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Kingston-area union groups mark one year under Premier Doug Ford

Click to play video: 'Kingston-area union groups mark one year under Premier Ford' Kingston-area union groups mark one year under Premier Ford
WATCH: Voters in Ontario elected Doug Ford as premier a year ago, and local Kingston union groups gathered for what they're calling 'resistance in the park.' – Jun 8, 2019

Hot dogs, cold drinks and sunshine — the perfect recipe for a barbecue held with family and friends. But a barbecue held at Doug Fluhrer Park on Saturday was no reason to celebrate.

“We have education workers, health care workers, community groups and seniors and students,” said Lesley Jamieson, president of the Kingston District Labour Council.

“It’s really a sort of broad selection of people who have been brought together by [Doug] Ford.”

READ MORE: COMMENTARY: Doug Ford’s desire to settle scores overshadows his populism

A year ago Friday, Doug Ford was elected as premier of Ontario. And local union officials say their provincial government is anything but ‘for the people’.

“It’s been pretty bad, and it’s a daily shock,” said Shiela Sak, president of OPSEU Local 4104. “When you open up the newspaper, or watch the news, it’s a daily shock seeing the cuts that are being made and the changes to labour.”

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“I see the suffering of this, and it’s not fair,” said Theresa Graham,president OPSEU Local 497. “Why is he attacking our most vulnerable people? Children, health care — health care is huge.”

WATCH: Doug Ford marks year since Ontario election

Click to play video: 'Doug Ford marks year since Ontario election' Doug Ford marks year since Ontario election
Doug Ford marks year since Ontario election – Jun 7, 2019

The province did ultimately backtrack on retroactive cuts to municipalities and healthcare, which these groups believe is the result of keeping elected officials accountable.

But they won’t rest on their laurels.

READ MORE: 67 public school teachers served redundancy notices in Kingston this year

“There’s a lot of people who really don’t understand what’s going on,” Sak said. “So [we should be] educating our members, and not just members at our local, but educating your family, educating your community about what these changes actually mean.”
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But of course with a majority government, like the one governing Ontario, three more anniversary barbecues could be held before voters get a chance to have their say. In the meantime, though, the labour groups say they won’t let up on having their voices heard.

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