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Ban Pickets/Rallies

December 26, 2011 permalink

Back to the news embargoed to preserve the Christmas spirit.

Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones wants to outlaw picketing outside group homes. Justification: vulnerable residents are disturbed by the hullabaloo. How long until the ban spreads to rallies at children's aid society offices? Justification: vulnerable social workers can't serve the best interest of the child while disturbed by the hullabaloo.



Tory MPP wants to outlaw picketing at homes for the intellectually disabled

Sylvia Jones
Tory MPP Sylvia Jones (Dufferin-Caledon) has introduced a private member's bill that would prevent striking workers from picketing group homes for people with intellectual disabilities.
Toronto Sun files

Striking workers should not have the right to picket the group homes of people with intellectual disabilities, Tory MPP Sylvia Jones says.

A private member’s bill introduced by the Dufferin-Caledon MPP would outlaw the practice.

Picket lines at supportive living residences during strikes in 2007 and 2009 kept some residents confined in their home while others fled the activities - which included front lawn portable toilets, megaphones, whistles and bright lights, Jones said Friday.

“In some cases, they literally could not comprehend why someone who last week was helping them and was a friend and was supportive, taking them to their job or their volunteer role, was outside and using bullhorns and flashing lights,” she said.

The Protecting Vulnerable People Against Picketing Act would not prevent strikes by support workers but would ban strike lines in front of the homes.

Strikers could still freely target MPP and cabinet minister offices, as well as their employer agency, she said.

Some people have suggested the problem be tackled on an individual basis as strikes pop up, but Jones wants to set a provincial standard.

A previous version of the bill passed second reading but was never called to committee and died.

This time around, Jones is hopeful that she can get enough support from sympathetic Liberal MPPs, in addition to her Tory caucus, to get the bill into law.

“I worry about the NDP,” she said. “My sense is that just philosophy-wise they wouldn¹t support it.”

Pickets set up in front of supportive living homes in southwestern Ontario in 2007 and near Ottawa in 2009.

Jones said the strike action was highly disruptive for neighbours as well.

“Twenty years ago it was a big fight to get these homes set up in neighbourhoods and we’ve moved beyond,” she said. “I am very concerned that if this becomes the norm it will be another argument that people can use for ‘we don’t want those types of homes in our neighbourhood’.’’

A spokesperson for the striking workers could not be reached Friday.

Source: Toronto Sun