May 10, 2012 - No. 35
McGuinty Government's Stepped Up
Reform of Public Services Must Serve
the Public Interest!
Toronto, May Day
• Reform of Public Services Must Serve the
• Government Refuses to Negotiate with
• Procedures Covered by Health Care Seriously
• Province-Wide Town Hall Forums Oppose
Degradation of Health Care - Rob Woodhouse
• Government Must Meet Public Sector Pension
Obligations - Pritilata Waddedar
Deregulation and Privatization
• Workers Resist Monopoly Dictate in
Energy Sector - Jim Nugent
with College Workers Right to Unionize
• Count the Votes Now! - Christine
• Province-Wide Tour of 15 Communities
Warning of Budget Cutbacks to Health Care
• Parliamentary Committee Reviews Elizabeth
Witmer's Appointment as Chair of Workplace Safety Insurance Board
• May 17, International Day Against
Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia
• June 1, Demonstration for Injured Workers
McGuinty Government's Stepped Up
Reform of Public Services Must Serve
the Public Interest!
The McGuinty government's austerity budget is said to be
making a "radical transformation of the broad public sector." Who this
benefits is kept in the shade.
People support reforms which eliminate what is blocking
society from moving forward and strengthen the positive things society
has given rise to. However, to make radical changes which subordinate
interest to the private interests of the monopolies is an entirely
The McGuinty government uses phrases such as "finding
"eliminating waste" and getting "value for the dollar," to give his
reforms a positive spin. This is what Mike Harris did when he referred
to his government's anti-social wrecking as a "common sense
revolution." But for all the high sounding
phrases, there is no hiding that the McGuinty Liberals' purpose is to
cut $17 billion from social programs and appropriate another $4 billion
in user fees so as to redirect it all to the financiers in the name of
debt servicing and other pay-the-rich schemes. Lowering the standard of
living in Ontario and transferring
more of the wealth of society to pay the rich is not in the public
interest! Nor does it have public support. No one voted for this!
Even before the austerity
measures in the 2012 budget, the security
of livelihoods and standard of life of workers in Ontario have been
under downward pressure as a result of the overall direction of the
economy. Corporate profits have recovered from the 2008 financial
collapse and the 2009 recession. But for
the workers this has been another jobless recovery with high
unemployment continuing. We are told this high unemployment is likely
to continue for several more years. International monopolies are
continuing their wrecking of the goods producing sector they control
and are arrogantly dictating a lowering of standard
Canadian wages and working conditions. Sound public services and social
programs that serve the public interest are more necessary now than
ever but McGuinty is turning everything over to the control of the
Oppose the McGuinty government's anti-social offensive!
No amount of
finding "efficiencies" that will "reduce costs" is going to alleviate
the crisis or open a path to progress, because that is not their aim.
Stop Paying the Rich!
Increase Funding for Social Programs!
Government Refuses to Negotiate with Teachers
The Ontario Secondary
School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) recently tabled a proposal in an
attempt to arrive at parameters for negotiating new collective
agreements that would be mutually agreeable to both the government and
the OSSTF. The teachers' federation was shocked that their willingness
concessions on the table and negotiate was dismissed out of hand. They
were told it was not enough! The OSSTF packed up and left the meeting
and expressed "disappointment that its efforts to avoid needless
conflict in education have been rejected."
The OSSTF described their proposals as unprecedented and
went a long way towards meeting the cuts in education funding the
McGuinty government is aiming to achieve. The OSSTF proposed to accept
a two-year wage freeze, followed in years 3 and 4 by a cost of living
adjustment only. Their proposal included
a plan to encourage retirement of more senior teachers, a 15 per cent
reduction of high-cost central administrative positions; a moratorium
on Ministry of Education initiatives for the next four years; and the
creation of an employee run benefits plan that would allow school
boards to remove unfunded liabilities from
But the McGuinty government is not interested in
negotiating anything less than complete submission to its contract
agenda. McGuinty is aiming to cut more than $2 billion out of public
education in this round of contract negotiations and redirect it to
paying down the debt and deficit. In addition to a zero annual
salary freeze the government is demanding as a freeze for all teachers
at their current pay level on the qualification and experience grid,
changes to sick day benefits and concessions on pension and other
The government's response to the teachers federation
offer shows it does not intend to be bound by its legal
obligation to bargain in good faith. The refusal to even acknowledge
the unprecedented nature of the OSSTF's offer was also
intended to humiliate the teachers, in the same way
that McGuinty appointed bankruptcy expert former-Justice James Farley,
a man who knows nothing about public education, to head the government
The McGuinty government is insisting the teachers and
education support workers voluntarily submit to deep cuts to funding of
public education, or have it legislatively imposed upon them.
