listening to them. You say you’re ‘for the ppl,’ yet you trample their constitutional rights & make every attempt to silence their voices. This joke of a deMOCKracy must end. #OnPoli
Eddy Almeida @OPSEUEddy
To @fordnation, ‘for the ppl’ clearly means for himself. We need a leader who LISTENS to the ppl of #Ontario, not one who closes his eyes & plugs his ears when he’s not getting his way. Ontario is not your playground. The people deserve to be heard. #OnPoli
Democracy is out the door under @fordnation. A true example of Ford’s #deMOCKracy #onpoli #NotwithstandingClause