len's masthead




londoner editor pic





Tim Hudak the leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party has recently announced his intention to slash 100,000 public service workers including teachers in order to create one million private sector jobs . Nurses, Doctors and the Ontario Provincial Police are not on the chopping block.

In Ontario we have one million civil servants who work on behalf of the people and if the cuts are implemented then 10% of the workers will be fired. The 100,000 cuts is like unto cutting one third of Londonís 300,000 citizens means of employment.

Thousands of teacher and support workers will be terminated. Hudak learned from his mentor, Mike Harris, with his Common Sense Revolution, to be mean spirited in regards to education.

In the London area we have over eight thousand teachers and if you do the math of cutting ten percent then eight hundred fewer teachers will be there for our students.

Young hard working teachers who are at the bottom of the totem pole in seniority will be the first ones terminated. The Ontario Secondary Teachers Federation is preparing to start negotiating this Fall. They have a mandate to protect our teachers and students. They will do what ever it takes to ensure the well being of our students to challenge the cuts to education.

Parents and their children will bear the brunt of the cuts with school boards having to increase class size numbers because of fewer teachers in front of the class. Teacher assistants, guidance staff, music and librarians numbers will be the first ones on the chopping block because there is no pupil teacher pupil ratio set numbers.

Hudak has urged cutting 10,000 support workers from the schools. Without these Teacher Assistants, the children who are most at risk of failing will not receive the help they need to be successful. The mantra for the Thames Valley School Board: " Success for every Student" will not be feasible.

The cuts to the Early Education staff will kill the Kindergarten program for 3-4 year old children that helped parents to work in paid employment.

We should be very proud of the education our elementary/secondary children receive. The University of Western Ontario, Kingís/Huron. Brescia University College, Fanshawe College are now recipients of students from around the world who travel to London for a post secondary education. With proposed staff cuts in post secondary staffing it will be hard to maintain the quality that we have achieved.

Hudak has recently announced that the 30% grant to defray tuition costs that helped students attend college/university will be eliminated.

Canada for the past century has done well because we have been primarily a resource based economy. Oil, coal and base minerals are all non renewable resources. When they are gone the are gone and we all will be faced with empty holes in our economy and our future. Science technology and innovation are the way to the future.

The most valuable resource that we have are our children whose education will be the long term driver of our economy and life style. If we deny our children the opportunity to have a sound public school education then the vast majority of Ontario residents will suffer the consequences. Not to worry the very expensive private schools will flourish. Their parents not wanting their children to attend crowded public schools will opt for smaller classes where their children will flourish.

Instead of gutting the education programs I wonder if Hudak has the nerve to amalgamate the public/separate Roman Catholic School Boards to save an estimated 1.2- 2.6 billion dollars.

Please take a moment to see the long term affects of slashing our education system and cast your vote on Monday June 12. Our children are our future.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com