18 NDP MPPs kicked out of Ontario legislature during furious strike debate

18 members of the Ontario NDP party were kicked out of Question Period on Wednesday. Richard Southern with how the debate over a potential education strike boiled over into anger.

Tempers flared in the Ontario Legislature on Wednesday during the ongoing debate on Premier Doug Ford’s attempted use of the controversial notwithstanding clause to try and block Friday’s planned education workers’ strike.

After Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce repeatedly claimed that they were attempting to use the clause because of their concerns for children, Interim NDP Leader, Peter Tabuns exploded.

“When will the premier and his ministers stop lying about the damage they are doing to the education system,” he asked.

That prompted the speaker of the house to direct Tabuns to withdraw the comment.

“I will not withdraw,” Tabuns replied. “I’m telling the truth. They are lying.”

Tabuns was given another chance to withdraw, but again refused. “My remarks were accurate and true, the premier and the ministers are lying.”

Tabuns was then directed to leave the chambers for the day, but the fireworks were just getting started as numerous NDP MPPs began loudly berating Ford and his ministers.

“You are stealing their rights, their constitutional rights,” one screamed.

“Everyone one of you should be ashamed,” another added.

“Give me a break these people work day and night,” yet another yelled. “They are asking for pennies. You make over $200,000!”

One by one the house speaker began ejecting NDP MPPs. In the end, 18 members were given the boot for the day.

CUPE, which represents 55,000 education workers, says it is planning a walkout on Friday regardless of whether the proposed legislation passes. A strike would force most GTA schools to close for in-person learning.

Workers represented by the union include librarians, custodians and early childhood educators.

For more details on what the workers are fighting for, and where negotiations stand, click here.

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