All Ontario working people must stand with the teachers
and education workers to resist the attack they are under. Their fight
to defend their working and living conditions is in the front line of
the fight to defend the public education from being wrecked in order to
divert more and more precious public resources
to pay the rich.
Procedures Covered by Health Care Seriously Eroded
On May 7 the Ontario government unilaterally
revised the fee
schedule doctors receive for medical procedures covered by the Ontario
Health Insurance Program (OHIP). The fee schedule serves as the
contract negotiated between the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and
the provincial government. The previous
fee schedule expired on March 31. The new unilaterally imposed fee
schedule is retroactive to April 1 and cuts $338 million out of funding
provided for medical procedures covered by OHIP.
Negotiations between the OMA and the provincial
government had just
broken off due to government intransigence. The OMA had requested some
form of third party arbitration, which the government rejected. The
government also rejected an earlier proposal of the OMA for a two-year
freeze in the schedule.
The government wants to freeze the total provincial spending on doctor
compensation, not just the fee schedule.
The Ministry of Health has been waging a campaign to
public. For example, the Ministry's website really disparages Ontario
doctors for being over-paid and says "a real wage freeze for doctors
will allow the province to invest in the community care and to protect
recent gains in health care." Utter
rubbish. Every penny in cuts from the OHIP fee schedule paid to doctors
is going to pay the rich under the hoax of paying down the debt and
deficit -- not to improve any aspect of public health care.
Many will not protest the imposed fee schedule because
doctors are already over-paid and make substantially more than a
"typical Ontarian." This is precisely what the government hopes for. It
uses the prejudice against doctors to impose its dictate, whereupon it
then makes it that much easier to do
the same in the next case and the case after that. Taking funding
allocated for medical procedures out of the OHIP envelope and using it
in the name of debt servicing is not acceptable. It is the number of
publicly available medical procedures and quality of public health care
that is going to suffer. These cuts are
a formula for further wrecking of the publicly funded, publicly
delivered health care system and set the stage for expanded privatized,
for profit health care delivery.
The medical system is in need of renewal. It takes a
investment to educate and train a medical doctor. Society should make
those investments to provide itself with a sufficient numbers of
doctors required to meet the needs of all its members and in exchange
for the cost of their training and education,
doctors should be salaried professionals, remunerated according to
their level of training and expertise. There is no justification for
society to be paying exorbitant procedure fees which lend themselves to
But the Ontario government is not interested in
to the problems of our public health care system. Instead, the Ministry
of Health publishes a scandal sheet on how over-paid doctors are,
citing for example that over 400 doctors in Ontario bill OHIP in excess
of $1 million annually. And who
is responsible for that abuse if not the government of Ontario itself!
It is very self-serving, dishonest and socially irresponsible to incite
people to go after doctors as the problem with public health care, when
the entire aim of the government is to take more money out of funding
for health care and use it to pay the
rich in the name of eliminating debts that we, the people, did not
Province-Wide Town Hall Forums Oppose
Degradation of Health Care
The Ontario Health
Coalition (OHC) has announced it is organizing a series of town hall
forums across Ontario during May and June to engage people in a
discussion on the negative impact the Ontario 2012 Budget will have on
health services in Ontario. The OHC is an association of health care
and of other unions and community organizations.
The budget lowered the cap on provincial funds allocated
to health care by 4 per cent. For the next three years the increase on
health care spending is limited to 2.1 per cent increases. Even at the
previous level of 6.1 per cent increases, health services were unable
to keep up with the increase in the needs of patients.
