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Ontario government spent nearly $1 million on hospitality expenses during negotiations with education unions

Author: Jasmine Moulton 17/08/2020

Aug. 17, 2020

Toronto, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has learned that the Ontario government spent nearly a million dollars on meals and hotels during negotiations with education unions.

“This is further proof of how costly the unions’ monopoly over public education is for Ontario taxpayers,” said Jasmine Moulton, the Ontario director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “The simple act of sitting down with these union bosses cost taxpayers nearly a million bucks, and that’s to say nothing of actual negotiating costs such as legal bills!”

Documents obtained through a freedom of information request show the province spent at least $907,969 on hospitality, meal, and accommodation expenses during negotiations with education unions since August 2019.

According to the FOI response from the ministry of education, the government spent over $814,000 on hotel meeting rooms at the Sheraton, over $21,000 on staff meal expenses, and over $72,000 on staff accommodations.

These figures do not cover any bargaining expenses for the education unions. It is unclear from the ministry’s response whether taxpayers paid for any additional expenses incurred by the education unions.

The CTF has also criticized the unions for accepting a pay raise during the economic downturn while 2.2 million Ontarians lost their jobs or had their work hours slashed due to COVID-19.

“The Ontario government needs to focus on delivering services such as education efficiently instead of burning through taxpayer cash on negotiations with union bosses at an expensive hotel venue downtown Toronto,” said Moulton.

To view the document, click HERE.

 

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Jasmine Moulton

Ontario Director

416-573-5458

[email protected]