Merrilee Fullerton: Ontario Government Must Stand Up For Students’ Well-Being

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November 1, 2017 – Merrilee Fullerton wants to see the Ontario Government take action to end the colleges strike and allow students at Ottawa’s Algonquin College and La Cité Collégiale to get back to their classes. The local Ontario PC candidate for the riding of Kanata-Carleton is calling on the Premier and Education Minister to insist that the Ontario Public Service Employees Union and the College Employer Council get back to the bargaining table.

This is the third week of the colleges strike affecting 24 Ontario colleges and 500,000 students. The union representing 12,000 professors, instructors, counsellors and librarians and the College Employer Council have not been talking since the strike started on October 16th.

Dr. Fullerton is concerned that the students are the victims of this impasse. “The Premier and her Education Minister need to take action immediately to get both sides back to the table bargaining so that students and faculty can get back to the classroom. It is unacceptable that they are ignoring the plight of our students who now are at risk of losing their semester.”

“Today, college students are troubled thinking they might lose their semester, perhaps their year. Some must worry about losing apprenticeship hours that may not be recoverable. This all adds to the anxiety students face with their school expenses and job plans,” and Dr. Fullerton adds, “Students and the faculties at Algonquin College and La Cité Collégiale deserve to be supported and not left in limbo without a clue as to when they might be able to return to the campuses.”

Dr. Fullerton hopes that the protest rally planned at Queen’s Park today will prompt the Ontario Government to take action. “I am calling on Premier Wynne and Minister Matthews to listen to the students and faculty who are on the lawn at Queen’s Park. Order the union and Council back to the table with the objective of settling this dispute in the coming days.”


Other Voices of Concern

  • Joel Willett, president of the College Student Alliance, in an October 15 written statement, stated, “Though college students have never lost a semester because of a faculty strike, it is a concern students have repeatedly vocalized… Lost class time, especially a lost semester, can result in delayed graduation… Students don’t want to be put in the middle of negotiations or be used as pawns. They want to be in the classroom receiving the education they’ve invested heavily in.”
  • Cheryl Jensen, Algonquin College President, in an October 27 written statement said: “I know that we are all frustrated by the current situation. I have received more than 300 emails expressing that frustration and I have seen and felt it first-hand as I have visited the picket lines. I will do my best to answer your questions, and give you all of the information I know as I receive it. We are working hard to minimize the effect of this work stoppage on our academic year.”
  • Patrick Brown, Ontario PC Leader has stated, “Students want to learn. And faculty want to teach…. I hope for the good of the students and faculty, the union and the Council representing College management get back to the table and wrap this up swiftly.  Students deserve it.”


Support Merrilee Fullerton – Your Positive Voice for Change in Kanata-Carleton

Dr. Merrilee Fullerton
phone 613-435-1716


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