ON Liberal & union distortions regarding former Harris Govt

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It’s about truth and trust. When Ontario Liberals and officials from public sector unions say that Ontarians shouldn’t vote for the Tim Hudak PC Party because of all the negative things the Mike Harris government did to Ontario, ask them to clarify that point. Why?

Because the reality is that during the period from 1995 to 2003, just prior to the SARS health crisis, Ontario not only had a balanced budget (as promised during the 1995 election campaign), but the province was booming. Some 700,000 good private sector jobs — read “non-union” jobs — had been created and 100,000 people were off the welfare rolls and employed.  Only the completely unexpected SARS crisis would have resulted in another, temporary, very small deficit.

See previous related posts here and here.

So, when Liberal spin doctors and the public sector unions say the Harris government implemented cuts to health care and education, ask them to tell the whole story. Because the Harris government significantly increased spending in both areas. I was working for a Harris MPP, as an Executive Assistant and Communications Advisor, so I remember very clearly what did or did not happen.

The truth about cuts to health care.

Some $400 million was cut from hospital budgets and re-allocated to long-term care and home care which, under the Liberal Peterson and NDP Rae governments, had been starved for cash.  How did that work? Well, more long term facilities were built. In fact, I can remember watching several facilities in the Niagara area increasing their space and, as a result, their regulated beds allocations. 

Plus, CCACs were created to make decisions about providing hourly or daily nursing and personal care to seniors still living in their homes. There is no magic about that. With an aging population, something had to be done. So, when health care unions suggest the Hudak PC election platform is sketchy and all rhetoric much like the Harris promises, think about the reasons for such an anti-PC agenda — that “quality” can only be realized if a facility is non-profit and health care workers are unionized. 

Meaning, that once again, this is all about public sector unions and what they will gain with a re-elected Liberal McGuinty government.  

But, back to the hospital cuts. Did hospital CEOs find ways to reduce spending, particularly those top-heavy with administrators? No, they didn’t. Rather, far too many irresponsibly laid off front line workers like nurses. As a result, nurses picketed hospitals, but rather than blame the hospitals administrators, their unions blamed Harris. Which might explain why McGuinty does not deal with improving health care. He simply is unwilling to rock the boat!  

Plus, when the education funding formula was changed to bring the Catholic system up to the same amount of money as the secular public system, was that really a cut or was it about funding fairness? Think about it. I’m not a Catholic but I sat through many meetings where Catholic trustees explained they received only 60 cents for every public school funding dollar. How was that fair? Yet, somehow to this day, Catholic schools and their grounds are better kept than regular public schools.

Moreover, during the 1995 and 1999 period, all publicly funded school boards received additional funding for special education, textbooks and library resources. I know because I saw the internal notices, which were confirmed by my husband, who was a public school teacher librarian during that period. 

And, oh yes, when the McGuinty Liberals and their supporters try to remind Ontario voters that the Harris government closed hospitals, remind them that it was the arms-length Hospital Restructuring Commission who did that. And, if that is still a problem, then ask them how come they are not complaining that the McGuinty government allowed many Ontario hospitals to be closed during their watch — like in Fort Erie and Port Colborne.   

Lastly, when Liberals and the public sector unions remind Ontario voters of the teacher’s strike in the fall of 1997 and all the protests involving thousands of people during the Harris years. Ask them why they had an illegal strike and organized those protests? If they can’t tell you, I will. It was because an Ontario government finally had the courage to say no to automatic pay raises and entitlements, something even the McGuinty Liberals are going to have to face at some point.

There is no magic in this world and at some point, the chickens are going to come home to roost. In the meantime, I am telling todays Ontario voters that Mike Harris kept his election promises, as the Hudak PCs will do as well. And, that most of what the Liberals and their union advertisers are saying about the former Harris government are lies and/or distortions.

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Update: This post was originally published on September 13th, 2011 during the Ontario election campaign. Yet, late last night I received a comment that explains why I seldom get comments from rank and file teachers. They truly think that because I am retired, I don’t have the perspective about what the Mike Harris government did to education in this province. Well, in my opinion, it is exactly the opposite. It is they who don’t have perspective because they are so close to the situation and the propaganda spewed by today’s version of teachers’unions.

