In 30 communities across Ontario, including Greater Sudbury, people gathered to rally for affordability.
Organized by the Ontario Federation of Labour, the rally called for workers and community members to gather together to tell Premier Doug Ford and Ontario’s Conservative government people have had enough with the province’s “destructive” agenda, the OFL said in a news release.
The Enough Is Enough Day of Action aimed to draw attention to that agenda, and “demand real solutions to the cost-of-living crisis.”
In Sudbury, occasionally to the sounds of Twisted Sister’s 1980s metal classic “We’re Not Going to Take It”, dozens of people gathered in Memorial Park downtown for the event. Various groups were represented, including the OFL, the Ontario Nurses’ Association, Sudbury Workers’ Education and Advocacy Centre, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.
“The Sudbury and District Labour Council is mobilizing workers and community members across the province today to protest Ford's destructive agenda. We are angry because, despite running on the slogan 'working for workers', Ford has ramped up privatizations, ignored real issues facing workers and attacked workers' rights in the first year of his government's second term. Today is just the beginning. In our province, Labour is building a movement to win what workers need now,” said SDLC President Jessica Montgomery in a news release.
The campaign is pushing five key demands:
- Real wage increases
- Keep schools and health care public
- Affordable groceries, gas, and basic goods
- Rent control and affordable housing
- Make the banks and corporations pay
Guest speakers at the Sudbury rally included Anishinaabek / Ojibway artist and educator Will Morin who used Ojibway words as a lesson about people’s connection to the earth and their communities, highlighting how in Indigenous cultures one does not take without first giving.
The lesson of what Morin was saying seemed crystal clear to the crowd, who enthusiastically participated in the lesson.
Speakers also included Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas and Sudbury MPP Jamie West, both of whom highlighted various ways the policies of Ontario’s Conservatives are, in their view, making life less affordable for average Ontarians.
In a short but impassioned address, West spoke about the rising price of basic goods, eliciting cheers and applause from the crowd, while Gélinas, the NDP health critic, highlighted how Ford’s government is using the health care crisis to funnel public money to private clinics
In Toronto, the rally at Nathan Phillips Square led into a march to Queen’s Park.
“Ontarians are fed up with wages that aren’t keeping up. They’re fed up with sky-high housing costs. And they’re fed up with Ford’s attack on our health care system,” said Patty Coates, Ontario Federation of Labour president, said in Toronto. “Today, people across the province are taking action to demand real solutions to these problems.”