Straight Talk
EDITORIAL - McGuinty Liberals enabled teacher entitlement

Premier Dalton McGuinty speaks to media at Queens Park in Toronto January 9, 2013 about the potential of a teachers illegal strike on Friday.



It's a sad day in Ontario when a teacher's union goes before a quasi-judicial agency to fight for its "right" to illegally strike and impose last-minute disruptions on the lives of school kids and their families.

We realized the absurdity of the situation when lawyers for the province and the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario argued their opposing positions late into Thursday night in front of the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, public elementary school boards across Ontario were forced to cancel classes Friday, no matter what the OLRB rules.

That's because you can't run a school system where it's a crap shoot whether the teachers are going to show up for work in the morning.

Indeed, it's impossible to contain our laughter when either ETFO or Queen's Park claims this nonsense is "all about the children." Both sides need to wake up to the fact Ontario parents are fed up with them and their silly rhetoric.

All this stupid war of attrition is doing is hurting students and parents, who don't have endless time to skip off work while ETFO decides if its members are going to do their jobs.

(Next Wednesday public high school teachers represented by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, may walk off the job.) What is most frustrating is how avoidable all of this was.

If Premier Dalton McGuinty hadn't blown the Ontario budget - in part by asking "how high" every time the teacher unions said "jump" over the past nine years - we wouldn't be looking down the barrel of a $14-billion provincial deficit.

Had he managed the province responsibly, there wouldn't have been any need for Bill 115, which has the teacher unions in an uproar for freezing their pay and cutting benefits.

If the Liberals had lived within their means, things wouldn't have reached this fever pitch.

Teacher unions and the Liberals have acted as each other's enablers for too many years, with taxpayers bearing the burden.

Now the relationship has soured and parents and kids are collateral damage. It's disgusting.

And it's just one more reason why an election can't come soon enough to get rid of the Liberals, no matter who they elect as their next leader.

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