Local Press Releases

Harris stands up for students and parents while Milloy and Fife side with teachers’ unions

February 27, 2013

KITCHENER – Ontario can have an education system that prepares our children to succeed in a competitive world – but only if we safeguard extra-curricular activities and ensure teachers carry out their full range of professional responsibilities, Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said today.

“Students and parents should have the right to meet with their teachers after three o’clock and receive complete report cards on time,” Harris said. “The unions shouldn’t have the authority to forbid front-line teachers from participating in extra-curricular activities on their own personal time.”

Harris is concerned that Waterloo Region’s other local MPPs, John Milloy and Catherine Fife, both voted against a PC motion to clarify teaching responsibilities and prevent unions from threatening or fining teachers up to $500 for taking part in after-school programs.

“Both the Liberals and the NDP have to understand that there is more to the school system than teachers’ unions,” Harris said. “A PC government would stand with classroom teachers, students, their parents and taxpayers when it comes to quality education in and outside of the classroom.”

Harris rose to speak to this motion yesterday on behalf of the many students that contacted him to be their voice inside the Legislature. Hundreds of students signed a petition that called on the government to take the fight between teachers’ unions and the Liberals outside of the classroom.

“I want to commend Erica Boer and Taylor Cloutier who came to me when this unsettling dispute arose,” Harris said. “Both demonstrated an understanding of the political situation and knew the importance of restoring extra-curriculars, not only for themselves and their classmates, but for students across Ontario.”

Only the PCs have a plan to strengthen Ontario’s education system by handing power back to principals and classroom teachers. It’s time that the Liberals and NDP take the side of students and parents not continue to give into teachers’ unions.