Open Letter and OSSTF Candidate Questionnaire

The following letter and questionnaire was sent to all declared candidates for OSSTF President, Vice-President, Executive Officer, Treasurer, OTF Governor and OTF Table Officer. If an email address could not be found for a candidate, we contacted them through social media.

The deadline has been extended to March 6, since some candidates have said they did not receive it.

Again, our sincere gratitude for the engagement of the candidates.

To the Candidates seeking election to OSSTF Provincial positions at AMPA 2017:

Thank you for your courage to put your names forward for leadership positions. We appreciate your willingness to take the risk and participate fully in the democratic process of elections.

Just over two years ago, the Educators Climate Alliance (ECA) was formed and launched a divestment campaign aimed at pressuring the OTPP and OMERS to divest from fossil fuels. Since then, many conversations have taken place and much has transpired globally in a world-wide divestment movement.  Since Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline clash, the divestment movement has broadened to include the Big Banks that fund these destructive projects. At this point, we are not asking for divestment from the banks, but motions going to AMPA 2017 through OSSTF Limestone District 27 are asking again for divestment from fossil fuels. The motions can be found on the ECA website here.

“Indigenous Peoples are standing up to protect land, water and our collective future: not only for us but for the very existence of the human race.” – Crystal Lameman, Beaver Lake Cree

Examples of Indigenous movements and First Nations on the front lines:

RAVEN – Beaver Lake Cree – Tar Sands Trial

Elsipogtog stands up to fracking

Chard Métis Society VS TransCanada

Idle No More

Indigenous Rising

Will OSSTF stand with First Nations and all Indigenous Peoples and put people and the planet over profit?

We think that OSSTF  has the capacity to be a real leader in social justice and human rights causes. Our union has fought for the rights and interests of our members and has a history of advocating for progressive change on issues affecting broader society.

As a candidate seeking a leadership position within OSSTF, we would like to know your position on these issues. We request that you answer the three questions below before AMPA 2017. We will post these questions on the Educators Climate Alliance blog and share them on social media. By answering these questions you are agreeing to have your responses published verbatim on our website.

Our deepest gratitude for your participation! Please see the questionnaire below.

On behalf of the Educators Climate Alliance,

Adam Davidson-Harden (D27), Kevin Bowers (D27), Anik Hahn (D26), William MacCallum (D15)

Educators Climate Alliance Questionnaire

Please respond by email by March 3, 2017.

  1. Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of Canada is not just about the legacy of residential schools, it is also about the sovereign rights of Indigenous peoples to govern their lands. Indigenous peoples are leading the ways towards an environmentally, economically, socially and culturally sustainable future.  As educators and members of OSSTF, we understand that we are on the frontlines of this Reconciliation process.As Union leaders, how can we push for progressive change in the Reconciliation process that is concrete and substantive?
  2. Climate change is a defining issue of our time and many are suggesting it will require mobilization and organization on an unprecedented scale. What can OSSTF do to proactively assist in climate solutions? And how can we use this opportunity to strengthen our union and the labour movement?
  3. Lastly, how might we use our internal investments, and investments of our pensions, to support meaningful progress on the above issues? What role might Divestment play in our leadership?

CBC documentary series: 8th Fire

Every Canadian should watch this incredibly important documentary series about “A 500 year old relationship … coming out of conflict, colonialism and denial,” referring to Canada and the First Nations peoples who were here before us. If we are serious about addressing the climate emergency, we need to reconcile this relationship and deal with our colonial past.