Doug Ford and Stephen Lecce's sad state of affairs - 2020-01-22
It was largely inevitable that there would be a conflict between Doug Ford's Ontario government and the province's teachers. It happened under former Tory Premier Mike Harris, and it's happened with various right-wing administrations in other provinces. Put simply, teachers are not popular with conservatives, and their unions have been used as scapegoats by conservative governments for decades.
Teachers are considered liberal, and condemned for having long vacations and leaving work at 4 p.m.. The truth, of course, is profoundly different. Because they receive payment for the summer, teachers are paid less for the rest of the year; and their working days certainly do not begin when students arrive at school or end when they leave. Even so, the optics are perfect for the political right, and nobody plays optics and sound bites with such relish as Doug Ford.
Which is why he and his Education Minister Stephen Lecce have offered a subsidy of up to $60 per day to compensate parents for the cost of childcare during the numerous strikes that are taking—or are about to—take place. Such is teachers' anger at the government's refusal to listen to their demands that this strike now includes almost every major teachers' union in Ontario.