TORONTO, ON – The Minister of Education today announced the repeal of Bill 115, retreating from legislation widely opposed as a violation of democratic rights to free collective bargaining, while at the same time using the power of this undemocratic legislation to implement collective agreements.
"It's like the government thinks it can throw away the hammer after using it, and get away with the crime." said Fred Hahn, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario. "It's cynical politics to use a piece of legislation that takes away democratic rights and that even the Minister understands is bad for Ontario."
Hahn called on politicians of all stripes to acknowledge that the democratic right to free collective bargaining must be respected.
"The Minister referred to Bill 115 as a lightning rod, a recognition of the broad public opposition to this Bill and to attacks on democratic bargaining rights. The last thing Ontario needs is for any government to repeat these mistakes again."
Hahn cautioned the Liberals to not introduce the so-called "Protecting Public Services Act," which proposes to strip hundreds of thousands of other Ontarians of their democratic right to free collective bargaining and a fair contract arbitration system.
"It is important that all political parties understand and respect the rights to free collective bargaining and impartial contract arbitration. It is time that all Liberal leadership candidates and, indeed, all political leaders, commit to respecting the democratic rights of workers. If they do not, they threaten to bring further instability to communities across Ontario."