By Jamil Jivani, July 28, 2022
With Ontario’s teacher contracts set to expire at the end of August, the politics of teachers’ unions will play prominently in the headlines in the coming months. It’s a good time to reflect on some basic assumptions about what it means to be a Canadian conservative today.
Many, if not most, conservatives have a reflexive opposition to teachers’ unions. Like clockwork, as collective bargaining gets underway in Ontario, we can expect conservative thought leaders and politicians to criticize the unions. But, if a true working- and middle-class conservatism is going to thrive, conservatives must break free of this reflexive opposition and offer a vision for how and where teachers, as workers, fit into our movement.
The battle between conservatives and teachers’ unions transcends geography and generations. This is, in part, because the heads of teachers’ unions have a history of conducting themselves like political operatives.