On August 27, Amber Martin, Brant Haldimand Norfolk OECTA 3rd V.P., met with NDP representatives from both Provincial and Federal levels, prior to the Tom Mulcair rally scheduled in Brantford later in the day.
From the Provincial level, NDP Education Critic, Lisa Gretzky, listened to and commented on a variety of teacher and teaching issues. Topics discussed included two tiered negotiations, negotiating tactics, the use of teacher unfriendly media to generate public resentment towards the profession, back to work legislation, the ongoing war on organized Labour in North America, EQAO testing, remuneration and loss of sick days, initiative and consultant spending versus classroom and special needs funding, as well as a variety of issues surrounding working conditions.
Brant MP candidate and Assumption College graduate Marc Laferriere, also expressed his support for the commitment and dedication to teaching demonstrated by OECTA members, especially under the current strain of relationships with the government.
Some of the broader issues discussed include the ‘funding problem’ fallacy touted by governments, corporate welfare and tax havens, shrinking middle class incomes and the lack of quality paying full time jobs, growing income inequality, the demonization of organized labour, free trade, post secondary education funding, globalization, long term environmental planning, investment in renewable energy industries, as well as a plethora of social issues that impact Canadians and their future.
Both Lisa and Marc showed a genuine interest and concern for the issues that impact the citizenry of not just our community but nationally and abroad.