  1. Here is “Grace’s” comment to me:
  2. My first reply to Grace:
  3. My second reply to Grace:

Teaching is no longer a “profession” unfortunately because of union involvement. Stewards in schools? Grievances? What we used to call our “Federations,” worked far better and were less confrontational and didn’t expect “entitlements.” Does my view excuse the Tim Hudak led PC Party for running what I considered a poor campaign? No, it does not. Somehow, even now, several months since the election, the PCs just have not caught the attention of the Ontario voter, in spite of what the McGuinty Liberals are doing to our once great province.

As the National Post wrote in their editorial yesterday (H/T JNW), Ontarians were duped! McGuinty Syndrome indeed!

33 thoughts on “ON Liberal & union distortions regarding former Harris Govt

  1. Yeah, lies and distortions seem to be the order of the day for the Liberals and Unions because the truth would get them nowhere. The most puzzling of all, with the proven lies of McGuinty over two elections, we still have meddling pollsters telling us the proven liar and his gang are running neck and neck with the PC’s.

    The fact there’s so much talk about Mike Harris tells us they’re afraid Hudak might just emulate him, vow to keep his promises as a stark contrast to McGuinty.

    Lets go Tim, get your message out a la Harper, shake a leg!

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  2. Liz J — Tim can’t just campaign on five points a la Harper. I have done communications in two Ontario elections. The problem is that provincial governments provide most of our services so there is so much more to campaign on. Harris did pretty much what Hudak is doing and had the huge Common Sense Revolution document to cover. However, he had two main points which were relevant then and not now — cancelling the NDP photo radar program and cutting welfare benefits (and its related “workfare”). Funny thing is workfare became “Ontario Works” which is still very much in effect today — yet we hear nothing about that from the media.

    Today I have also been reading mainstream media who rant on and on about Hudak going to cut like Rob Ford. Well, Ford hasn’t cut anything yet. He is still consulting. Plus, Harris had to pay down the NDP’s $12 billion deficit. And, it can’t be cut without cutting. So many lies and exaggerations. Yet, my guess is that if McGuinty is re-elected, the media won’t complain about tax increases. Like I am positive he would bring in a carbon tax in the new year or by increasing the HST to 14 or 15%.

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  3. Take a look at the Working Families ad. Hudak voted against this against that against this. All factual and part of the record. Many conservatives object to union money paying for ads. The Supreme Court has been very clear on this. It is ok to have unions AND business in. It is ok to have unions and business out as the feds and some provinces have done. What is not OK with the court is banning one but not the other. Seems fair enough right ? Seems that some conservatives would like to ban union ads but keep business donations. That won’t happen.

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  4. Apples and oranges Doug. Donations have nothing to do with making ads and donations have strict limits. Working Families are about communications and not fundraising. And, no one business has the kind of access to money that the Ontario public sector unions have. Allowing WF is definitely unbalanced and unfair and Elections Canada should put a stop to it.

    However, that is changing the subject from the discussion in this post — distortion of the Harris record. On that I will continue to fight.

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  5. Tuesday, September 06, 2011
    Afternoon Edition – Talk Back
    Do you think the legacy of former Ontario premier Mike Harris is getting a raw deal? Rob Snow takes your calls on this hot topic.

    [audio src="http://www.cfra.com/chum_audio/ae.440.talk.back.11.09.06.mp3" /]

    Tuesday, September 06, 2011
    Afternoon Edition – Op-Ed
    So many people want to run away from the legacy of Mike Harris.

    [audio src="http://www.cfra.com/chum_audio/ae.oped.11.09.06.mp3" /]

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  6. MadMacs — Thanks for that link to Rob Snow’s Op Ed. He is bang on. I just sent an e-mail to Lowell Green to forward to Rob since I couldn’t find an e-mail for him — with the URL link to this commentary. Some of us still are very proud of what the Harris government did and it is pure lies/spin by public sector unions that he ruined the province. What he ruined was their endless demands and they didn’t like that one bit. When unions prefer one government over another, you have got to know it is because they get most of what they demand. That’s exactly what is happening in Europe. Let’s hope the alternate voices like Green and Snow get out there.

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  7. There is NOTHING to stop the Chamber of Commerce or the Independent Business group or the Fraser Institute from running ads. Elections Ontario took a look at WFC at the request of the PCs and said, although the relationship between WFC and Libs is cozy, it is not illegal.

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  8. Unions are no different from management or business. Business advocates for a certain set of policies, unions for a different set. Does anyone think this is either new or news?

    From the union POV Harris was a disaster. From a biz POV he was a hero. It is called politics.

