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'Super Tuesday': Nearly half of Ontario elementary teachers stage one-day strike

TORONTO, Ont. – ‘Super Tuesday’ — the largest one-day strike thus far in Ontario teachers’ protest of Bill 115 — hit the province with tens of thousands of elementary students in eight school boards out of class.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario said 35,000 teachers, including nearly 14,000 in Toronto — the province’s largest school board — hit the picket lines.

Other school boards hit by strikes Tuesday were Peel, Durham, Waterloo, Greater Essex, Grand Erie and Lambton Kent in southern Ontario and the Near North board in central Ontario.

The ETFO said the one-day strikes are to protest the contentious Bill 115 that gives the province the power to end strikes and impose a collective agreement on teachers.

On Wednesday, it will be the Bluewater board, which includes Owen Sound, Bruce and Grey counties, the Algoma board in the Sault Ste. Marie area of northern Ontario, and the Halton board, which includes the Burlington and Oakville areas west of Toronto.

Thursday’s walkouts involve the Thames Valley board, which covers Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford counties and includes London, Woodstock and St. Thomas; and the Limestone board which covers Lennox and Addington county and Frontenac county, which includes Kingston, in eastern Ontario.

Also targeted on Thursday are the Superior-Greenstone board in northwestern Ontario and the Upper Canada board in the Brockville area of eastern Ontario.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario has said it will give 72-hours notice of any walkouts as teachers continue to protest a law allowing the government to stop strikes, freeze wages and cut benefits.

Premier Dalton McGuinty has said the government would allow the one-day strikes as long as they don’t extend beyond that.