It had all the elements of a 60’s style protest.
At least 40 people of all ages gathered outside of Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller’s constituency office on James Street in Parry Sound Thursday afternoon to let Miller know that they would fight for the health of Ontario schools.
A similar protest took place at the MPP’s Bracebridge constituency office.
Miller was out of the province at the time of the protest but met with members of the OSSTF on Wednesday to listen to their concerns in anticipation of the event.
The gathering was part of a province-wide protest against the Ford government’s cuts to the province’s education system.
Late in 2018, Ontario’s Ministry of Education announced a $25 million cut in funding across the province.
The Near North District School Board estimated that its own budget would see a shortfall of $307,000.
Speaking from the back of a pick-up truck, OSSTF District 4 President Glen Hodgson reflected on the government’s actions in the previous two weeks including a 10 percent cutback of college and university programs.
When asked about his meeting with Norm Miller on Wednesday, Hodgson said he felt that it was an excellent meeting and that at this time, has faith the MPP will ensure Ontario’s education system will stay strong.
In a show of unity, the protest ended with a series of chants led by the District 4/Near North president.
The OSSTF will begin negotiations with the province for a new teacher’s contract which expires at the end of the school year, this spring.