Between the budget and the recently announced "Action Plan" of the
Ministry of Health, a wholesale degradation of the health care system
As well as underfunding, the health care system is also
confronted by increased privatization. Privatization undermines health
care as a universal public program, turning more and more of the health
care system into a business profiting from peoples' health needs and
into insurance scams.
Ontario workers, who produce sufficient wealth for a
modern health care system, broadly support a public health care system
with the funding required to meet people's needs. But the political
arrangements in Ontario do not ensure the public will becomes the law
of the land. The discussion of health care in
Ontario has to include not only discussion on how to resist the latest
attacks of the McGuinty government on health care but also a discussion
on how to bring about the reforms of the health care system to make
sure it guarantees the right to health care for all.
See the Coming Events below for the dates and locations
of the town hall forums on
Government Must Meet Public Sector
austerity agenda has set its
sights on pensions of workers in the broad public sector and is
preparing legislative changes that could affect the 1,286,000 workers
in this sector. This initiative has to be considered in the context of
the all-out attack of the rich on the rights of seniors and
on the overall standard of living of the people.
This is important because the government understands
that the rights of seniors have wide support among the electorate. It
making every effort to portray the 20 per cent of the workforce in the
broad public sector as a "privileged minority" because many of them
have pensions. In his speech on the 2012 Budget,
Finance Minister Dwight Duncan did this in the most vulgar terms. "We
do not think it is fair to ask a single mother who earns $14 an hour
and who has no pension plan, to pay even more of her hard-earned tax
dollars into the pension funds of others," Duncan said.
This is fake concern from the man blocking funding for
the housing, child care and other social programs "a single mother who
earns $14 an hour" desperately needs. It was the preamble to announcing
that the government was preparing legislation relieving government of
contracted pension obligations and limiting
future contributions to pensions. The proposed legislation will apply
not only to the direct Government of Ontario employee pensions but also
to other public sector pensions, including particular measures
affecting university and the electricity sector pension plans.
Immediately after the budget was passed, the Ministry of
Finance announced the launching of what it called "consultations on a
new legislative framework for jointly sponsored public sector pension
While calling it a "consultation," the announcement
contained the pre-ordained conclusions that will be reached: pension
deficits will be funded by benefit reductions not increased
contributions; in plans where employees pay less than 50 per cent of
the contributions, only the employee contributions can be raised
to cover deficits. The government's plan is to quickly discharge its
legal "duty to consult" on its jointly sponsored plans over the summer
to clear the way for imposing new public sector pension legislation in
The government is
anticipating resistance from public sector workers and their unions and
has made provisions for dispensing with any collective bargaining
rights during the "consultation" process:
"Where plan sponsors cannot agree on benefit reductions
through negotiation, a new, third-party dispute resolution process
would be used." This new dispute resolution process would be defined by
the government and there is no indication what it intends to impose.
The government is preparing
to renege on contracted
pension obligations to its employees, just as was done by GM and other
large monopolies in the goods producing sector. By putting caps on
contributions and reducing benefits, the government is in effect
stealthily converting defined benefit plans into much
inferior defined contribution plans.
All workers should support the resistance of the public
sector workers to this scheme and reject any attempt to isolate public
sector workers as a "privileged minority." The vision of the working
class is that all people have the right to live in security,
good health in old age. The fight to realize this
vision starts with resistance to the attacks on the existing pensions
of workers but doesn't end until retirement in dignity is ensured as a
right of all.
Opposition to Deregulation and
Workers Resist Monopoly Dictate in Energy Sector
Striking Direct Energy
workers in Barrie.