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  9. Doug — Listen to the 2nd video provided by Mad Macs of Rob Snow’s op ed. That says it all. It wasn’t just business who benefitted from a Harris gov’t. We all did, even public sector workers, because the economy was booming.

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  10. Well Doug — You may not want to believe it but government policies do make a difference to the economy because remember, only. 25% of those employed in Ontario belong to a union of some kind. The other 75% do not. So putting business friendly policies in place — like corporate tax cuts and cutting red tape and (yes) making labour laws equitable for both sides — makes a huge psychological and practical difference. In the Harris years, he said repeatedly that “Ontario was open for business” and it was. Not just “green” businesses that cost the taxpayer more than they bring in, but businesses that actually made money — which resulted in more businesses opening up — all employing Ontarians to run them. Then, those employees in turn bought houses and household goods, etc.

    So, why the left hates the word “business” and the phrase “profit motive” is beyond me. Unions sure have a profit motive!!!

    Anyway, besides different levels of government, we depend on a thriving business environment — that are not dependent on government subsidies — to maintain jobs as well as to create them.

    The crux of the matter is that Ontario’s public sector and other private sector unions like the CAW have an unhealthy obsession with Harris personally. It’s wrong. They created it. And, let’s hope the Ontario voting public see it for what it is — arrogance that they are entitled to their their entitlements even when we can’t afford them.

    This post along with a couple of others are on NewsWatchCanada.ca which I very much appreciate because judging from my traffic (and nasty comments that never see the light of day) , my message is getting out there loud and clear.

    No matter get into power will have to make cuts to each ministry if we don’t want to end up like Greece.

    So, yes, lots of people believe that provincial governments have a significant effect on the economy and for you to suggest they don’t is amazing to me. Wow! Not very progressive Doug.

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  11. Sandy, you need no lectures I’m sure on how democracy works. Most people (35% Liberal 24% NDP = 59% vs 35% PC) are not convinced. You need to persuade them which seems a difficult task for Mr Hudak these days. Only a clear PC majority will be allowed to govern, I think we all know that. In a minority, the NDP will now demand cabinet posts and a big say in policy from the Libs to make Dalton or is replacement premier.

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  12. A week into the formal election season and Hudak reminds me of all the former leaders (from all parties) who struggled in their first elections. His main points are not getting out and the points that are getting out (foreign workers) are not necessarily the best points if one needs to gain popularity. He is spending too much time on an issue that accounts for a fraction of the McGuinty’s overall plan. I can’t even figure out who he is relying on as his base of supporters. Maybe a few more weeks will change things.

    It also doesn’t help that the last PC Premier of Ontario publicly criticized his party.

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  13. Matt — I don’t think anyone cares or remembers what Ernie Eves said. I have the Ontario Election and Hudak on Google Alerts. And, I am seeing that Hudak is sticking to his messaging. What is happening is that Liberal organizers are showing up at the Hudak daily news conferences and sabotaging what he is pushing and the media are writing about what the Liberals are saying. Totally unfair since the Liberals have forbidden Tories from their McGuinty events. How the Liberals get away with this I don’t know.

    But, this reminds me of the federal election. The silent majority is still silent. We are mid way. There are only four weeks to a formal Ontario campaign now, changed from five by Harris. If McGuinty wins a third majority, our hydro bills are expected to go up by 45% because of his energy initiatives which don’t pay for themselves. And, progressives are always complaining it is conservatives who have an ideology!

    Anyway, whatever the voters want I’ll have to accept, even if I don’t like it. Such is democracy!

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  14. If Hudak loses (or even if he wins a minority) in October, hopefully the party will analyze all aspects of the election and recognize potential internal issues that led to a lack of success. Over confidence early on may also be hurting the party now.

    I keep thinking back to an early pre-election TV ad that showed Hudak as being a puppet of business. In looking at the election so far, you could make the argument that it is McGuinty who is more pro-business than Hudak.

    Bill Clinton had success because he “borrowed” many economic ideas from Republicans. The Liberals now might be “borrowing” or moving slightly right to gain support from some PC loyalists.

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  15. Matt — I can’t for the life of me imagine why any PC supporter would consider voting for McGuinty. I am not anti-Liberal per se. I voted for Peterson way back when. But, McGuinty’s green energy act and all his initiatives are going to kill our economy. Anyway, I am just one person doing what I can. Thing is, as someone who used to write PC campaign communications, why am I not reading similar summaries like I just posted? They’ve got two weeks. The media, for the most part, particularly the Globe and Mail, Star and Ottawa Citizen, CTV, CBC. Global and CP24 are all in the tank for the McGuinty Liberals. Some reporters actually used to work for McGuinty or Chretien in Ottawa.

