May 19, 2024
Ontario teachers should be glad Doug Ford didn't go after the really big stuff
It would be perfectly reasonable to ask why teachers have a pension setup that allows them to retire in their 50s in a society where others have to retire much later.
It would be perfectly reasonable to ask why teachers have a pension setup that allows them to retire in their 50s in a society where others have to retire much later.

If one believed even half the rhetoric generated by Ontario teaching unions and their supporters, the obvious conclusion would be that the education changes proposed by the Ontario government are the most draconian in the history of the province, possibly the world.

Liz Stuart, president of the Catholic teachers’ union, called the government’s proposed changes “devastating.” An elementary teacher, writing a newspaper opinion piece, offered the view that Premier Doug Ford’s education plan is a stealthy attack on women and families. Another opinion writer spoke of the “dystopian educational future” Ford is forcing on children. A professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education worried that the changes would damage a system that is “revered around the world.” A prominent Toronto opinion writer put the whole thing down to a power-drunk premier picking a fight with the harmless and loveable teaching unions.

It’s a compelling analysis, if one is inclined to believe that complex matters of labour negotiations and public policy are best explained as a fairy tale. Little Red Riding Hood would be a good model, as it offers an admirable heroine engaged in selfless public service, until she is sadly consumed by an evil wolf.

In fact, the education changes the government wants are not driven by Ford’s imagined personality traits, but by the need to modestly constrain education spending and a desire to ever so slightly modernize a school system that is fiercely resistant to change.

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See Also:

(1) Librarians denounce white privilege

(2) Pride should be cut off at the knees

(3) Ford heads to Washington

(4) A mom’s $6,000 phone bill in three months: The push to rein in Ontario’s costly prison phone system

(5) Wife of late Palestinian terrorist can’t collect on life insurance policy, Ontario court rules

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