Education minister heckled in Barrie
Published Friday, September 14, 2012 9:04PM EDT
Teachers continued protests Friday, in the wake of a new law that enforces a wage freeze and strips them of their collective bargaining rights.
In Barrie, Education Minister Laurel Broten was met with jeering crowds shouting “negotiate, don’t legislate,” as she appeared at a ground breaking ceremony for a new school.
“We’re asking our partners in education to ensure that they can continue to deliver top-quality education,” Broten told media, as protesters chanted in the background. “Have their disagreement with us. I respect that if they want to have conflict with me, but I really encourage them to leave our kids out of it.”
A group of about 200 protesters also showed up outside Broten’s Etobicoke riding office Friday afternoon, chanting “shame, shame” and holding signs that said “Stop Bullying Me!”
The protests are the latest action from teachers, who have also cancelled extracurricular activities at some schools in order to protest the new legislation.
Premier Dalton McGuinty tried to sooth tensions Friday, saying that he knows teachers are dedicated to their students.
But neither he nor Broten could appease teachers, or opposition members.
“The premier knew that conflict would come out of this and he didn’t care,” said NDP MPP Tabuns. “Nobody wanted conflict.”
Even PC members, who supported the bill that the teachers are now protesting, were criticising the Liberals.
“Mr. McGuinty caused all this and it’s up to him, as the leader of the province, to figure out how to get them to stop doing what they’re doing,” said PC MPP Jim Wilson.
With files from CTV Toronto’s Paul Bliss
Teachers protest outside Education Minister Laurel Broten's office on Friday, Sept. 14, 2012.