Pupatello backs off toughen-up-T.O. sentiment
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, June 24, 2009 3:53PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 18, 2012 11:11PM EDT
Toronto is getting an apology from Economic Development and Trade Minister Sandra Pupatello, who suggested the city's residents weren't handling a garbage strike as well people in her Windsor riding.
Her apology comes just two weeks after federal Transport Minister John Baird apologized to Toronto's mayor for a profane dismissal of the city's application for federal stimulus money.
Pupatello suggested earlier in the day people Windsor were coping better with their 10-week-old garbage strike than those in Toronto after just three days.
In an off-the-cuff remark, she jokingly referred to Toronto residents as "babies."
She has since issued a statement apologizing for the comment, saying people in both communities are being inconvenienced and urging both sides -- in Windsor and Toronto -- to keep working at the negotiating table to resolve their issues.
Pupatello also says she hasn't been approached by either the City of Windsor or the union to impose back-to-work legislation.
About 24,000 inside and outside municipal workers walked off the job in Toronto on Monday, bringing garbage pickup to a halt and shutting down city-run daycares, parks and recreation programs, swimming pools and ferry service.
In Windsor, roughly 400 workers responsible for road work, gardening, garbage and recycling pickup walked off the job April 15 -- with another 1,400 workers in daycare, social services, bylaw enforcement and clerical work joining them several days later.