Getting kids back into the classroom this year has sparked more than a few debates. Ontario's back to school plan has the government and teachers' unions throwing harsh words back and forth. Premier Doug Ford was not shy to share his thoughts on what union officials have to say.
During a September 2 press conference, Ford was asked about teachers' claims that he was creating an unsafe work environment for them.
Ford expressed that he had a choice between listening to "some of the best doctors, health minds, science in the entire country, or some head of some teachers union that wants to fight with every single government that God ever created."
He added that he differentiates between the unions and the teachers themselves.
He went on to say that the unions are "playing politics," and asked why they couldn't help out and be more positive, instead of "painting a picture of apocalypse and the world coming to an end."
Ford said that he has talked to principals and teachers, some of whom he claimed apologized to him for their behaviour.
The premier then reiterated his point about listening to medical professionals, saying, "I will listen to the docs and the health and science all day long as opposed to some head of the teacher’s union that has his degree in English literature, as Harvey does."
Premier Ford, Minister Mulroney and Associate Minister Surma Make an Announcement https://t.co/mqLc83YkzN— Doug Ford (@Doug Ford)1599066457.0
Ford was making a reference to Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation President Harvey Bischof, whom CTV News says has an English literature degree from Trent University, along with a Masters of Arts and Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University.
Bischof issued a response to Ford, which was shared on Twitter by Travis Dhanraj of Global News.
#NEW: @HarveyBischof's response to @fordnation #Onpoli #onted https://t.co/jBV30ILXVn https://t.co/pI0juhoJ0X— Travis Dhanraj (@Travis Dhanraj)1599070026.0
Bischof claims that he has cited his own academic experience to explain why he listens to medical experts.
"When the SickKids report says we should limit class size as the 'priority strategy' for a safe return, I'd prefer that the Premier not substitute his own judgment for theirs either," he says.