The Ontario Liberal government’s second attempt to table legislation to end the college strike on Friday did not get unanimous consent from all three parties.
Ontario’s Legislature will meet for a special sitting at 1 p.m. ET Saturday for debate. This means proceedings will go through the normal stages of readings and debate before a final vote is taken, likely later in the weekend.
The NDP again held up the back-to-work legislation that would see roughly 500,000 students to return to class as early as Monday morning.
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath explained her party doesn’t support any legislation that revokes workers’ rights, and assured faculty and students the NDP would be ready to debate the legislation on Saturday.
Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews said she is disappointed the NDP aren’t making students the top priority.
While the Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown agreed Wynne’s government should have stepped in sooner, his party backed the bill.
The back-to-work legislation came hours after Wynne failed to broker a deal to end the walkout, now in its fifth week and the longest college strike in Ontario’s history.
Earlier that day the latest contract offer from the College Employer Council (CEC) was rejected by 86 % of some 12,000 striking faculty members, represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).
JP Hornick, chair of OPSEU’s faculty bargaining team, said the offer was “full of concessions and failed to address our concerns around fairness for faculty or education quality.”