During the past month, 850 workers at two natural gas
utility services companies were forced to go on strike to block owners
from unilaterally imposing lower wages and conditions. As well, 900
scientific, engineering and technical staff in Ontario's nuclear
industry have voted 94 per cent to strike to prevent
owners from gutting their collective agreement. The utility workers
taking strike action are employed by Direct Energy (550 workers) and
Reliance Home Comfort (295 workers). The nuclear staff voting to strike
are employed by SNC Lavalin's subsidiary Candu Energy (formerly Atomic
Energy Canada Limited --
This outbreak of confrontation and instability in
Ontario's energy sector is being created by powerful monopolies
attempting to aggressively dictate a lowering of wages and working
conditions of workers and threatening workers' livelihoods. This
situation is the consequence of the chickens coming home to roost
from many years of deregulation and privatization of the energy sector
by federal and provincial government. This trend is being intensified
by recent action of the Ontario government to throw open the doors to
the energy sector even wider to international monopolies and bankers
scrambling for big scores.
The Ontario government is just completing the shutting
down of coal-fired thermal power plants and converting them to natural
gas. This conversion process was used to hand the entire thermal
generation capacity over to the private sector, to the natural gas
monopolies and other financial groups. The McGuinty
government's wind and solar green energy fraud was also a privatization
initiative, based on outrageous sweetheart deals with private
investors. In the past year alone there have been $16 billion in
private sector investment in Ontario electricity, investments that
guarantee cash for life profits to owners. As these projects
are being completed, the government is in the process of
rolling out another round of deregulation and privatization in the
energy sector to create a fresh batch of pay the rich schemes.
One of these projects is set out in the Ontario 2012
Budget. The government plans to eliminate barriers to consolidation of
publicly owned local electrical distribution companies (LDCs), opening
the way to privatization, including mergers of LDCs with the privately
owned natural gas distribution companies. Another is a pilot project
for creating private sector investment
opportunity in the electricity transmission system, which is currently
90 per cent owned and operated by the public company Hydro One.
Hearings are underway at the Ontario Energy Board to pick a contractor
for the pilot project, a $600 million electricity
transmission expansion project in North West Ontario known as the
East-West Tie. The biggest project is a $30 billion expansion and
refurbishment of nuclear power plants. This project got underway in
March when the government awarded SNC Lavalin and Aecon Construction a
$6 billion contract for refurbishment
of the Darlington nuclear power reactors, a contract that included some
murky hybrid P3 arrangements.
This latest round of deregulation and privatization
initiatives is resulting in financial vultures from all over the world
flocking to Ontario in anticipation of big scores. Monopolies already
operating in Ontario are trying to improve their competitive advantage
in the expanding market by reorganizing themselves
as low-cost operators. This is their strategy for either fighting it
out with the other financial groups entering the market or being
attractive take-over targets. This is the strategy behind the brutal
and aggressive tactics these monopolies are using in negotiations
against workers in this sector.
Direct Energy Workers' Strike
Workers at Direct Energy went on strike on April 17
after the company announced that it was unilaterally imposing new wages
and terms that included a 25 percent wage reduction, scheduling changes
and changes in work qualifications affecting job placement
and layoffs. The workers are members of Chemical, Energy and
Paperworkers Union (CEP) Local 975, clerical and operational workers
who provide Direct Energy customers with plumbing, water heater,
heating, ventilation and air conditioning services, including water
heater and furnace installations and maintenance.
A tentative agreement was reached and accepted during a ratification
vote that ended on May 2.
Direct Energy is a deregulated utility services company
spun off from Enbridge/Consumers Gas following the de-regulation of the
natural gas industry. Direct Energy workers are located in the Greater
Toronto Area, Niagara, Ottawa and other Ontario localities. The company
is currently owned by Centrica, an
international monopoly group based in Britain and aggressively
expanding in North American markets. As well as dictating to workers,
Direct Energy has repeatedly faced charges of abusing customers
with forged contracts and other illegal business practices.
Direct Energy workers'
picket line at the company's offices in Woodbridge.
Reliance Home Comfort Workers' Strike
Workers at Reliance Home Comfort were forced to go on
strike on May 2 after the company imposed working terms and conditions
during collective bargaining. Reliance had been demanding unacceptable
concessions all through the negotiations, including
a two-tier wage system for new hires. When the workers voted to reject
these concessions, the company announced the new conditions would be
The workers who went on strike against Reliance are
members of CEP Local 1999. They are clerical and operational workers
who install and repair natural gas and electrical heating, ventilation
and air conditioning equipment in homes throughout Ontario from
facilities in Windsor, Sarnia, London, Brantford,
Cambridge Burlington, Kingston and Thunder Bay.
