ONTC General Chairperson’s Association
Representatives from the General Chairperson’s Association (GCA) which represents all unionized employees at Ontario Northland (ONTC) closely watched today’s Finance and Economic Affairs Committee debate and were not the least bit surprised to see the Hudak Conservatives block the NDP amendment that would have ensured that services provided by ONTC could not be outsourced should the provincial budget pass final reading.
“This is just another example of the Hudak Conservatives and MPP Fedeli fully supporting sell offs of government services while hiding behind the Liberals. The Tories must be giddy at the prospect of completing the fire sale of the ONTC that Hudak didn’t finalize when he was Minister of Northern Development in the Harris government’, said GCA spokesperson Brian Kelly.
“We heard both Premier McGuinty and Minister Bartolucci repeatedly thanking Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli for his support of the divestiture of the ONTC and at 3:45 pm today (June 18) Nipissing MPP Fedeli as a display of that commitment to his Liberal friends, sat on his hands and watched the thoughtful amendment advanced by the NDP be defeated with his Conservatives supporting the Liberals in the recorded vote” added Kelly.
The NDP amendment was ruled “In Order” by the Committee Chair and as was argued by MPP Gilles Bisson, is designed to ensure the ONTC services could not be outsourced by the government. Bisson stated that this amendment would require a single purpose legislative debate if the government were to consider this again at some point in the future thereby cementing successor rights, pension and benefit for employees and retirees.
“The Tories had nothing to lose by supporting the NDP amendment if they were opposed to the divestiture of the ONTC. By defeating the amendment, the Hudak/Fedeli Tories just reconfirmed that they are the “party of privatization” and they have the ONTC in their sights as well” concluded Kelly.