On November 28, approximately 140 OSSTF/FEESO members descended on Queen’s Park for a day of meetings with local Members of Provincial Parliament. This was our first Lobby Day since the Progressive Conservative government was elected in June.
Over half of the MPPs sitting in the Ontario legislature are new to Queen’s Park, and this was an excellent opportunity for Federation members to establish a connection with them early in the government’s mandate. The objective of Lobby Day 2018 was to ensure that MPPs heard from frontline education workers about the inherent value of publicly-funded education in Ontario.
The day began with a breakfast hosted by OSSTF/FEESO and attended by a number of MPPs. Our members heard remarks from Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath, Minister of Education Lisa Thompson, NDP Education Critic Marit Stiles, and Mike Shreiner, Leader of the Green Party of Ontario.
In all, OSSTF/FEESO members were able to meet with 80 MPPs. Almost all of NDP and Liberal members met with OSSTF/FEESO members from their local areas. Members of the governing Progressive Conservatives made themselves available.
Members who met with their local MPPs provided a strong message about the inherent value of publicly-funded education to the province of Ontario, emphasizing that public education provides a wide range of programs and choices for students, and is open to everyone. Ontario’s education system is among the highest-ranked in the world, and is frequently cited as a significant reason why business invests in our province.
OSSTF/FEESO looks forward to future opportunities to engage MPPs from all of the political parties in ongoing discussions about ways in which the government can work with educators to protect and enhance public education.