There was a pleasant surprise in store for Ottawa’s teachers on Thursday morning when a familiar face showed up to share his support for the strike. Spotted posing and taking selfies with local teaching staff, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh seemed to be getting into the spirit at the Ontario teachers strike. Despite the cold conditions, Singh had a big smile on his face.
This week, thousands of Ontario’s teachers have taken to the streets in order to protest the Ford government’s latest education cuts.
The action comes after the provincial government announced teaching wages would freeze, class sizes would increase in grades 9 to 12, and e-learning courses would become compulsory for graduation.
While nearly one million elementary school children were required to stay at home on Wednesday, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was out and about sharing his support for the cause.
As the walkout took place across Ontario, multiple teachers and support staff gathered in the capital city to make a stand.
Joining those striking in Ottawa Carleton, Singh was seen grinning with local teachers and posing for selfies, as the Ottawa-Carleton Elementary Occasional Teachers' Association (OCEOTA) posted several photos on Twitter.
The page explained, "[The] picket line at Queen Elizabeth PS in Ottawa gets a visit from the NDP!"
Picket line t Queen Elizabeth PS in Ottawa gets a visit from the NDP! https://t.co/BUhQzIzv10— OCEOTA (@OCEOTA) 1581005972.0
This isn’t the first time that the party leader has made his position on the provincial government’s cuts clear.
Last month, speaking from another strike rally in Ontario, Singh told Global News reporters, “The cuts to education that the Conservative government is bringing in is hurting kids.”
“The cuts are not going to help kids … I’m here in support of, not just the students and the teachers, but an education system that is well funded," he explained.
Queen Elizabeth PS picket action in Ottawa Carleton. Thank you Doug Ford for bringing teachers together. Fantastic… https://t.co/jBUioMU0WU— OCEOTA (@OCEOTA) 1581006763.0
It’s also not the first time that Singh has made an appearance at local strike rallies.
Back in 2019, the NDP head was spotted attending a climate strike in Victoria, where he was seen marching alongside the crowd and having impromptu conversations with local students.
Picket Action in Ottawa Carleton https://t.co/mdgHYiJsmZ— OCEOTA (@OCEOTA) 1581008572.0
In Toronto, streets were completely jammed by strikes on Thursday, as Front Street filled with hundreds of protestors.
Despite the fact that the province has reportedly paid too much to compensate the parents of kids affected by the rallies, there are still no talks on the table.
For now, it seems that the strike action will continue until an agreement can be reached.
Currently, there are no negotiations scheduled between the unions and the Ford government.