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Tory tough love

Ottawa teachers and students protest at a recent Tory fund raiser
John Bell

March 27, 2019

The Ontario Tory budget features, among other things, cuts to education funding. That means teacher layoffs, even though Doug Ford repeatedly promised during the campaign there would be no jobs lost as a result of his government.

The Toronto District School Board estimates they will lose 1,000 teachers.

And teacher layoffs mean bigger class sizes. Average secondary school classes will go from 22 to 28 next year.

Former goat herder and Tory Education Minister Lisa Thompson had the nerve to go on radio to say that bigger class sizes were actually good for kids.

“When students are currently preparing to go off to post-secondary education, we're hearing from professors and employers alike that they're lacking coping skills and they're lacking resiliency. By increasing class sizes in high school, we're preparing them for the reality of post-secondary as well as the world of work.”

Thompson even contended that “some” teachers had asked for bigger classes: “I’m speaking to some teachers as well, when it comes to the group work and the teamwork that they want to facilitate in their classrooms, that ideal number is between 26 and 28.”

Doug Ford would rather invest $10 million in the horse racing industry than in Ontario students. As for teachers who might be thinking of protesting: “If the head of the unions want to hurt the children of this province by doing walkouts and everything else, I’d think twice if I were them.”

Bottom line: kids can expect capitalism to treat them like shit, so it is time to start toughening them up. These Tories are true believers that life is, and should be, a brutal contest of survival of the fittest. Naturally they want to transform education in their own image–mean, selfish, bullying and ugly. And if teachers dare to stand up for students, there could be some knees broken.

The good news is that students, teachers and parents are organizing to fight back. The movement to stop Ford is on the rise, and won’t be deterred by corny B-movie threats. Join the Rally for Education at Queen’s Park, Saturday, April 6 at 12 noon.






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