OPSEU leader suggests Ontario cabinet shuffle targeted women

Smokey Thomas, president of OPSEU,speaks at the Unifor rally at Dieppe Gardens, Windsor, January 11, 2019. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

The head of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union says Premier Doug Ford has demoted almost every one of his female cabinet ministers.

President Warren Smokey Thomas has suggested most of those women holding important positions were tasked with handing out a lot of bad news, including Huron Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson.

“And now that she’s given all the bad news, got into a fight with teachers unions, students, parents… now what do they do, they take her out and put somebody in there maybe to hopefully fix things up,” he added.

Thomas said Thursday was a bad day for women in the Ford government.

“I think he does have a problem with women to be honest, because I watched him since he’s been elected, and about every bit of bad news has been delivered by a woman, and nearly every bit of good news has been delivered by a man,” he said.

“He moved Lisa Thompson, he moved Lisa McLeod, he moved Caroline Mulroney, they’re three of his stars. You know, for a man that bragged when he was first elected that he had all these women in cabinet, they certainly got moved to more junior portfolios. And not only that, they were the ministers who got to deliver a lot of bad news,” he explained.