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Fresh faces for Ford fight-back

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says the enthusiasm he saw at the OPS Divisional Meeting over the November 2-4 weekend makes him all the more confident that the union is ready to take on Doug Ford.

President Thomas shares a joke with delegates beside OPSEU staff member Twila Marston and outgoing CERC chair Haran Thurairasah

“I could feel the electricity in the room,” said Thomas. “If the Premier is looking to pick a fight with us, he’s going to find out that OPSEU is one mean porcupine.

“What I was really happy to see was the great mix of seasoned activists and energetic fresh faces,” Thomas added. “We’re ready for Doug Ford, and we all agree that it’s ON.”

Thomas thanked the hundreds of OPS delegates for their support and sympathies while his wife, Val, was in hospital last week. He also paid tribute to First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, who ably took on the President’s duties.

President Thomas and First VP/T Almeida speak with delegates during a break

“Eddy, you’re my greatest friend and the best Vice-President and Treasurer in the history of OPSEU,” Thomas said during his remarks to the OPS members.

Almeida told OPS members that OPSEU’s finances are in order, and the union has the resources to deal with Ford if he takes a reckless course and attacks Ontario’s vital public services.

“Ford is no match for the power of OPSEU’s 155,000 dedicated members,” Almeida told the OPS. “When we have 155,000 members moving in the same direction, the ground will shake,” said Almeida.

A number of fresh faces were elected to the OPS’s MERCs, along with some seasoned veterans. Below is a listing of the newly elected MERC teams, according to ministry and in alphabetical order, followed by the CERC.

Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Mélanie Bégin, Co-Chair, Local 506
Heidi Steffen-Petrie, Vice-Chair, Local 232
Marcus Rangai, Member, Local 506
Albert Tenuta, 1st Alternate, Local 127
Daira Miranda, 2nd Alternate, Local 506

Meat Inspectors E.R.C.

Marcus Rangai, Co-Chair, Local 506
Daira Miranda, Vice-Chair, Local 506
Binod Baral, Alternate, Local 506

Attorney General


Tina Stevens, Co-Chair, Local 102
Karen Clark, Vice-Chair, Local 212
Kaz Anwar, Member, Local 546
Loretta Clark, Member, Local 123
Karen Teniuk, 1st Alternate, Local 710
Coleen Houlder, 2nd Alternate, Local 524
Renee Stuber, 3rd Alternate, Local 649
Marie-Paule Duret, 4th Alternate, Local 526

Children, Community and Youth Services (MCSS)


Nicole St-Amand, Co-Chair, Local 440
Susan Fournier, Vice-Chair & Member At Large, Local 410
Maria Delara, Member & FRO Rep, Local 534
Chantale Francis, Member & OH&S Rep, Local 586
Cindy Kraakman, Member & ODSP Member & OH&S Rep Alternate, Local 302
Brandon Yohnicki, Member, & ODSP Member, Local 586
Phillip Shearer, 1st Alternate, Local 112
Bernadette Flowers, 2nd Alternate & ODSP 1st Alternate, Local 211

Paulette Gagné, 3rd Alternate & ODSP 2nd Alternate, Local 714
Vanessa Ciampa, Alternate to FRO, Local 584

Children, Community and Social Services 
Corrections Divsions(MCYS)


Glenna Caldwell, Co-Chair, Local 302
Peter Harding, Vice-Chair, Local 337
Michael Fallon, Member, Local 290
Johann Sinclair, 1st Alternate, Local 314
Yvonne Latchford, 2nd Alternate, Local 337
Mark Belanger, 3rd Alternate, Local 618

Health and Safety E.R.C.

Anthony Cunningham, Co-Chair, Local 337
Tom Gibson, Vice-Chair, Local 220
Lizanne Leclair, Member, Local 629
Paula Van Dusen (Justice), Facility Alternate, Local 290
Daryl Eckenstein, Alternate at Large, Local 220
Brian Shewfelt, Probation Alternate, Local 102