    Sheesh! I can remember the media giving an equal amount of coverage for the leaders of three main parties without editorializing what they were saying. What happened to that approach? Give us all the information and let we the voters decide how we are going to vote.

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  16. After eight years of Tory rule in Ontario, taxpayers and businesses received hefty tax cuts but the province was left with a $6-billion deficit and widespread labour strife. The so-called Harris “common sense revolution” saw hospitals close, government departments severely pared back, battles with teachers over education priorities and the implementation of boot camps for troubled youths.

    In my opinion, the flawed legacy of the Harris government can be summed up in three points: a deliberately confrontational attitude to the province’s public workers, especially teachers and nurses; a contempt for all government spending, including such necessary expenditures as public transportation and municipal infrastructure, and most importantly the mistaken notion that government was easy, and that the Common Sense Revolution could be implemented rapidly without nasty side-effects.

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  17. Jean — What you write is completely untrue. I was there from the start. And, as a former educator I can tell you that the confrontational attitude you talk about was not coming from Harris or his team, other than he was able to say “no.” The nasy side effects were completely the fault of the unions, both public sector and private sector — particularly the teachers’ unions. In fact, it started the first week after the election.

    When my boss, a Harris MPP went to Queen’s Park to give his oath of office, I went with him. The NDP had not even vacated their offices, yet there were protestors surrounding the legislature yelling “Shame, shame.” Shame? Ontario voters had just elected the PCs and they hadn’t even done anything yet. Talk about an anti-democratic attitude right out of the gate. It is the same entitlement attitude we are currently seeing in Toronto. Yes, there is a deficit, but don’t raise taxes or cut anything.

    So, I don’t need any lectures from you as to the nasty side effects that were NOT caused by the Harris/Eves team.

    Moreover, Harris did what he had to do — he kept his promises!!! Yes, he inherited a $12 billion deficit. Yes, there were cuts. There had to be. But, get your information straight. You are just spewing union garbage and I for one am sick of it. $400 million was cut from hospitals to go to home care. In other words, the money was NOT cut from health care, it was re-allocated where it was desperately needed.

    Did the hospital CEOs reduce their top heavy hospital administrations? No they did not. They laid off nurses instead. And,because hospitals like universities are independent under legislation, Harris could do very little. The bottom line is that health care increased by $5 billion between 1995 to 1999.

    Moreover, hospitals were NOT closed by Harris — although many have been closed by McGuinty. Just ask the folks in Fort Erie and Port Colborne about that. During Harris’ time it was the Hospital Restructuring Commission under Dr. Sinclair that made those decisions after a great deal of community input.

    Well, to anyone reading this thread, remember that no government, no matter which political party they represent, can get rid of a deficit and gradually pay down the debt without nasty side effects — if the entire society is not in tune with what needs to be done. To think otherwise is pure magical thinking. Yet, throughout Canada, the U.S. and Europe, unions are doing their best to hold on to their entitlements at the expense of their larger societies. Sad really.

    Anyway, Jean, that is all I will say to you since you already have your mind made up.

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  18. Sandy- I think you are the one who is spewing out garbage. You’ve selected to discuss only the details that help your case. Why don’t you mention the distorted “teacher testing” that the Harris government wanted to pass but failed to? And standardized testing? How does that help reduce the budget may I ask? Larger class sizes? Sure. Why not. But please enlighten us as to how that will help in quality education?

    I noticed actually a lot of garbage that comes out these days in education comes from retired teachers. Let’s be honest here. When you are no longer part of the organization that you are attacking, it’s so easy to be hostile and say anything you want. If you’re receiving teacher’s pension, then please speak with some perspective.

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  19. Grace — I saw your comment last night but decided to wait until this morning to approve it. The thread you have commented about was written during the Ontario election last fall.

    Anyway, you speak of pensions and perspective. First, I am very grateful for my pension but it has nothing whatsoever to do with the Harris gov’t or the propaganda spewed by teachers unions. The unions/FWTAO and OSSTF that represented me were respectful and professional, not like ETFO and OSSTF are today.

    Second, I believe it is you and many of those still in the system who lack the perspective. Frankly, you have been so brainwashed by your union officials that it will only be when you are able to take a step back that you will realize it.

