STRIKE: Ontario high School teachers vote ‘overwhelmingly’ for action
High school teachers in Ontario have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike, according to CTV News.
After a vote in Toronto, 95 percent of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) voted in favour, thus providing an “overwhelming” mandate to carry out strike action.
School boards are reminding parents not to discriminate against Chinese students and parents amidst social panic surrounding the Wuhan coronavirus.
York Regional Schoolboard reminded more than 9,000 parents and Toronto community members who had signed a petition to not allow students whose families had travelled to China in the past 17 days to attend class that their concerns could potentially be xenophobic against Chinese communities.
The petition, created by an iPetitions user Erjun Li, went on to outline the petition and shared concerns about how contagious the virus is.
“Symptoms like fever, sore throat, sneezing are marked as the indicators to isolate infected individuals. However, during the incubation period, victim of the coronavirus is still highly infective even no signs of symptoms being observed,” the petition reads. “Secondary transmission outside of China is a significant factor behind the WHO’s decision to announce or not announce a global PHEIC. On January 23rd there was one secondary transmission case reported in Vietnam, which indicates that this virus is very contagious…
“York region has a large Chinese-Canadian population. There were a lot of people travelling to China before or during the Chinese New Year. We cannot be overly cautious in protecting our children.”
In response, the school board noted that they were taking precautions, but we’re staying vigilant to ensure their precautions didn’t veer into discrimination.
“We are aware of an escalated level of concern and anxiety among families of Chinese heritage,” the Globe and Mail reported the school board sent in a letter. “Individuals who make assumptions, even with positive intentions of safety, about the risk of others, request or demand quarantine can be seen as demonstrating bias and racism.”
The top reported ethnic origin in York is Chinese.
The Ontario elementary school union has announced that they will commence a once-a-week province-wide walkout starting February 6, if contract talks with the Ford government do not resume.
ETFO (Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario) gave a media release stating the union will be escalating its “rotating strikes across the province beginning Monday, Feb. 3, if central agreements are not reached by the end of January.”
“There is nothing to be gained by Minister Stephen Lecce avoiding meaningful and fair contract talks other than further damaging the reputation of the Ford government,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond in the release. “Educators and parents are not going to accept the government’s deep cuts to public education that only serve to harm the quality of education for generations to come.”
The ETFO had previously said that talks between the government and the unions had stagnated thanks in part to disagreements regarding class sizes and online education. Education Minister Steven Lecce noted that compensation was the primary sticking point.
The ETFO said the following walkouts will take place if an agreement is not reached by January 31, as outlined by Global News.
“Feb. 3: One-day strikes in Bluewater, Grand Erie, Halton, Ontario North East, Renfrew County, Superior Greenstone and Trillium Lakelands school boards
Feb. 4: One-day strikes in Avon Maitland, Durham, Durham Catholic, Hastings-Prince Edward, Lambton Kent, Peel, Rainbow, Thames Valley and Upper Grand school boards and Campbell Children’s School Authority
Feb. 5: One-day strikes in Kawartha Pine Ridge, Keewatin-Patricia, Lakehead, Near North, Ottawa-Carleton, Penetanguishene Protestant Separate, Rainy River, Simcoe County and Upper Canada school boards and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre
Feb. 6: One-day strike of all 83,000 ETFO members
Feb. 7: One-day strikes in Algoma, Greater Essex County, Hamilton-Wentworth, Limestone, Niagara, Toronto, Toronto Catholic, Waterloo Region and York Region school boards as well as Bloorview, John McGivney Children’s Centre, KidsAbility, Moosonee, Moose Factory and Niagara Peninsula Children’s Centre school authorities.”
Bargaining has not commenced since December 2019.
Ontario health officials announced that a “presumptive case” of coronavirus is confirmed at Toronto’s Sunnybrook hospital.
Ontario’s chief medical officer, Dr. David Williams made the announcement Saturday afternoon alongside Health Minister Christine Elliott. Williams said, “”It’s our first presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus virus. The risk to Ontarians is still low. The system is working as it should.”
The patient is a man in his fifties who travelled to Canada recently from Wuhan, China.
The full press conference can be viewed here:
This is the first official case of the deadly viral strain in Canada. More than 1400 people have been infected worldwide.
The Ontario government has launched a website where you can see all the updates of the coronavirus.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated
Depending on the temperature this weekend, Southern Ontario is either going to be affected by a snowstorm or heavy rain this weekend, according to the Weather Network.
Speaking to The Post Millennial, Natasha Ramsahai who is the Meteorologist at 680 news stated that “it’s already started in the form of rainfall across southwestern Ontario, parts of the GTA have already started to get into the rain … this rain will have lots of moisture in it, it’s pulling it straight out of the gulf of Mexico.”
“This is smack dab in the middle of what is supposed to be the coldest week of the year, and so if it was a couple of degrees colder it would be a huge snowstorm.”
Toronto is expected to get a combination of both snow and rain this weekend, dependant upon the temperature. All in all, the area’s affected will receive up to a month of rain across the weekend.
This may result in some flooding as numerous storm drains will be blocked. This accompanied by melting snow and heavy rainfall may facilitate pooling water.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that parts of Ontario would receive up to 50-60 cm of snow. This is incorrect, with 20-25 cm of snow expected through parts of the province. The Post Millennial regrets the error.