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More than 30,000 people sign against what they dub as Tories' $48M ‘bribe’

‘In under 2 weeks since this was announced, we have received over 222,000 registrations’
Jan. 29, 2020
Dina Al-Shibeeb

As of Jan. 27 afternoon, about 30,404 people have signed a petition protesting what they called the Tory government’s “bribe” to placate parents who were scrambling on where to put their children when elementary schools were shut down during a strike.

On Jan. 15, when Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario held their one-day strike, Education Minister Stephen Lecce gave parents up to $48 million in taxpayer money to cover some child care expenses when schools are closed.

However, the petition titled, “Take My Bribe Money & Put It Back Into Education!” has the goal to reach 35,000.

“The people of Ontario have spoken loud and clear,” the petition said, highlighting how the cuts have adversely affected children with special needs.

“We stand with the educators. Children with special needs, such as Autism have been hit particularly hard,” it said. “The Ontario Autism Program has been cut and these children are being sent into a school system that is not able to support them.”

“We cannot be bribed with our own money Premier Ford. Take the amount allotted for my child and put it back into education, where it belongs!”

In response, spokesperson of Lecce’s office Alexandra Adam said, “We announced our Support for Parents initiative to provide financial relief to hardworking families whose lives have been upended by union-led strike action.”

She added, “In under two weeks since this was announced, we have received over 222,000 registrations.”

Diliny Corlosquet, a mother of three who can handle expenses of a strike, said some parents have taken some of the money and put it back to schools.

“I work from home,” Corlosquet said, however, she described some parents who might need whatever they can get.

“The point we are trying to make here is that we are standing with the teachers.”

So far, ETFO has decided to "escalate its rotating strikes" across the province starting Feb. 3 if no agreements have been reached by the end of January.

York Region’s one-day strike is scheduled for Feb. 7.