Back to work bill to pass by Sunday, NDP forcing debate

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QUEEN’S PARK – Kathleen Wynne can use her majority and pass a Conservative-style back-to-work bill this weekend. The Liberals will pass their bill by Sunday, but the NDP will force Wynne to stay at work this weekend and debate the bill.

Knowing this bill will pass by Sunday, the government has the authority to notify colleges to prepare to get back to work next week.

The Liberals have the procedural tools to pass the bill by Sunday without the unanimous consent of the parties today.

“The NDP does not support anti-worker legislation that leaves a broken system in place – but by doing nothing for five weeks, it’s become clear that’s what Kathleen Wynne wanted all along,” said NDP House Leader Gilles Bisson. “Kathleen Wynne wanted to ram this through Thursday night and go home for the weekend. The NDP will force the parties to return to the house and give this bill, at least, its due diligence and debate.”

Unfortunately, with the back-to-work legislation, issues like student compensation and fixing the structural and funding problems at colleges will go unresolved, although the NDP will raise those issues throughout the weekend.

The government has the ability to pass the bill on the following timeline:

  • First reading: Friday Nov. 17
  • Second reading: Saturday Nov. 18
  • Third and final reading, passage of the bill: Sunday, Nov. 19

The five-week strike was caused by years of underfunding colleges by the Liberal government, which now has the lowest per-student funding in the country.