“Actions speak louder than words. This is an attack on women. Period." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Toronto (21 May 2019) — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) says Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff’s beliefs concerning women’s rights are unacceptable and Ontario’s youngest ever MPP is not fit to serve in the legislature.
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“If there was ever an argument to have a mechanism to recall politicians in Ontario, Oosterhoff is a perfect example,” said Thomas. “But, at the very least, the Premier should send a signal to women by booting him out of his caucus.”
Oosterhoff recently issued a chilling threat to the right of women to control their own bodies by saying he wants to make abortion “unthinkable in our lifetime.” Earlier this month, Oosterhoff brushed by a group of concerned citizens who came out to a public constituency meeting to ask the rookie MPP about his views.
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Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer, who also represents OPSEU/NUPGE members from Niagara on the union’s executive board, says Oosterhoff is clearly not ready for prime time. Almeida also points to the 21-year-old MPP’s decision to sic police on a group of senior citizens protesting the Ford government’s cuts to library funding.
“I know plenty of people in their twenties who bring a lot of wisdom to the table and have taught me things, but this young man has a lot of growing up to do,” said Almeida. “His job is to represent the views of his constituents, it’s not a platform for his personal agenda. It’s widely accepted that the overwhelming majority of Canadians are pro-choice. Women have the right to choose. Full stop."
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Thomas noted that in response to Oosterhoff’s comments, Premier Ford had to virtually be dragged kicking and screaming to issue a tepid commitment that he would not try to reopen the abortion debate.
“That promise is probably as good as the one the Premier made about no public sector workers losing their jobs,” said Thomas. “Actions speak louder than words. This is an attack on women. Period. The only way Doug Ford can show that he respects women's rights is to give this arrogant little twerp the boot."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE