Bill 28 Will Go Down as Ford’s Folly

Claude McIntosh - Mac's Musings
Bill 28 Will Go Down as Ford’s Folly

You have to wonder what Doug Ford was thinking when he decided to crack the whip with the controversial notwithstanding clause and declare Monday’s legal strike by Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) education workers illegal.

The premier got some bad advice that backfired.

When did teacher assistants and maintenance workers – the lowest paid in the education system – become so critical that a back-to-work order was needed before they hit the pavement.

When paramedics, a real “essential” service, went on strike in the city and United Counties, there was no talk about a back-to-work order.

The method in the Bill 28 madness may have been a shot across the bows of the more powerful teachers’ unions, especially the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF). When McGuinty and Wynne were in office, the joke was that an OSSTF member answered the phone.

All Bill 28 did was galvanize union solidarity – you could be next was the cry from the picket line – and force the government to backtrack on its tough-guy stand.

Faced with one of the largest public and private union backlashes in provincial labour history, the Ford people offered CUPE

a huge carrot just hours into the strike: (Please) return to work and we’ll yank the bill (and you won’t have to pay the fines).


According to one Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) leader, 25% of the folks on the picket line rely on food banks to feed themselves and their families. I would like to see the source of that statistic. … MPP Nolan Quinn was caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. His wife is a member of a teachers’ union that backed the CUPE walkout.

THIS MONTH IN NOVEMBER 1965 – The province said it wanted to replace the ancient Cornwall Jail with a modern regional jail to serve the city, United Counties and Leeds-Grenville. … Eight United Couties township reeves (as they were called in the day) were acclaimed. … It was another setback for residents in the north end of the city (north of Tollgate Road) in their quest for water service. Council voted 8-3 to put extending water to the region on the backburner (again). The lawyer hired by the residents, George Stiles, said his clients were seeking a “basic service.” He called council’s decision short-sighted. The region, he said, could not grow without water service. Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMCH) would not approve mortgages for homes without water service. Several councillors said the city could not afford the extension. The Standard-Freeholder, in an editorial, agreed that the cost was too much of burden for the rest of the city’s taxpayers. … City clerk-administrator Maurice Boyer was given another title. He was sworn in as a justice of the peace. … Fire damaged the Beaver Lumber office and storeroom on Second Street East. … Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets on Montreal Road and Augustus Street had a snack-pak special – 69 cents. … Cornwall Collegiate graduates Bert de Vries, Graham Hunt and Sue Bateman scored 80% or better on eight Grade 13 final exams. (Then there was the rest of us)…. Next year finally arrived for the CCVS football team when it captured the school’s first EOSSA title, beating Kingston Collegiate 40-19 at old Richardson’s Stadium in Kingston. Bob “Argo” McNally scored three touchdowns. Colin Lamarche had two TDS and Bill Greffe one. … Cornwall Classics lost 39-16 to Montreal College in the Quebec Intercollegiate Football League semi-final. Guy St. Jean had two touchdowns for the Classics. … Don Silmser of Cornwall Street Railway Kilowatts (great name) rolled a perfect game (450) in the Men’s City Bowling League. … Cornwall Royals blasted Smiths Falls Bears 8-3 in a Central Junior Hockey League contest. Bob Deschamps had three goals. Pete Prevost scored two. Larry Gabri, Jean Payette, and George Desjardins added one apiece.



The false claim that former Cornwall fire chief Pierre Voisine (now the Clarence-Rockland CAO) picked Tollgate Road and Brookdale Avenue as the site for a new fire station to replace the downtown station continues to circulate.

Fire chiefs don’t decide where a fire station is built.

City council decides.

Council, for better or worse, tagged the northwest corner after a north-end station was recommended by a consultant who proposed two or three north-end sites. A proposed north-end station goes back at least 30 years.

Voisine supported the decision. There is a big difference between choosing a site and supporting a decision made by a city council.

Some people have trouble understanding that fact.

SEEN AND HEARD Question often asked during the local Oct. 24 municipal election campaign: Did you receive THE CALL. … According to folks who track this sort of thing, adult kids who live in their parents’ basement can be included in the homeless count. … This might have been a first on the local campaign trail: One candidate said he would give $10,000 back to the community if elected. … Oshawa elected a homeless person as mayor. Well, sort of. Dan Carter, re-elected as Oshawa mayor last month, was a down-and-out homeless person before going through one of the most surprising turnarounds since St. Paul’s conversion on the Road to Damascus. When first elected mayor four years ago, the Toronto Star announced, “Homeless Man Elected Mayor of Oshawa”. Carter, a gifted speaker, often uses that one to get a laugh. And it works! … Two pieces of bad news for America: 1) Joe Biden, who thinks there are 54 states and that his son Beau died fighting in Iraq, is talking about running in 2024, and 2) The Republican nomination is Donald Trump’s for the asking. Poll out last week gave Trump 71% of Republican support with Florida governor Ron DeSantis at 10%. Has anybody thought about asking Bill Clinton if he will consider a comeback? … This is not how you invite a mayor to an event. Glen Grant found an invitation/tickets in his mailbox five days after the event, a drive-through breakfast. It had been hand delivered.

TRIVIA This former local politician once owned a scrap yard called Scrap City Auto Wreckers.

TRIVIA ANSWER John Sandfield Macdonald, Ontario’s first premier, had a law office in Cornwall but was born in St. Raphael West on Dec. 12, 1812.

QUOTED – “A fool and his money are soon elected.” – Will Rogers

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