The Sault Ste. Marie and District Labour Council and some of it’s affiliates marked the one year anniversary of the Ford Government’s election by holding a protest outside of Lcaol MPP Ross Romano’s office on Saturday morning.
The theme of this protest was superheroes and ice cream – in reference to Romano’s remarks earlier this year comparing cancer patients to children with superhero toys and ice cream:
“When I go to the store with my kids they say ‘daddy, daddy, I want that and I want that.’ I’ve got three kids. If I buy one kid the Captain America figurine, I have to buy all three of them one.” – Romano’s comment at Queen’s Park.
Sault Ste. Marie and District Labour Council President Michele McCleave-Kennedy – who donned a Captain America costume for the occasion – said the community came together to discuss cuts the Ford Government has made are affecting the community.
“We came out for an ice cream and superhero party to welcome people in the community and hear what their story is and hear how they’re frustrated with the government,” she said.
This protest is one of 50 that happened across Ontario on Friday.
“People are frustrated with things that are happening and we’ve seen many cuts that are going to affect our community in a lot of different aspects.”
McCleave-Kennedy said some of these cuts include: healthcare, education, the autism funding, the cap on public sector wages.
“There are a lot of things that are happening here that people are not happy with,” she said.
Craig West, one of the protesters at this event, compared the government to a deadbeat father coming home saying they spent money meant for school supplies and rent on beer.
“That’s my biggest problem with what’s going happening right now. The Ford Government is claiming that they don’t have money and so they have to cut critical social programs and supports,” he said.
“The problem is they’re spending and wasting billions on stuff that’s not important.”
West said he isn’t concerned with the fact that someone can go buy a can of beer at 9a.m. and drink it in a park, he’s concerned about “the people who have children that have disabilities who are having their only support cut to pieces.”
“I think that it’s not the society I want to live in and it’s morally reprehensible,” he said.
McCleave-Kennedy said they’re hoping these protests open people’s eyes to what’s going on and get them to stand together for what they think they need and talk about their situations.
“We’ve had a lot of community members come out and explain their frustration and they need to be heard.”