Conservatives’ policy conference to be met with rally of thousands protesting cuts

TORONTO, Feb. 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A rally of thousands will gather in Niagara Falls on February 22, during the PC policy conference in the border city. Labour and community groups will fill the streets of Niagara Falls, sending the message to conference delegates that Ontario workers, families, and communities do not want the Conservatives’ cuts.

“This government is failing Ontarians,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Patty Coates. “Public services like education, health care, and programs that help the most vulnerable Ontarians live with dignity have been put on the chopping block so the government’s rich buddies and corporations can have tax relief and raises. Ontarians are overwhelmingly against these cuts.”

In a January poll, 60 per cent of Ontarians said Ontario would be better off without Doug Ford leading the province. In a poll this month, 56 per cent of people polled in PC ridings said they were less inclined to support a Progressive Conservative candidate in the next election.

“The Conservatives are ignoring obvious revenue streams like the LCBO, then spending millions on costly court cases and losing money by cancelling contracts. The people of Ontario should not be asked to make up the difference while private corporations and conservative donors benefit,” said Ontario Federation of Labour Secretary-Treasurer Ahmad Gaied. “It is equity seeking groups like women, racialized workers, Indigenous workers, workers with a disability, immigrant workers and 2SLGBTQI+ workers who are disproportionately affected by the government’s short-sighted and mean-spirited cuts.”

“More than 60 per cent of Ontarians support a $15 minimum wage, which the government cancelled with Bill 47, and that also took away two paid sick days from every worker in this province. Now they are attacking the right to free and fair collective bargaining with Bill 124,” said Ontario Federation of Labour Executive Vice-President Janice Folk-Dawson. “They have also failed to deliver a plan to combat climate change. The people of Ontario are here to say they will not stand for this government’s ongoing failure to address their concerns in a meaningful, fair, and reasonable way.”

The labour movement stands together with all workers and communities to resist government cuts and attacks on decent work and collective bargaining rights.

Event: The People vs. Conservative Cuts Rally
Date: February 22, 2020
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Place: Scotiabank Convention Centre, 6815 Niagara Falls, Ontario, L2G 7B6

Visuals: signs, placards, and banners,

Speakers will include labour, community leaders and workers including:

  • Patty Coates, President, Ontario Federation of Labour
  • Sam Hammond, President, Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario
  • Liz Stuart, President, Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association
  • Harvey Bischof, President, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation
  • Fred Hahn, President, CUPE Ontario
  • Vicki McKenna, President, Ontario Nurses Association
  • Laura Kirby-McIntosh, Ontario Autism Coalition
  • Natalie Mehra, Ontario Health Coaltion

The OFL Power of Many is a campaign by the Ontario Federation of Labour and its allies in communities across Ontario, working together to protect and win decent work laws, strong public services, along with equality and justice, as well as safe and healthy communities for all.

The Ontario Federation of Labour represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information, please contact:

Meagan Perry
Director of Communications
Ontario Federation of Labour l 416-894-3456