Toronto, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the Ontario government to ensure public school boards find savings before receiving any more tax dollars.
“Taxpayers can’t afford to keep paying for Ontario education unions’ and public school boards’ lavish spending,” said Jasmine Moulton, the CTF’s Ontario director. “It’s reasonable to request additional funding for COVID-19 safety measures in schools, but not while unions and school boards continue throwing money down the drain.”
Last year, Ontario Premier Doug Ford offered to fund line-by-line audits for school boards to help find savings, but only three out of the 72 school boards in the province took him up on his offer.
The Toronto District School Board voted against provincial legislation last year that would have opened its construction tendering process to competition. The TDSB only allows select unionized construction groups to bid on its construction projects, even after receiving a nearly $150 bill to install a single pencil sharpener with four screws.
Now, the TDSB has stated that it may need to cut courses such as French without increased provincial funding to pay for COVID-19 safety measures.
Ontario public school teachers accepted the Ontario government’s offer for a raise of one per cent each year for the next three years. The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation was the last union to reach an agreement with the government in late April of this year.
Meanwhile, 2.2 million Ontarians lost their jobs or had hours significantly reduced from February to May this year due to the COVID-19 economic downturn. Last year, over 10,000 Ontario teachers were on the province’s sunshine list of government employees earning a salary over $100,000 per year.
“Millions of Ontarians just lost their job or had their wages cut in the economic downturn while many extremely well-paid teachers just pocketed a raise,” said Moulton. “Taxpayers can’t afford to keep dumping more money into a system that routinely wastes it.”
CTF Ontario director