Chris Podolinsky-West Region, Chair, Local 154
Jessica Cunningham-West Region, Vice-Chair, Local 154
Melodie McClure-West Region, Member, Local 119
Nancy Higgins-East Region, Chair, Local 302
Robert Hawkins-East Region, Vice-Chair, Local 453
Carolyn Simmons-East Region, Member, Local 447
Kim Knox-East Region, Member, Local 440
Lizanne Leclair-North Region, Chair, Local 629
Raymond Allard-North Region, Vice-Chair, Local 633
Janice Miller-North Region, Member, Local 649
Catherine Piro-North Region, Member, Local 629
Nicole Levine-North Region, Alternate, Local 714
Johann Sinclair-Central Region, Chair, Local 314
Sarah Gaziani-Central Region, Vice-Chair, Local 310
Kendra Newman-Central Region, Member, Local 232
Pamela Pitcher-Central Region, Member, Local 222
Ivan Endrizzi-Toronto Region, Chair, Local 551
Mary Ferreira-Toronto Region, Vice-Chair, Local 551
Tony Colosimo-Toronto Region, Member, Local 551

Community Safety and Correctional Services


Chris Jackel, Co-Chair, Local 369
Chad Oldfield, Vice-Chair, Local 234
Scott McIntyre (P&P), Member, Local 633
Janet Laverty, Member, Local 108

Health and Safety E.R.C.

Michael Lundy, Co-Chair, Local 708
Ryan Graham, Vice-Chair, Local 234
Gord Kiernan P&P, Member, Local 338
Michelle Maclean, Member, Local 248
Joely Price, 1st Alternate, Local 369

Probation and Parole R.E.R.C.

Michael Kirlew-Central Region, Chair, Local 271
J Wallace-Central Region, Vice-Chair, Local 551
Doreen Belaire-Central Region, Member, Local 263
Denise Sidworth-Central Region, Member, Local 263
Rein Kartna-Central Region, 1st Alternate, Local 551
Paulette Joseph-Central Region, 2nd Alternate, Local 551
Frauline Whaul-Central Region, 3rd Alternate, Local 551
Kevin Gilkinson-East Region, Chair, Local 308
Ronald Gendron-East Region, Vice-Chair, Local 453
Rhonda Slaven-East Region, Member, Local 455
Vaneesa Thompson-East Region, Member, Local 424
Maxime Tremblay-East Region, 1st Alternate, Local 424
Loretta Willard-East Region, 2nd Alternate, Local 372
Jon Coffee-East Region, 3rd Alternate, Local 424
Leanne Murtha-East Region, 4th Alternate, Local 368
Ronald Lavigne-North Region, Chair, Local 633
Patricia Giroux-North Region, Vice-Chair, Local 627
Gordon Kiernan-North Region, Member, Local 338
Thomas Moffat-North Region, Member, Local 601
Rainer Murphy-North Region, 1st Alternate, Local 703
Melisa Kuwabara-West Region, Chair, Local 205
Johanne Noonan-West Region, Vice-Chair, Local 232
Wendy Krusto-West Region, Member, Local 205
Neena Sharma-Kendrick-West Region, Member, Local 102
David Reid-West Region, 1st Alternate, Local 224

Community Safety and Correctional Services (Community Safety) E.R.C.

Drew Maddison, Co-Chair, Local 205
Ram Selvarajah, Vice-Chair, Local 524
James Sloots, 1st Alternate, Local 579
Johanne Bourgois, 2nd Alternate, Local 669
Michelle McKain, 3rd Alternate, Local 579

Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade


Haran Thurairasah, Co-Chair, Local 502
Sandra Small, Vice-Chair, Local 502
Diane Pelletier, Member, Local 446
Ann Matyas, 1st Alternate, Local 502
Marcelo Grinfeld, 2nd Alternate, Local 446



Daryl O’Grady, Co-Chair, Local 456
Martin Grenier, Vice-Chair, Local 478
Robert Scarfo, Member, Local 736
Drew Finucane, 1st Alternate, Local 219
Robert Ryan, 2nd Alternate, Local 223
Novia Grant-Simon, 3rd Alternate, Local 219

Environment, Conservation and Parks


Shawn Burr, Co-Chair, Local 702
Chris Johnston, Vice-Chair, Local 308
Angeline des Lauriers, Member, Local 532
Julius Arscott, Member & 1st Alternate, Local 532
Chris McConnel, 2nd Alternate, Local 317
Ryan Smith, 3rd Alternate, Local 103
Khaleed Khalfan, 4th Alternate, Local 232

Finance (FSCO)


