BY VOICE STAFF
A message targeting MPP Sam Oosterhoff has appeared on a billboard on Highway 20, near the 406 interchange.
After a reader submitted the photo above, the Voice contacted the message’s sponsor, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, for comment.
“ETFO billboards that are running in ridings across Ontario are intended to hold individual MPPs who are responsible for the government’s decisions around public education accountable in their ridings,” responded ETFO President Sam Hammond.
“Local schools across the provinces will be negatively impacted by the cuts and children in all classrooms will suffer for them. For local MPPs, how their constituents respond to local cuts to public education may very well determine whether they are elected again in three years.”
Hammond said that the union encourages constituents to ask their local MPPs about local impacts of cuts to public education.
“We hope that these billboards will encourage everyone to engage in discussion about public education, consider the impacts on children across the province, and for local MPPS—encourage them to vote against cuts to public education.”
Unavailable for comment before this week’s print edition went to press, MPP Oosterhoff later responded, “This billboard is blatantly inaccurate. Our 2019-2020 budget increased spending in education by over $700 million dollars, despite attempts at misinformation that say otherwise. That’s not a cut, it’s a significant increase. As a government, we will continue to invest in education, and will always stand up for students and parents, to make sure we are properly equipping them for the careers of today and tomorrow. That’s why we have renewed emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math, while creating more opportunities in the trades.”
Speaking Friday, June 28, Pamela Haire, Oosterhoff’s Beamsville Office Manager, said, “We have only had a few calls on this.”
According to its website, the ETFO represents 83,000 education professionals employed in Ontario’s public elementary schools, across 76 locals.
Updated to include comment from Pamela Haire, Oosterhoff’s Office Manager.
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