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Thousands get ready to rally in Kitchener for province-wide teacher’s strike
Kitchener’s Carl Zehr Square is expected to be packed for an upcoming education rally.
All schools in Waterloo Region and across Ontario are expected to be closed Friday for the first province-wide strike of its kind in more than two decades.
Between 6,000 and 10,000 people are expected to be picketing outside Kitchener City Hall from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
“It’s going to be an historic event of Waterloo Region,” said Rob Gascho, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation D24 president. “We needed to look for a location that could accommodate that many people.
“We really wanted to send the message that we’re all in this together.”
Waterloo Regional Police say they’ve been working with the planners of the strike to figure out the logistics of where busloads of people will go and what areas the public should avoid.
“The community can expect disruptions along King Street all along the downtown core on Friday,” said WRPS Chief Bryan Larkin. “We will try to facilitate the best we can so we can ensure limited disruption to the businesses and other individuals in the area.”
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, the OSSTF Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, the Ontario Catholic Teachers’ Association, and those from the Ontario’s French system will all be participating in the Friday strike.
Large class sizes, classroom safety, and fair compensation are some of the concerns they have raised to the Ontario government.
OECTA and the French Public Teachers’ Union returned to the bargaining table with the province on Thursday.