Tracey Cribbs, Co-Chair, Local 201
Dave Bissoon, Vice-Chair, Local 599
Kelly Reddy, Member, Local 599
Patrick Davidson, Member, Local 340
Laura Christie, 1st Alternate, Local 340
Shanika Duncan, 2nd Alternate, Local 680
Jason Chan, 3rd Alternate, Local 599

Government and Consumer Services


Debbie Ponte, Co-Chair, Local 542
Rob Cox, Vice-Chair, Local 340
Spencer Mitchell, Member, Local 533
Stacey Grieve, Member, Local 736
Pamela Serrattan, 1st Alternate, Local 528
Lori Smyth, 2nd Alternate, Local 102
Joanne Villeneuve, 3rd Alternate, Local 729
Paul Opper, 4th Alternate, Local 103

Health and Long-Term Care


Frank Wendling, Co-Chair, Local 468
Maureen Whyte, Vice-Chair, Local 340
Heather Dargavel, Member, Local 313
Amanda Usher, Member, Local 302
Martin Santyr, 1st Alternate, Local 468
Patrick Fry-Smith, 2nd Alternate, Local 201
Gord Garrity, 3rd Alternate, Local 701
Tanya Warner, 4th Alternate, Local 502



Neil Martin, Co-Chair, Local 546
Richard Hutchinson, Vice-Chair, Local 230
Leslie Aiston, Member, Local 446
Barry Norton, 1st Alternate, Local 154
Edith Strachan, 2nd Alternate, Local 546
Patrick Sheridan, 3rd Alternate, Local 446

Municipal Affairs and Housing


Lorilee Riddell-Carpenter, Co-Chair, Local 103
Sylvie Oulton, Vice-Chair, Local 701
Christopher Broom, 1st Alternate, Local 632

Natural Resources and Forestry (includes Indigenous Affairs)


Elaine Bagnall, Co-Chair, Local 362
Helene Scott, Vice-Chair, Local 611
Antonio Crispino, Member, Local 703
Christopher Bierman, Member, Local 434
Daryl Smith, 1st Alternate, Local 640
Stephen Douglas, 2nd Alternate, Local 103
Minoly Grosgrey, 3rd Alternate, Local 362

Energy, Northern Development and Mines


Robert Sjonnesen, Co-Chair, Local 604
Cheryl McDonald, Vice-Chair, Local 701
Cisca McInnis (Energy), Member, Local 553
Gregory Paju, Member, Local 728

Ontario Clean Water Agency


Chris Eckert, Co-Chair, Local 584
Bob Gooch, Vice-Chair, Local 123
Patrick Dinel, Member, Local 645
John Bristow, Member, Local 313

Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS); Citizenship and Immigration (MCI)


Darren Winger (MTCSMCI), Co-Chair, Local 154
Anthony Sword (MTCSMCI), Vice-Chair, Local 549
Thomas Henbest (MTCS), Member, Local 453
Marlene Wright (MCI), Member, Local 701
Caroline Loiselle (MCI), Alternate, Local 634
Leanne Esarik (MTCS), Alternate, Local 701

Training, Colleges and Universities


Sophia Ambrose, Co-Chair, Local 736
Bonnie Sweet, Vice-Chair, Local 455
Oliver Obagi, Member, Local 446
Carla Scherle-Thompson, 1st Alternate, Local 102
Bradley Sim, 2nd Alternate, Local 308
Biserka Jakovljevic, 3rd Alternate, Local 302



William Larose, Co-Chair, Local 634
Sean Iovacchini, Vice-Chair, Local 139
Sam Hardie, Member, Local 270
Corrine Santagelo, Member, Local 506
Sam Hardie, H&S Officer, Local 270
Joey Delazzari, 1st Alternate, Local 502
Suzanne Lessard, 2nd Alternate, Local 536
Stella Martin, 3rd Alternate, Local 542
Shane Miller, 4th Alternate, Local 506


Neil Martin, Co-Chair, Local 546
William Larose, Vice-Chair, Local 634
Haran Thurairasah, Member, Local 502
Daryl O’Grady, 1st Alternate, Local 456
Chris Eckert, 2nd Alternate, Local 584
Robert Sjonnesen, 3rd Alternate, Local 604
Debbie Ponte, 4th Alternate, Local 502
Frank Wendling, 5th Alternate, Local 468
Tracey Cribbs, 6th Alternate, Local 201