Protesters Greet Ontario’s Premier

OPSEU and anti-wind turbine groups greet Ontario's premier with harshly worded signs and chanting June 18, 2015 ( Photo by Briana Carnegie)

Harshly worded signs and chanting greeted Ontario’s premier when she arrived Thursday for an address to the Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce.

Angry public sector workers and wind turbine opponents gathered outside the Best Western Guildwood Inn to have their voices heard.

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) members were protesting the lack of contract negotiations with the government, while We’re Against Industrial Turbines (WAIT) protesters made it clear their opposition towards wind turbine projects.

Protester and WAIT-PW spokesman Santo Giorno says he feels Wynne often favours the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

“We are very angry and upset with the way she’s been treating rural Ontario,” says Giorno. “Over the last few years, she’s demonstrated that she doesn’t care.

“She almost has a tin ear regarding the concerns of rural Ontario.”

OPSEU President of Local 123 Bev Quackenbush says she was unimpressed with how Wynne avoided the protesters.

“She was a chicken,” says Quackenbush. “They snuck her in the back door, she couldn’t face any of us.”

At the luncheon, Wynne spoke about accepting infrastructure investment proposals to utilize $11.5-billion leftover from the $15-billion Moving Ontario Forward project.

When asked about favouring Toronto, Wynne says it’s a province-wide project.

“We’re dividing it according to population, we’re consulting with the whole province,” says Wynne. “We know that there are needs in every region of the province.”

Wynne adds that her visit to Sarnia acts as a response to the accusation of favouring the Toronto area.

During her address to the Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce, Wynne outlined the government’s four pillar plan to build Ontario up.