Reliance is the deregulated utility services company
spun off from Union Gas following the deregulation of the gas industry
by the Mulroney government in the mid 1980s and a series of takeovers
involving Union Gas. Reliance also includes home services business,
mostly hot water rentals, it bought from Ontario
Hydro after Ontario Hydro was broken up as part of the Harris
government's electricity privatization scheme.
Reliance is currently owned by Alinda Capital Partners,
a group of NY investment bankers with investments in infrastructure all
over the world. It bought Reliance for $1.7 billion, a 45 per cent
premium over the going stock price in order to get into the lucrative
Ontario market. This is similar to the situation
at Direct Energy. When Centrica bought Direct Energy to establish a
base in Ontario, it paid Enbridge $200 million over the market value.
This kind of rivalry and deal making among monopoly groups result in
the new monopoly owners squeezing workers to recoup the premiums in
addition to the extracting the
going rate of return.
Candu Energy Negotiations
Candu Energy is the name that SNC Lavalin gave the
federal crown corporation AECL after the Harper government handed it
over to Lavalin virtually for free. AECL contains Canada's entire
nuclear scientific, engineering and technical knowledge base, built up
75 years of public investment. This knowledge base is used to operate
Ontario's fleet of nuclear power plants, both the privately operated
Bruce power plants and the publicly owned Darlington/Pickering plants.
Since AECL was privatized and set up as Candu Energy by
Lavalin, management has waged a campaign to drive down the wages and
working conditions of the professional and technical staff. The staff
are represented by the Society of Professional Engineers and Associates
(SPEA) in negotiating wages and
terms of work with Candu Energy. A spokesperson for SPEA says, "The
quest to maximize short-term profits at the expense of employees is
placing a major Ontario-based industry in jeopardy." The membership of
SPEA voted 94 per cent for strike action in a meeting on May 3.
SNC Lavalin is Canada's largest engineering monopoly,
specializing in government infrastructure projects across Canada and
around the globe. It is currently under investigation for criminal
activities related to bribery and corruption of government officials in
a number of countries, including Libya and Bangladesh.
Members of the Society of
Professional Engineers and Associates hold a press conference in
Ottawa, May 11, 2010, prior to testifying in front of the Finance
Standing Commitee to oppose the privatization of Atomic Energy of
A New Direction for the Economy
The operation of gas and electricity generation,
transmission and distribution utilities has a social
character and involves many important public interests. This is one of
the reasons why most of the electricity capacity in Ontario was
publicly owned and
why the gas monopolies were restricted by regulations in the first
place. Private ownership of this sector and letting the moneybags do as
they please is in sharp conflict with its
social character and the public interest. Increased private ownership
and decreased restrictions on the monopolies
is definitely the wrong direction, both for the workers creating the
wealth in this sector and for the interests of the public.
The situation of the
utility service workers as well as that of the professional/technical
workers in the nuclear industry calls for resistance and the resistance
of these workers has full support from other workers across the country
who are also standing up to monopoly dictate. This includes material
unions have donated $1 million to the SPEA strike fund. The situation
developing in Ontario's energy sector also calls out for workers to
establish a new direction for this sector and for the whole economy. A
new direction is needed so workers' rights are respected and so the
livelihoods of energy sector workers
and the services they provide are assured.
For over a hundred years
gas and electrical utility
workers, along with professional and technical workers, have been doing
their jobs -- building and operating supply and distribution
infrastructure, maintaining public safely, providing energy services to
homes and industry. They have done this within a regime of continuous
ownership change and governments allowing layer
after layer of private ownership claims to be laid over the sector.
These private owners suck wealth out of this
highly socialized sector. Their scramble for big scores creates chaos
and instability that threatens workers'
livelihoods, the services they provide and the public interest.
Continued Interference with College
Workers Right to Unionize
Count the Votes Now!
