In spite of the inconvenience, there was a lot of positive response from the public. People honked, rolled down the windows to give a thumbs up, and passersby even stopped to learn about the issue. “We had a thousand leaflets, and gave away every one,” said IBEW Local 586 Business Manager John Bourke.
The members at the protest were vocal but kept the mood positive in spite of the very real concerns about Schedule 17. Police were in attendance but were supportive as the members were all very well behaved, focusing on educating people about the issue and spreading the word.
“Our members were making sure to help the public understand,” explains Bourke, “saying things like, ‘How would you feel about your kids going to a school that wasn’t properly wired, or going to a hospital that was unsafe?’.”
“I’m an accountant,” one passerby reportedly responded, “and I wouldn’t like it if my certification suddenly meant nothing.” The public is starting to get the message that Schedule 17 could be the tip of the iceberg.
A CBC TV camera crew was on the scene, and coverage made the Friday morning news.
“Based on our success in Ottawa, I’d like to encourage all the trades to move forward and do everything possible to get the message out. We’ve got to win this.” Bourke concluded.
James Barry, IBEW CCO Executive Chairman of Membership Development commented, “Special thanks to Rich and Joe for making the long journey from Hamilton, with a car load of members from 105! An amazing night for the Progressive Certified Trades Coalition (PCTC).
“We must continue to demonstrate our opposition to the Wynne Liberals and Schedule 17. I encourage all organizers to help your Business Manager and keep the pressure on your local areas MPPs. The fight for our trade and it’s longevity must be our number one priority.”