10 November, 2020 8:02 PM

Nov 10 News

In this weeks' Toronto & York Region Labour Council news: 

Labour Council Demands A Roof Over Our Heads
Ontario Budget: Ford Fails Again
Toronto's Unions Respond To Canada Christian College
#SafeLearnORNoReturn Campaign Ramps Up!
Friday: Does the United States Have a Democratic Future? 
Solidarity with Tropicana Workers
Spotlight on… Manna Wong

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We were already in a housing crisis when COVID exposed and increased the vulnerability of those without access to affordable housing, the dangers of under-housing, and the cruelty of

homelessness. Disgracefully, it is people on the margins and intersections of society who are most negatively affected, including racially marginalized and Indigenous residents, newcomers, and women.

At its core, to solve the housing crisis, we need to move away from for-profit, market-based rental housing, and towards provision of much more social housing through co-ops, government-owned public housing, and non-profit organizations. In the meantime, we need strong rules to protect tenants and require affordable housing to be included in new developments.


“Instead of investing to protect the people of Ontario, especially our seniors, or ensuring our schools are safe, the Ford government seems more concerned about tax cuts to employers, and improved access to booze and gambling,” said OFL President Patty Coates. Read the OFL statement.

Advocates from the Ontario Nursing Association, to Environmental Defence and all three opposition parties came out to say last Thursday’s budget weakens public services and fails to help the hardest hit from the pandemic.

Failures include:

No money for more long-term care staff
No new funds to keep schools safe
No certainty for strained municipalities
No protection for the environment
No funds to keep transit running
No relief for low-income Ontarians


Toronto & York Region Labour Council is strongly opposed to the Ford government’s decision to make the Canada Christian College a degree granting institution in Ontario through Bill 213 and have urged the Premier to withdraw the legislation.

The Canada Christian College has a questionable history, flawed governance model, and has served as a soapbox for extreme intolerance. Its current leader, Charles McVety, who inherited the position from his father, is notorious for his anti-gay and Islamophobic views. A legislative decision to award degree granting power to this institution would be in direct contradiction to the values outlined in the Ontario Human Rights Code. It also violates the process already in place to make decisions about post-secondary institutions.


York Communities for Public Education is calling on the government to immediately engage with teachers, education workers and other education and Public Health experts to develop a safe, equitable, and well funded plan to ensure the safety of our schools.

  • Ford has left Ontario students without teachers, rocked parents' confidence in school safety, forced school boards into tough decisions and created stressful environments for all.
  • The Ford Government tell school boards to plan for a return to school without providing sufficient funding, guidance and leadership.
  • Ford told Ontario he would “spare no expense” to keep people safe. But the funding is not enough to keep our students and education workers safe - or worse - they’re re-announcements!

Enough is enough. We need REAL funding NOW.

Sign the petition, spread the word and demand #safelearnornoreturn 



This talk will explore the future of democracy in the United States as its current trajectory raises fear of its demise with Bill Fletcher Jr, author and Civil Rights and Labour Activist.

Fletcher is a veteran union leader, former president of TransAfrica Forum, a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies and the Executive Editor of globalafricanworker.com, external link. He is the author of They’re Bankrupting Us – And Twenty Other Myths About Unions.

Check out some of his recent writings on the U.S. Election.

Date: Friday, November 13, 2020

Time:  3:00 - 4:00 pm

Where: Zoom


Tropicana Community Services workers have been forced to take strike action. The agency bills itself as a social justice organization and gladly solicits and accepts donations from conscientious individuals and organizations. But this hasn’t stopped Tropicana from engaging in years of poor treatment and wage freezes, leaving workers behind as Toronto’s cost of living escalates. Even faced with a possible shutdown of the organization due to a worker strike, management insists that workers accept three more years of wage freezes as a condition in the first collective agreement.

Edith Solano, a worker at the organization’s daycare centre, says:

“We pour our hearts and souls into the work we do for Tropicana because we love the community. But we can’t live on such a low wage. Striking is really the last thing we want to do, but after over a year trying to bargain in good faith, we are running out of options.”

SPOTLIGHT ON... Manna Wong

Every week, we will bring you a snapshot of an initiative or organization doing great work within our labour community. 

Last Thursday the Labour Council Delegates unanimously endorsed Manna Wong for the City Council by-election in Scarborough Agincourt. Currently the local TDSB School Board Trustee, Manna is a strong, principled leader who deserves to win this race, and take her place as a progressive voice at City Hall. 

A tenacious fighter, smart tactician and brilliant consensus builder, Manna supports strong public services and improved access for all residents. With strong endorsements from education unions, Scarborough school trustees and residents of every neighbourhood in the ward, Manna Wong is our choice to be the next City Councillor for Scarborough-Agincourt.

The by-election for Ward 22 is set for Friday, January 15, 2021. Stay tuned for more on Manna...


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