Ontario college workers
demonstrate in downtown Toronto, April 7, 2011. (OPSEU)
Governments at all levels in Canada are failing to meet
their treaty obligations regarding workers rights according to the
International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations
organization responsible for drawing up and overseeing conventions on
labour rights and standards. Governments across Canada
have been cited more often in over 20 recent ILO cases for refusing to
change laws found to have been in violation of Convention No. 87 -- the
Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize.
Convention No.87 was established in 1950 and signed by Canada in 1972.
Among the violations the ILO cites are the following
cases where workers are continuing to be denied the fundamental right
to join a union:
- Agricultural workers in Alberta and Ontario;
- Domestic workers, in Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick, PEI and
- Architects, dentists, land surveyors, engineers and lawyers in
Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI and Saskatchewan;
- Nurse practitioners in Alberta;
- University faculty in Alberta; and
- Part-time employees of community colleges in Ontario.
This is the third time in seven years that the
Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and
Recommendations(CEACR), has cited the McGuinty government
for its continued denial of the rights to a union for thousands of
Ontario part-time college support staff and faculty. The
initial complaint by college workers was made to the ILO in 2005. Three
strikes on McGuinty since then!
Strike One November 2006: The ILO Committee
requested the McGuinty Government rapidly take legislative measures, in
consultation with the social partners, to ensure that academic and
part-time support staff in colleges of applied arts and technology in
Ontario fully enjoy the rights to organize
and to bargain collectively, as any other workers. It wasn't until the
fall of 2008, (McGuinty's idea of rapid is 2 years!), that the Colleges
Act (CCBA) was modernized to allow for these
rights which had been denied by all political parties for over 30 years!
Strike Two November 2011: The ILO committee
reviewed the case for the second time and requested the OLRB resolve
the dispute over the voting without delay. Their inquiry revealed that
the required 35% card signing had been completed and two supervised
votes ordered by the Ontario Labour
Relations Board (OLRB) in 2009 had taken place. Since then until now
the ballot boxes have been sealed.
The OLRB has worked in cahoots
with the College Employer Council, the bargaining agent for the 24
Ontario colleges, entertaining the
legal ruses of the Employer Council and refusing to count the votes,
thus allowing the employer to interfere
with the college workers rights to join a union of their choice.
Strike Three April 2012: An ILO report looked at
the charges of the union that the College Employer Council challenged
the number of union cards signed for the purpose of stonewalling
certification. The ILO report says: "In this regard, the Committee
the indication that the Ontario Public Service
Employees Union had filed certification applications to represent both
the part-time academic staff and part-time support staff units. In both
cases, representation votes have been held and the ballot boxes have
been sealed pending a decision by the [OLRB] concerning issues that
in dispute between the parties. Ultimately, the complainant's
allegations that mediation and costly litigation at the OLRB can take
months or even years had not been answered by the Government. Recalling
the importance that part-time academic and support staff in colleges of
applied arts and technology in Ontario
fully enjoy without delay the right to organize, as enjoyed by other
workers, and the need to lift any obstacle in law and practice which
would hinder these rights as provided in the Convention, the Committee
requests the Government to indicate in its next report any decision
taken by the OLRB on the matters currently
pending before it."
The McGuinty government has disregarded the ILO
reprimands. It is continuing to stubbornly deny
collective bargaining rights to college workers, farm workers,
caregivers and others and is attacking the rights of even more workers.
recent Ontario budget wipes out the bargaining rights of over
a million workers in the broad public sector, with a threat to impose
legislated contracts on any workers who will not knuckle under to
austerity in negotiations.
College workers join the teachers, education workers,
public service workers and all those in the private sector to oppose
the Ontario austerity budget. We
see the importance of defending the rights of all against this
government as it unleashes
attacks on collective bargaining rights and the education system as a
whole in order to cover the costs of bailouts, corporate tax cuts and
interest payments to financial institutions.
Province-Wide Tour of 15 Communities
Warning of Budget Cutbacks to Health Care
Thursday, May 10 --
Royal Canadian Legion A.C. McCallum Branch 479
5603 Spring St., Niagara Falls
Saturday, May 12 --
St. Peter's HARRRP, 705 Main St. E.
