Education workers to walk off job Friday, despite provincial legislation
Education support workers at three Ottawa school boards will walk off the job Friday. The Catholic board has said schools will close for the day.
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The news never really stops around here these days. Silly me, I thought things might cool off a bit once the election dust settled. But that clearly was not to be. Between the convoy inquiry, and the escalation of the education labour dispute, the busy days around these parts continue.
So, without further ado, let’s get you up to speed on all the news.
— Robert Hiltz, managing editor
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Wednesday: 15 🌡️ 0 | ☀️
Thursday: 17 🌡️ 8 | ☀️
Friday: 19 🌡️ 14 | ☀️
Ford launches assault on workers’ rights, Catholic board to close schools Friday
What happened: Rather than negotiate a deal with education support workers, the government of Doug Ford imposed a four-year contract.
To do so, his government invoked the notwithstanding clause, which shields the imposed contract from a court challenge, even though it overrides the workers’ constitutional rights. The government plans to pass the legislation before the end of the week, according to CTV.
- In 2012, the then-Liberal government tried to impose contracts on education workers through legislation, but the Supreme Court overturned it. It violated the right to strike and bargain collectively, and the court awarded the teachers $103 million, the Toronto Star reported.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees said 55,000 education support workers — custodians, administrators and education assistants — will walk off the job as planned on Friday in defiance of the government’s end run around their rights.
The Ottawa Catholic School Board said schools would close and go to remote learning on Friday, according to the Ottawa Citizen. The city’s two French-language boards have not yet made a decision on whether to close. The OCDSB does not have any workers who are affected by the legislation.
How unions can respond: Labour lawyer Rich Appiah told CBC, the union wouldn’t be able to fight the legislation in the courts, but would need to win in the political realm, through protest and walking off the job illegally.
- “It's taking away a constitutionally protected right, and it'll be up to the people to decide whether they are on side with that,” Appiah said to CBC.
The government invited CUPE to return to the bargaining table next Tuesday, according to Global News, but will still push ahead with its legislation imposing a contract.
Labour blowback: Within hours of the Ford government’s announcement it would impose a contract rather than negotiate, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario walked away from talks for their own contract on Monday.
- What they said: “ETFO could not, in good conscience, sit across the table from the government, and so we ended negotiations for the day,” union president Karen Brown said.
Opposition grows: Other unions called for the government to cancel its legislation and go back to the bargaining table, including the Labourers' International Union of North America, representing construction workers. The union endorsed the Progressive Conservatives in the last election.
Why the government did it: Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the government decided to impose its will to keep children in school. “I'm concerned about the impacts of the shutdown … we cannot afford more disruption,” he said according to CTV.
OTTAWA BY THE NUMBERS
🚛 24: Ottawa police and provincial transportation inspectors laid this many charges for safety and other violations by commercial vehicles. [Ottawa Citizen]
😷 50: The number of Ottawa residents in hospital with COVID infections, the highest admissions have been in nine months. [CBC]
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QUOTE OF THE DAY
The Ottawa Senators look to be up for sale, team not expected to leave
What happened: The Ottawa Senators’ are for sale, according to sports business publication Sportico.
Anna and Olivia Melnyk, the daughters of the late Eugene, have retained a New York investment bank to assist in the sale and act as intermediaries between potential buyers and the owners.
What it means: There have been no active discussions with potential buyers, according to the Ottawa Citizen, but those are expected to begin next month. The team is expected to stay in town. The negotiations to secure a new arena downtown, after the NCC picked the Sens as the preferred bidder for the Lebreton Flats site.
Potential buyers: The names of several local business people have been floated as possible buyers, or members of a possible ownership group. Minto’s Roger Greenberg, and Farm Boy’s Jeff York are some of the locals possibly in the mix.
🗓 A mother-daughter duo from Orléans are hoping to sell out of charity calendars filled with original art to raise money for clinical trial breast cancer research. [Orléans Star]
💰 A Nepean man won a $1 million Lotto Max Maxmillions prize, and plans to retire with his winnings. [CTV]
🎃 Fire Station 81 was one of many stops for trick-or-treaters in Stittsville this Halloween. [Stittsville Central]
🚲 North Grenville county is looking into the feasibility of an off-road trail that would pass through Osgoode. [Kemptville Advance]
🚔 Three men are facing auto-theft charges after a trailer was seen being stolen in Kanata. [CityNews]
🚨 The officers who shot and killed a man in the stabbing deaths of two Alta Vista residents won’t face any charges. [CTV]
HOUSE OF THE WEEK
Not for people with a fear of heights, this large unit is near the top of the city’s tallest building. Two balconies, three bedrooms, and one unmatched view of the city, this unit on the 43rd floor comes with two parkings spots (one with EV charging!) and quite the kitchen.
🚧 Construction on the western extension of the LRT is now 17 months behind schedule. It’s expected to be completed in late 2026. [CBC]
🚨 Two women have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 88-year-old Kieu Lam. [CTV]
🛫 Porter Airlines will build two new hangars at the Ottawa International Airport in a $65-million plan for a new maintenance hub for part of its fleet. [OBJ]
🚁 An Ornge air ambulance transporting a patient to the Civic hospital had high-powered lasers pointed at the pilots twice, making it difficult to see. [CTV]
🏢 Mark Sutcliffe was welcomed to what will be his new office Nov. 15. City hall is in the middle of the transition period to bring the new mayor and councillors up to speed. [CTV]
💡 Hydro prices dropped by as much as two cents per kWh yesterday for residential and small-business customers. [CBC]
⚖️ The Ontario government argued in court it would cause “irreparable harm” to the rule of law if the Premier Doug Ford was forced to testify at the convoy inquiry. [CTV]
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- The Canada Army Run will take place Sunday and see a number of road closures through the downtown, including along Laurier, Wellington, Rideau and Sussex.
- À La Dérive takes pub food to the next level. Locally sourced pork sausage in a house-made Pogo? Read the story to see how good it is.
- Reddit user smct333 decided to go all out this Halloween and give out full-size chocolate bars. They only lasted an hour. [Reddit]
- Flu shots are now available across the city, get yours! [CityNews]
- Find one of this city’s hidden gems in our guide of restaurants you won’t find anywhere else.
- There are a lot of big decisions facing the Redblacks GM this off-season after a terrible campaign. [CityNews]
- Did you lose a Presto card? One Reddit user may have found it. [Reddit]
- Fill out this form to have your event or announcement featured in community highlights
Reader Josie Mucciarella sends in this photo of a carved pumpkin that is particularly spooky. Never really felt bad for a skeleton before — it’s a skeleton, after all — but gotta feel at least a little bad for this one. Does not look like a lot of fun in there.
Have you got any photos you’d like to share with other Lookout readers? Send them in!
Congrats to Pat, Sylvie, Bam, Sharon, and Beverly who got Monday’s quiz question correct, by knowing Peter Sloly was at the Toronto Police Service before he became chief.
Now, for today’s Ottawa GeoGuesser. Do you know where this is? The first five people to respond get their names mentioned in the newsletter.
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