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OPSEU/SEFPO: Community Living Oakville Board President must resign over holiday travel

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas

Toronto – OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is calling on Community Living Oakville Board President Peter Nesbitt to step down after taking a vacation in the Caribbean last month.

“This is yet another case of an organizational leader getting caught telling staff and the people they support to do as I say, not do as I do,” said Thomas. “It’s arrogant. It’s hypocritical and it shows he’s not cut out to lead a community-minded organization like Community Living Oakville.”

Nesbitt travelled south for a vacation in January despite the widely known public health orders against all non-essential travel.

Nesbitt’s junket came as Community Living Oakville was directing its staff to comply with all public health directives and advising the people they support that they faced extra restrictions if they went home for the holidays or visited their families.

“When Nesbitt decided it was OK for him to do some non-essential travel, he showed just how non-essential he is,” said OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. “Front-line workers at Community Living Oakville are risking their lives to care for some of their community’s most vulnerable people while this guy is sunning himself on a beach.

“The last thing our front-line heroes need is to have their health put at risk even more by someone who doesn’t think the rules apply to them.”

Thomas said organizational leaders like Nesbitt need to lead by example and that, if they refuse, they should be shown the door.

“If Nesbitt won’t do the right thing and step down of his own accord, I’m calling on the other leaders at Community Living Oakville – and those in government – to let him know he’s no longer welcome,” said Thomas. “To get through this pandemic, we must work together. There’s no place in public service for people who think they can just make their own rules.”

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

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