Ontario Premier Doug Ford went on the offensive to attack Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation President Harvey Bischof for trying to suggest that he knew more about how to reopen schools than the medical experts in the province.
"I will listen to the docs and the health and science all day long as opposed to some head of the teacher’s union that has his degree in English literature as Harvey does," Ford said in a briefing to media on Wednesday. "I think the parents would rather us listen to the doctors as opposed to some guy with a degree in English literature who thinks he is a doctor."
Premier Doug Ford says teachers’ unions are “playing politics.” He says he will listen to doctors before a union leader with “a degree in English literature” like @osstf president Harvey Bischof. Ford dropped out of Humber College after one term in 1984. #onpoli #COVID19 #onted— Robert Benzie (@robertbenzie) September 2, 2020
Ford’s attack comes after the unions have vocalized that the province had failed to provide a safe return to safe school plan for teachers and students. Unions insisted that they would be filing an appeal with the labour relations board in what they believe are slew of failures regarding safety which include a lack of physical distancing, appropriate ventilation and transportation.
Ford zeroing in on Bischof’s credentials seems to have hit a sore spot with people in the province who are firing back at Ontario’s leader.
I have an English degree from Queen's University and a B.Ed from OISE. I learned to think critically and to express myself effectively. I have 19 years of teaching experience. Today, @fordnation you insulted my valued voice as a teacher and undermined my valuable experience.— Julie Sayles (@mrsjuliesayles) September 2, 2020
Heard @fordnation say today that he'd rather listen to doctors than someone with a degree in English literature. Well Doug, my degree forced me to research and discuss things logically and my two degrees in education taught me how kids learn. Show me yours— ks (@kathgms) September 2, 2020
Ford who dropped out of Humber College after one semester of schooling attacked Bischof who graduated from Trent University with an English literature undergraduate degree and then completed his Masters of Arts and a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University.
Ford doubled down on his comments and accused the unions of not engaging in meaningful discussions and instead opting to “playing politics” around the issue of schools reopening.
“I have an idea, why don’t they try to help out, why don’t they pitch in, why don’t they be positive instead of painting a picture of an apocalypse, the world’s coming to an end,” Ford said at a press conference on Wednesday. “Why don’t they jump in there like the great principals that I’ve talked to, the great teachers that apologize for their behaviour to me.”