The Greater Essex Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) held a forum Friday evening to protest provincial education cuts, privatizing health care, attacking injured workers and much more. June 7, 2019. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

Teachers’ union boss calls premier dream crusher

The Greater Essex Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) held a forum Friday evening to protest provincial education cuts, privatizing health care, attacking injured workers and much more.

The keynote speaker at the Fogolar Furlan Club was Sam Hammond, president of ETFO.

He called Premier Doug Ford a dream crusher and said that one in five children living in poverty has been thrown under the bus by Ford’s cuts over his last year in power.

“1.7 million people living in poverty have been thrown under the bus,” said Hammond.

Hammond said too many people are already waiting for services and Ford’s cuts won’t help shorten the wait times.

“Don’t for one minute buy into the fact that they are trying to reduce the waiting lists. It’s a bunch of nonsense and I say shame,” he added.

Hammond said Ford’s only goal is to reduce the deficit and calls the premier’s priorities backwards.

“He cares not who he affects negatively, what has to be cut in the process of bringing down that debt and I say shame on him,” Hammond said.

Hammond said the province doesn’t have a deficit problem, it has a revenue problem.

He added that there are too many corporate tax cuts in the budget and it’s costing too much to break deals like Hydro One, The Beer Store and fighting the carbon tax.

The crowd of almost 100 was told by local union leaders the education cuts will leave the most vulnerable students without help.