    I also have the advantage that I only taught in the system from 1972 until the mid 1980s when I moved into teacher education at two separate universities. So, my students were both pre-service and practising teachers working on their Master’s — and I heard plenty.

    There was no distorted teacher testing during the Harris years. My husband was a test marker so I know. It was valid pre-licensing testing for those just finished their B.Ed. For practising teachers, there was no testing at all, just professional development credits through the OCT, credits that made a lot of sense because you and I both know there are teachers who don’t do a thing after they are employed.

    However, what I know about the Harris gov’t, I know from being on the inside at a time when I watched gobsmacked at the lies and exaggerations the unions were telling the rank and file. I had the advantage of teaching teachers a couple of nights a week while working for a Harris MPP. All those memos on bulletin boards that teachers would show me. I just couldn’t believe professionals would be hoodwinked but many, although not all, were. That said, judging by your comment, far too many still are.

    I worked as an Executive Asst. I had an office on the Minister of Education’s floor at the Mowat Block. A front row seat as it were, because my boss was also a PA for the Education Minister. Yes, both Snobelen and Johnson. Everything you read was garbage. I was there. I know. I used to read in the Toronto Star that political employees were developing the new primary language arts program. Pure hogwash. A committee of teachers in the field did it. It passed over my desk and I remember thinking how thorough it was and an improvement over what was current. As a reading specialist I knew it was good. Yet, now I hear complaints that are pure bunk.

    One more thing, standardized testing and the EQAO was implemented by the Bob Rae gov’t following their Royal Commission on Learning. Harris had nothing to do with it, just as with the establishment of the OCT. The implmentation and legislation was started just before Rae’s gov’t fell and Harris had to reintroduce the Bill and finished the process.

    So, yes, retired teachers can step back and look at what is really going on without fear of shunning and union reprisal — and why we can do it with a full range of views and perspective. I loved teaching both elementary and secondary school. I loved running my own private reading clinic. And, I loved teaching teachers. And, I know there were things that the Harris gov’t might have done to reconcile the profession to what he was doing, but he couldn’t because the lies and distortions were so great and few would listen — apart from those who had spouses working in other fields.

    But, that does not change the reality that Harris did NOT destroy the education system, that Ontario was booming and that there were more people working then and off welfare than now. That is reality — all said with the distance and perspective you seem to lack, possibly because there isn’t the distance and separation between the unions and the rank and file that there used to be.

    Teachers teach youth not to be influenced and overcome by peer pressure. Physician heal thyself!

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  20. And,one more thing Grace, the reason Harris did not “pass” teacher testing for those already employed is because he set up an advisory committee to look into it. When he and his Minister of Education discovered the difficulties (with teacher evaluation), he settled on the compulsory professional development credits. I knew that would happen because there is no test in the world that can touch all the basis given the complexity of teacher evaluation.

    Nevertheless, that is what a good gov’t does. They look at all the options and then go with what works. If he had plowed ahead, he would have criticized as well because frankly, those who hate him will never change their minds no matter what evidence they are given.

    The first thing Gerard Kennedy did was cancel the professional development program — an example of pure politics, not reality.

    Teaching is no longer a “profession” unfortunately because of union involvement. Stewards in schools? Grievances? Federations worked far better and were less confrontational and didn’t expect “entitlements.”

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  21. I had the opportunity during the late 90s to speak to a number of individuals who played roles in creating various subjects in the Ontario curriculum. These individuals were professors and therefore not involved in the hated unions. They said the same thing that political employees did play a large role in developing the curriculum (just like they probably do whenever the curriculum has been revised in the last 15 years).

    It’s also incorrect to say that EQAO was the fault of the NDP. Anyone who has read or heard about Harris would know that he wouldn’t do something unless he wanted to do it. He wanted EQAO. I also did not know that new governments have to reintroduce bills that are not passed by the old government prior to an election?

    I read the editorial from the National Post. McGuinty may have duped Ontario, but it makes the PC Party’s defeat even more humiliating. Everyone knows about McGuinty’s broken promises, but voters still had more faith in his leadership than Hudak. Usually, voters when angry at the current government will not so much elect a new government than unelect the old one. In this election, voters wanted to unelect the old government but did not like the replacement so they kept the old one. Perhaps those too close to the party need a new perspective and strategy to actually win an election – 0 for 3 since Harris, and the last 2 elections should of been easy wins.

