Labour Council of Grey Bruce says that although Wiarton Willie predicted an early spring, the Wiarton Mayor predicted “… that people might get beat up”.
Newly elected Labour Council VP for Grey, Chris Stephen says, “I can’t believe it! I travel to Wiarton quite a bit and I know the people of Wiarton. Wiarton is not defined by this mayor making this statement to Labour Council President, Kevin Smith, that eludes or perhaps explicitly threatens violence to people visiting Wiarton and undertaking their Charter Right to protest peacefully”.
Doug Ford and his government has so polarized Ontario with their near draconian attack on educators and public services that seeing a few purposely peaceful protestors should surprise no one. The Wiarton mayor is obviously in the minority and does not accept that educators living in Bruce and Grey might be mad at Ford and Minister Lecce for their lies and intentional misdirection of information about issues that have profoundly negative effects on students and educators in Ontario.
According to sources, even the town clerk was needlessly confrontational and insisted that the signs being presented by the protestors, OSSTF “No Cuts to Education’ Flag and ETFO’s ‘Education Cuts Hurt Kids’ signs were offensive. The clerk’s comments “that this was her festival” and that the protestors would have to leave the property, is no doubt a message that is confusing to the thousands who have enjoyed this festival for decades. Perhaps the town clerk should have her own festival and not act in a way that denies people their rights and, with the mayor, paints the people of Wiarton most inappropriately.
Kevin Smith, Labour Council President, “I wondered why the Doug Ford security detail was calm as the educators showed their signs and flags. I guess they felt they could stand down as there was no obvious threat to anyone including Doug Ford, however, the mayor and the town clerk clearly saw things differently and felt the need to handle the security on their own.”
Dave Trumble, Labour Council VP for Bruce, noted that despite the irrational behaviour of local politicians in Wiarton, Doug Ford was as predictable as ever. “Ford continued to demonstrate his deep seated misunderstanding of the issues around public education, educators and the education unions. Ford made it clear recently that he is a businessman before he is an elected official, so it is his natural inclination to pander to this narrow base of uninformed that will eat up his ridiculous lines about the issues at stake being monetary”.
“The Grey Bruce Labour Council knows the community members of Wiarton to be welcoming and one that does not deny people their voice. The Labour Council has been the voice of working people in our region for over 60 years and we will continue to be heard along with our affiliate unions. One mayor and one town clerk will not shut down the fight to protect public education.” says Labour Council President, Kevin Smith.