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As the morning dawns in Ontario, schools across the province are shut down today, as a result of a one-day strike by education workers represented by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation. Striking workers include high school teachers, Educational Assistants, Lunch Room aids and Office Administration staff. Because OSSTF represents workers in elementary schools, as well as both Catholic and French schools, many have had to close due to the strike.
OSSTF members, along with all other unionized education workers, have been without a contract since August 31st. Bargaining has occurred throughout the fall, with no success.
The main issues at hand are class size in secondary schools, support services for special education students and the ministry's intention to mandate elearning courses for high school students. OSSTF is asking for inflation protection for wages, but wages do not form a large part of the issues.
Several other education unions are either in, or will be in a strike position soon. The Elemenatary Teachers' Federation of Ontario are already in a strike position and have been on work to rule. OECTA, which represents Catholic teachers, has had a strike vote, has requested a non-board report and will be in a strike position soon. AEFO, which represents French Language teachers, will have a strike vote later in December and could be in a strike position in the new year.
Bargaining issues for all of the unions centre around funding in education, and much less on benefits and salaries. The provincial government, citing large deficits left by the previous government, are pursuing a strategy of trying to reduce costs, and as such have tabled proposals that would cut funding to education, in order to reduce the provincial deficit.
For direct links to each of the Federations and the ministry, click on the links below:
Local School board links:
As reported earlier, the NWMO has ruled out Hornepayne as a potential site for a Deep Geological Repository. While not entirely surprising, many are still disappointed, and of course, many are rejoicing. While more information will come out in the coming days, below you will find the most important paragraph from the report within which the reduction in sites was announced.
" In both the community of Hornepayne and in the surrounding area, the general alignment of the project with local aspirations and vision is strong among some in the community and less so among others. Groups within the community and area tend to view the project in different ways and level of interest, and support for the project varies. People in the area appear to hold a range of perspectives on how the area should achieve growth and advance well-being, and the extent to which they are comfortable with achieving this through a nuclear-related project. Reasons that tend to be cited include concern about safety, potential effects on relationships with Indigenous groups in the area – some of which have stated opposition to the project – and potential changes in community character with the introduction of a large project and population growth. Some of these concerns might be addressed over time through awareness building and learning activities; however, some appear to be related to fundamental values (e.g., views about the nuclear industry) that are unlikely to change during the NWMO’s planning period."
So, in a nutshell, Hornepayne was removed, as a result of the social environment and the uneven support of the project and the nuclear industry in general. Those who were opposed to the project, were successful in making their points loudly enough, to lead the NWMO to believe that in the short three years between now and final selection (2023), that it would be hard, or unlikely for enough of these divisions to be bridged.
Please stay tuned for an update after tomorrow evening's public meeting.
Mid morning on Tuesday, November 26th, the citizens of Hornepayne began to learn that we had been removed from the NWMO process. Initial responses, primarily on social media, seem to have followed the pattern of support for the project in particular. Some are pleased, as they opposed the project. Others, who supported the project are equally disappointed.
The announcement from NWMO (which can be found here) is brief on details, however the NWMO has always said it is searching for a site that not only has scientifically appropriate geology, but is also deemed to be a "willing host". While this is not a clearly defined term, one can only surmise that the NWMO does not feel that conditions in Hornepayne were either conducive to, or could be conducive to the project. As of yet, due to MNRF delay, there has not even been borehole drilling, so a technical argument cannot be definitely made.
However, it is the belief of many citizens that while the NWMO has the right to make this decision, that the community deserves a more detailed answer as to what conditions lead to our removal. Www.hornepayne.com will endeavour to get those answers from the NWMO, as it wraps its presence up in our region.
In keeping with NWMO's policy of being a good corporate citizen, they surely will be willing to explain the decision to the community who openly welcomed it into its midst.
After a number of attempts to get an answer from LCBO management, to no avail, it seems as if a local retailer has been chosen to host our local LCBO outlet. As of now, I am not aware of a public statement, however Hornepayne.com will reach out to the business owner, once the information is public.
HORNEPAYNE, ON – On October 24, 2019, at approximately 11:18 am, members of the North East Region Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Community Street Crime Unit (CSCU), executed a Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) search warrant at a residence on Cedar Avenue in Hornepayne, Ontario.
The search resulted in police locating and seizing quantities of cash, suspected drugs and firearms.
The street value of the drugs seized is approximately $130,000.
As a result of the investigation, three people were arrested and charged.
