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Thomas tells Wynne that protesting is a democratic right


Following is a letter sent by President Thomas to Premier Wynne.

July 10, 2015                                                                               

Dear Premier Wynne:

Thank you for your response to my correspondence of June 25, 2015.

You may have misunderstood my original letter and my question to you.  Our representatives were told by the OPP that Ontario Place is private property.  Given you make no reference to this, should I conclude that the OPP were not telling the truth, and that Ontario Place continues to be owned by the citizens of Ontario?

In addition, you write that the role of police services is “to keep the peace and protect the public.”  It is unclear to me why you say this, unless you are trying to imply that our representatives pose a threat to the public, which is absurd.

You also write that your news conference was “by invitation only.”  I believe the public has the right to peacefully demonstrate at public events, and this includes your news conferences anywhere in the province.  Are you implying this is not the case? Have you instructed the OPP to block our representatives from attending your news conferences? Or, are you suggesting you know nothing about this unprecedented new policy and that the OPP developed this profoundly anti-democratic position entirely on its own?

Our representatives were stopped from expressing their views at a public event, and I believe they were deliberately misled as to why this was the case. I invite you to share additional information on this matter of the public’s right to freely express its opinion and peacefully demonstrate.


Warren (Smokey) Thomas
President, OPSEU