Abuse of Power by Doug Ford - CUPE Protests in Barrie, Orillia, and Bracebridge, 2022
In November 2022, when faced with the prospect of labour action by school support staff, Premier Doug Ford, leader of the Ontario Conservative Party, invoked the Notwithstanding Clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Through its power, the suspected one-time drug dealer who now rules Ontario with an iron fist, tried to force the members of CUPE Ontario to surrender their right to strike, while also trying to force upon them a contract that was dictated by the government.
That clause, also known as section 33, is intended to be used only during genuine emergencies, like the COVID-19 pandemic. It is NEVER meant to be used as a tool for bullying public sector workers who dispute an offer from the governing party.
Clearly, Doug Ford did not read the room as within hours CUPE called what the Conservatives called an illegal strike, and many other unions representing government employees either joined them on the picket lines or made clear their support.
By the morning of Monday, November 7, the Conservative caucus was defeated, and they raised the white flag in surrender at the threat of an impending province-wide strike. Ford and his Conservative MPPs were humiliated, weakened, and exposed for being little more than bullying cowards who openly abused their power in order to attain nothing but humiliation.
Videography by John Ironside and Sarah Bianco
Post-Production by John Ironside.