September 6, 2019 10:00 am
Updated: September 6, 2019 8:31 pm

Scott Thompson: Will our kids be used as pawns in the next federal election?

ABOVE: Canada's fall election call imminent

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In a federal election, each party plays each province differently, considering how important that province is to the success of the party.

Each party may concentrate more on one than the other, depending if they are trying to secure it, already have it, or have no chance of attaining it.

In the past, most of the political parties have played a separate game — either you’re provincial or federal.

More and more, however, we’re seeing the political lines blur that separate provincial parties from their federal counterparts.

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Often, we’ll see one leader help another of the same political stripe.

READ MORE: Ontario teachers will have to score at least 70% on math tests: memo

But now, we’re seeing strategies at both the provincial and federal levels using the power of one to influence the other.

It has come to the forefront in this latest campaign — which hasn’t officially started yet — with the media asking Justin Trudeau in Niagara-on-the-Lake if the PM was campaigning against Ontario Premier Doug Ford or federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.

During a media availability, Trudeau said, “I don’t have to tell anyone in Ontario what cuts to funding mean.”

WATCH: Does the new Ontario education curriculum get a passing grade?

We’re about to see this strategy catapulted to the next level.

Ontario teachers’ unions have been surprisingly quiet for the start of the school year, after ramping up fears of everything from class size to dirty classrooms leading up to Labour Day.

This could be due to the damaging EQAO test results that just confirmed our kids’ elementary math scores have been declining for over 10 years, dating back to the days of Dalton McGuinty, the “teachers’ premier.” (EQAO results show that the Grade 9 results have been relatively consistent.)

In the cut-throat game of dirty politics that our elections have become, however, I think this is the calm before the storm.

My guess is the heavy artillery will come out just before the federal election, slated for Oct. 21 at the latest.

READ MORE: Ontario elementary students’ math scores decline on EQAO test

The Ontario teachers’ unions would then launch into a full-scale attack on the Ford Conservatives, complaining about yet another provincial government that won’t give them what they want and threaten strike action.

Our kids may see rotating strikes and threats of more, hoping the government of the day bows to their demands like in the past.

Then, the federal Liberals could use the feud between the Doug Ford Conservatives and the teachers’ unions as an example of what Canada would get with Scheer, in an attempt to secure Ontario voters.

The question is: if my guess holds true, will Ontarians — and Canadians — believe him, or blow it off as more Trudeau fuddle-duddle?

Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.​​​​

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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