Toronto – OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is calling on Conservative backbenchers to rein in Premier Doug Ford when the legislature resumes sitting Wednesday.
Ford has called back the House to ram through his discredited plan to shrink the size of Toronto City Council, invoking the notwithstanding clause of the Constitution to override this week’s court ruling that shot down the plan.
Thomas says since Ford has made this a free vote, the Conservative caucus can easily put the brakes on the whole scheme.
“Vote against this harebrained scheme,” said Thomas. “The notwithstanding clause isn’t something you toss around lightly. If Conservative MPPs respect democracy and the judicial system, now’s their chance to take back their party.
“Just last week, Ford Motor Company recalled hundreds of thousands of vehicles because they could be a fire hazard,” Thomas added. “Well the Premier is setting Ontario on fire with his reckless policies; the Tory caucus should issue its own ‘Ford recall.’”
Thomas also said he shared the widespread alarm over the use of the notwithstanding clause and reminded Conservative MPPs of their role as builders, not destroyers.
“Ford’s caucus knows he never made a peep during the election about slashing city councils,” said Thomas. “The size of Toronto City Council isn’t top priority for anyone other than Ford and a few of his failed Stephen Harper spin doctors.”
With a host of Charter cases piling up against the Ford government – including OPSEU’s own challenge to reinstate a task force set up to deal with unresolved issues from last year’s strike by college faculty – the union is concerned about Ford’s misuse of the notwithstanding clause.
“If Ford’s willing to cross this line, what will stop him from wielding this weapon time and again?” asked OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida.
“He’s punch drunk on power,” added Almeida. “If he starts trying to bully our members he’s going to find out just how hot the stove can get.”
For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931