Monday, May 14 -- 7
Royal Canadian Legion (Polish) Branch 412
601 Wellington St. N.
Tuesday, May 15 --
Northview Community Centre, Gymnasium, 150 Beatrice St. E.
Wednesday, May 16
-- 7 pm
King's College, Labatt Hall 105, 266 Epworth Ave.
Thursday, May 17 --
Peterborough Public Library, Auditorium, 345 Aylmer St. N.
Wednesday, May 23
-- 7 pm
Regiopolis - Notre Dame Catholic High School, Cafetorium, 130 Russell
Thursday, May 24 --
Navy Veteran's Club, 30-6th Street E.
Saturday, May 26 --
Ottawa Public Library, 120 Metcalfe St.
Monday, May 28 -- 7
Floyd Hembruff Civic Centre,
387 Highway 11
Sault Ste. Marie
Wednesday, May 30
-- 7 pm
543 Trunk Rd.
Thursday, May 31 --
Waverley Resource Library,
285 Red River Rd.
Saturday, June 2 --
Best Western Lakeside Inn, Cascade Room, 470 First Ave. S.
Tuesday, June 5 --
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76, 1553 Weller St.
Wednesday, June 6
-- 7 pm
CAW 195/2458 Union Hall,
3400 Somme Ave.
Parliamentary Committee Reviews Elizabeth Witmer's
Appointment as Chair of Workplace
Safety Insurance Board
Elizabeth Witmer will appear in front of a parliamentary
at Queen's Park to review her appointment as Chair of the Workplace
Safety Insurance Board. It will
take place Tuesday, May 15 at 9:00 am, Committee Room 1 at Queen's
Park. This hearing is open to the public.
May 17, International Day Against Homophobia,
Biphobia and Transphobia
May 17 is celebrated world wide as International Day
Against Homophobia, a day to bring to the fore the struggles of gay,
lesbian and transgender people to affirm their rights by virtue of
human. May 17 was chosen as the International Day Against Homophobia
because on that day, 1990, the World Health
Organization removed homosexuality from the international
classification of diseases.
Ontario Political Forum hails this day and
salutes especially the gay, lesbian and transgender people who have
taken their stand in the front ranks of the struggle for a modern
that affirms the rights of all.
Discrimination is a daily reality for Lesbian Gay Bi
Transgender and Queer communities, and it continues to be important to
speak out against transphobia, biphobia and homophobia. On this day,
let us together affirm the human rights of all, including LGBTQ
community members, their loved ones and allies.
Let us take a stand against heterosexism, discrimination and narrow
views about gender that negatively impact LGBTQ community members and
their loved ones.
Often, the very existence of gay, lesbian and
transgender people is made invisible by assumptions about what
partnership, family and gender are. To come out often means being
subjected to a subtle or overt negative treatment. Many experience
outright violence and exclusion.
Without the sacrifice and courage of generations of
LGBTQ community members and allies, the International Day Against
Homophobia would not have come into existence. Let May 17 be a day to
celebrate what has been achieved thus far and to continue to fight to
end homophobia and for a society that recognizes
the rights of all!
Events to mark May 17 are taking place across Canada --
details for events in Halifax, New Brunswick, Montreal, Toronto,
Vancouver and elsewhere can be found here: www.dayagainsthomophobia.org.
In Hamilton, The Well, (LGBTQ Wellness Centre of
Hamilton) is holding an Open Mic Coffee Night. Visit the centre's
website for details: www.thewellhamilton.ca.
Members of the LGBTQ
community rally as part of the actions to oppose the G20, Toronto, June
June 1, Demonstration for Injured Workers
(Click to download
flyer -- PDF)
The Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups
(ONIWG) is calling a demonstration on Injured Workers' Day at
Queen's Park for June 1, 2012 at 11 a.m. They are protesting the
latest attacks against the injured workers with the latest KPMG
study and with the appointment of Elizabeth Witmer as Chair of
the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
ISSUES | HOME
Read Ontario Political Forum