QUEEN'S PARK — "I rise today to salute the 200,000 teachers and education workers who are taking a stand this Friday to protect Ontario students.
I want to give a shout-out to the many businesses in my community who recognize the importance of quality public education to a healthy economy—businesses like Physio 360, which opened its doors to those on the picket line in Byron, and Shelby’s Food Express, which delivered shawarma to the Kensal Park line.
I want to thank the many London West families who are supporting education workers in their fight. For example, a parent of three school-aged children wrote to me that “the cuts proposed by the Ontario government will [turn] what should be a point of pride for Ontarians—our solid public education system—into something that puts us to shame. That the government is willing to fight so hard against Ontario families is disgraceful. It is something we all see and won’t forget.”
I want to thank the many students who know exactly what is at stake, including members of my own London West Youth Cabinet who have launched a petition campaign calling for a reversal of class size increases and an end to mandatory e-learning and for more supports for students with special needs.
Speaker, it’s time for this government to start listening to businesses, families and students. Negotiate a fair deal now—one that protects the quality of education in this province."