TORONTO, Ontario, June 3, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Ontario’s powerful Catholic teachers’ union is asking members whether they are interested in leaving the classroom in September to join an anti-Conservative political campaign in the lead-up to this fall’s provincial election.
In April the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association had voted to levy a $60 fee from its 45,000 members to build a $3 million war chest with the aim of defeating the province’s Progressive Conservative party in the October 6th provincial election.
In a survey of its members in preparation for the anti-Conservative campaign, SavetheChildren.ca, OECTA asks, “Would you consider being released from your classroom duties in September to assist an endorsed candidate?”
The survey, which was obtained by Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives, also asks the teachers of they are a member of a political party, and whether they would be willing to make a donation or volunteer in the campaign.
OECTA president James Ryan told the Toronto Sun that their preliminary list of endorsed candidates has Liberals and New Democrats, but no Conservatives. “There are no Conservatives on our list but doesn’t preclude the fact that they might be at some point,” he said.
The Ontario PCs have decried OECTA’s partisan campaign, particularly the mandatory fees. “There are members of the caucus that I sit in whose spouse or sibling will be forced to contribute to attack ads against their own family member as a result of this, because there is no opt out,” MPP Lisa MacLeod told LifeSiteNews in April.
The Conservative party has pledged in its election platform to introduce “paycheque protection” for union members to ensure they are not required to fund political causes they oppose.
OECTA has also faced accusations over many years for misusing union funds to advance causes opposed to Catholic teaching, most recently a project by the leading homosexual lobby group Egale.
Over the last decade they have promoted bizarre sex conferences featuring talks on drag queens and sex toys; used their own conferences to feature leading dissident Catholics and abortion supporters; seriously mulled the official promotion of homosexual ‘marriage’; and even sought to intervene in a court proceeding against a Catholic school which was being sued by a male student for refusing to permit him to bring his gay ‘boyfriend’ to the school prom.