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  22. As much as we would like to think otherwise, Tim Hudak is no Mike Harris. Bashing public sector unions will not return Ontario to prosperity. Mcguinties green energy policies are far more costly, chase business from the province, and have cost us many hundreds of thousands of jobs. So far he has not shown the political will to address this problem directly. Small business alone will not replace what we have lost. We need the conditions that will attach I dusty back to Ontario. Period. Until Tim developes the back bone to address this problem, rather than taking swings at the low hanging fruit of union bashing we will be stuck with Lib/NDP coalitions of socialism and economic destruction. Aside from teachers and health care worker, union members votedfor Harris en masse. Because they know better than most that the only job guarantee is a healthy, business friendly, economy. Tim has done little to inspire this kind of confidence.

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  23. Matt — Re the Hudak PCs in the most recent election, sad but true. I actually agree with you!!!

    Re the EQAO, it was established by the Bob Rae government in early 1995 as a result of a recommendation of the Royal Commission on Learning, under the direction of Education Minister Dave Cooke. Here is a link to |”About” EQAO: http://www.eqao.com/AboutEQAO/AboutEQAO.aspx?Lang=E

    I didn’t say it was a mistake. I agreed with it then, Harris agreed with it and I still agree with it — albeit with some changes to the rigidity of the testing process. The tests should be to help children, rather than hinder then, nor should EQAO set things up where teachers are treated like criminals for doing what they were trained to do — help kids succeed.

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  24. Matt — Re political employees, I was the ONLY teacher and curriculum specialist on the 22nd floor of the Mowat Block from 1995 to 1998 — and I did not develop any curriculum. LOL That was not my job at the time. But, I was able to explain to the powers that be what it all meant and why things were written as they were. That seemed to help when it came time for my boss and his PA colleague to face the Policy and Priorities Cabinet committee. But, at the end of the day, only professionals did the developing. And, I wouldn’t knock academics. We all were in the field at one time and most of us continued to supervise pre-service students so knew about the changes as they came along.

    Mind you, its been a few years for me now and I simply can’t imagine what things are like given the current emphasis on political correctness and equity — and passing everyone regardless of how they learn and/or perform.

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  25. Pete — It is unfortunate but, like you, a lot of Ontario conservatives are disappointed with Hudak. In fairness, I am not sure anyone else could have done better given the extent of the anti-PC ads put out by the Working Families coalition and teachers unions — combined with the mainstream media’s lukewarm attitude. It is only now that the latter are writing “whoa, the Ontario voters have been hoodwinked.” Well, we were duped then too but they weren’t paying attention.

    The other thing is, I agree with what you say about dealing mainly with the small stuff. The PCs should have gone after the green energy act in a big noisy way. The federal Conservatives usually have five main issues — as did the Harris team (that were synthesized from the Common Sense Revolution). There were so many issues in their platform, no one could name the main issues — other than that stupid issue of an immigrant subsidy.

    However, that said, the PCs won in most of rural Ontario. It is Toronto and the GTA they have to reach — by saying they would get the fiscal house in order in one mandate. Now, look at the fiscal mess we find ourselves in — where 2017 is not even possible given the Liberal record of spending.

    If any PCs are visiting here, when you are at your AGM in the coming days, PLEASE get a platform that deals with five or so specific issues. And, don’t be so afraid to sell it! There are worst things being compared to Mike Harris. Embrace the past for heavens sake and that will take away the power the Liberals have over the party when they say Harris-Lite. So what? Remind everyone of the Harris record, the real record, not the fake one.

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  26. By the way Matt, I very much appreciate your commenting as you are one of the few teachers who do and that worries me because it means, either most of the profession believe everything their unions tell them or they are afraid to speak out.

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  27. Thanks for the giving all of us the opportunity to speak here. Most teachers are not afraid to speak out, they simply do not have the strong connection to unions that some people want to use to their advantage in education. We are too busy teaching the children of the province. What draws teachers to unions is the constant bashing by some parts of society. If Hudak and the PC Party tried to treat teachers and other public sector workers with respect, rather than the apparent source of all the problems in the province than unions would not have the pull that they have at times, and federations (not unions) might re-emerge.

    But would Hudak be popular within his own party if he showed respected to others? Once again, PC party people need to decide to work with the public sector.

    Sandy, I was a pre-service student at a university near you during the creation of the Ontario curriculum, and I had professors (who helped write the curriculum) who would frequently comment about the political people who would come into their writing sessions to rip apart aspects of the curriculum.

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