Kevin ARCHER, a 46-year-old from Hornepayne, Ontario was charged with the following:
Kristina TELFORD, a 48-year-old from Hornepayne Ontario, was charged with the following:
Keith TELFORD, an 18-year-old from Hornepayne, Ontario, was charged with the following:
All three accused parties were released from custody and are scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice on November 28, 2019 in Hornepayne, Ontario. None of the charges have been proven in court.
Community members, members of council, OPSEU leadership, employees and citizens rallied today at the LCBO to protest, and build awareness about the decision by the LCBO management to close the Hornepayne Store, as soon as a private business can be found. A great turnout helped to promote awareness around this issue. The issues are many, but in part, the loss of good jobs for our community, as well as the loss of product selection for customers are key concerns. Further to that, LCBO staff are well trained and professional, and are a key element in ensuring that alcohol sales are being conducted responsibly.
A key focus in this challenge, is keeping the pressure on the government. The municipality has information on their website in regards to emailing ministers and the Premier, so you can to to the town site here and get further information. Even if you have already emailed, email again, demand answers and show the government we are serious. Please see some photos from the rally below!
WWW.HORNEPAYNE.COM was able to contact LCBO management and ask some questions around data used to make a decision about our LCBO. We thought perhaps there would be information about sales, perhaps a decline, etc. However, we were told that the main reason for the closure was not related to sales. We will try to find out more information in the near future. In the meantime, please continue to press the government.
Hornepayne.com contacted the union that represents workers at the LCBO to ask them a bit about the pending closure of our outlet. Below are the questions asked and comments.
Question: Was the OPSEU given any notice of the impending closure of the LCBO in Hornepayne?
Answer: OPSEU was notified by the LCBO after the decision was made.
We were only notified the day they announced it to the staff at the store which was Sept 13th
Question: Did you receive any explanation from the LCBO as to why the decision is being made.
Answer: We received no explanation other than the fact that the LCBO can close the Hornepayne LCBO because it is “repatriating” (bringing the business back into LCBO) an agency store somewhere else.
Question: How many people does it affect.
Answer: It affects 2 casual employees, perhaps 3. One member is going off on Maternity leave the beginning of November
Question: Beside the obvious job losses, what are OPSEU’s concerns about the closure of the LCBO store and sales of alcohol in an Agency store.
Answer: With a real LCBO, the community gets good jobs and can count on highly trained professionals making sure that alcohol doesn’t get into the hands of kids and people who appear intoxicated. With the real LCBO ,all the profits go back to the people of Ontario in the form of investments in our hospitals, schools, highways and other public services. With these fake LCBO “convenience outlets” 10 percent of the profit goes to the private owner.
Question: Are you able to illuminate the rules around which an agency store must operate, in terms of security, safety, training, etc?
Answer: Agency stores are private retailers. And the evidence is is clear. According. To the Centre for addiction and mental health (CAMH), the research shows that privatization results in an increase in stores per capita, longer hours of sale, and fewer ID checks that prevent sales to minors and intoxicated people.The research shows these factors are strongly linked with increased alcohol consumption and harms, including increased hospitalization, mortality rates and suicide rates. CAMH has recommended against private relatability stores in its Alcohol Policy Framework released in September.
Question: Are you aware of other LCBO outlets that are slated for closure, that are at least 100km from the closest LCBO store?
Answer: No, but OPSEU only receives notification after
the LCBO has made its decision. The LCBO needs to stop treating northern and rural areas as second-class communities. Over the past few years, OPSEU has fought hard to force the LCBO to back off an misguided plans to close stores and lay off staff in a number of small communities across the province.And the LCBO can count on us to fight hard against this closure in Hornepayne.
Question: How would I advise residents direct their concerns in regards to this issue? To whom would it be best to concentrate our calls, emails and other communications in order to help reverse this decision?
Answer: OPSEU is fighting the expansion of private alcohol sales across the province . If you go to keepitpublic.ca, a template message will automatically email to your MPP, Premier Doug Ford, and Finance Minister Rod Phillips. (The LCBO is a crown corporation under the ministry of finance)Alternatively, you can draft your own
****Story update as of Tuesday, September 24th! I have heard from both the Liberal candidate and the Green Party candidate, and I hope to have their interviews posted in the near future!!!******
WWW.HORNEPAYNE.COM has reached out to the candidates for our riding, for each of the major parties, to conduct an interview each of them, to allow them to outline, for voters in Hornepayne, as well as our larger area, their political goals, and to ooutline why they fell they deserve your vote. As of the evening of Tuesday, September 24th, I have received a response from two of them, and once I am able to, I will conduct an interview and post the results here. Please check back, check out our two facebook connections (a group and a page), as well as our instagram and twitter account. You can also leave us a message, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on Facebook! As soon as we have material from our local candidates, we will post it here.
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