Making Our Votes Count on October 22!

im votingOPSEU Members, Public Services & Municipal Elections

With the election of Doug Ford government last June, his promise to cut $billions in funding for the public services and his attack on local democracy in Toronto, it’s now clear that Ontario’s October 22 municipal elections will be critical in defending public services, stopping privatization and building a provincewide movement against cutbacks and austerity.

That’s why OPSEU Region 5 is working with our labour and community allies to get the word out to our members about this election, the key issues… and the need to elect as many strong, progressive mayors, city councillors and school board trustees as possible.

In the City of Toronto, OPSEU has been working with the Toronto & York Region Labour Council over the past several months to develop a list of endorsed candidates. Labour Council delegates voted earlier this month to endorse Jennifer Keesmaat for Mayor.

And with the imposition of the 25 Ward City Council by the Ford government, a list of proposed city council and school board endorsements will be put to a final vote at a special labour council delegates meeting tonight.

In the meantime, Region 5 is launching a major effort to reach out to members in every local in the region to:

  • Highlight the key the issues for working people and our communities
  • Encourage every eligible member to vote – and consider supporting our endorsed candidates as the best choice for protecting public services, good jobs and strong communities
  • Mobilize members to help with our election phone bank, join our upcoming labour canvasses, to volunteer with endorsed candidates’ campaigns, or make a financial donation.

Plug Yourself In: 4 Ways You Can Get Involved

Here are four ways you and your local can help make the difference:

1) JOIN US MONDAY for a Region 5 Political Action Committee (PAC) Meeting and Phone Bank Kick Off & Training

Date: Monday, October 1
6:00-7:00 p.m. – PAC Meeting & Phone Bank Training
7:00-8:30 p.m. – Phone Banking
Place: OPSEU Toronto Regional Office, 31 Wellesley St. East. Boardrooms A & C

The PAC meeting will include a briefing on Labour Council’s endorsed candidates, and a discussion of our election mobilizing strategy and how to plug in as many OPSEU members as possible and ensure our votes have an impact in this election. Next, we’ll do a quick training session for phone bank volunteers. Then we’ll start calling OPSEU members in key ridings where our votes can help make the difference! And YOU’RE INVITED!

WANT TO JOIN US? Great! Please RSVP by email to

2) VOLUNTEER with the OPSEU R5 Phone Bank

Once again, Region 5 will be running one of our successful election phone banks to contact members in key wards in the city of Toronto, talk to them about the issues and the candidates, and encourage them to get out and vote. Given the history of low turnouts in municipal elections, mobilizing OPSEU voters can make a real difference on Election Day!

WANT TO HELP? Join us at the PAC Meeting & Phone Bank Training (see above), or send us an email at and let us know which of the following dates you can join us.

The phone bank will be up and running every weekday evening from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at OPSEU’s offices at 31 Wellesley St East, starting on Monday, Oct. 1 through to Election Day on Oct 22. We’ll also be making calls on Saturdays and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Phone bank volunteers are the key – If you can help staff the phone bank – or want to organize a group from your local to come as a team – please:

  • Join us at the PAC Meeting & Phone Bank Training on Monday (see above), or
  • Send an email to your Region 5 EBMs at: and give us your name, local number, personal email address and cell/phone number and the dates and times you can help. One of our phone bank coordinators will get back to you to confirm the details.

3) SIGN UP to Hear about Upcoming Labour and Community Canvasses and Events – or to Volunteer Directly with One of Our Endorsed Candidate’s Campaigns

Just send us an email to and we’ll add you to the list to hear about upcoming canvasses and events to support labour-endorsed candidates. Want to sign up to help a progressive candidate in your area? Great, just let us know your ward or address and we’ll hook you up.

Join the Labour Canvass – Saturday Sept 29

Joe Mihevc – Toronto St. Paul’s – Canvass with Peggy Nash

  • When: Saturday, September 29th, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Where: 661 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto, ON, M6C 1A7
    (East of Christie and St. Clair)

Join, Like & Share the Event on Facebook

4) GET THE WORD OUT in Your Local

As we gear up for the fightback against Ford’s austerity agenda and the municipal elections, it’s a great idea for locals to be organizing meetings to keep your members informed and start organizing for the campaigns ahead.

To arrange for a presentation for your members, just send us an email at

PLEASE SHARE THIS MESSAGE with members and activists in your local who may be interested in getting involved

In the meantime, over the next few days, we will circulate Labour Council’s list of endorsed candidates, which you can post and share with your members.

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Union office Unit 1, B-2A, (Basement, room 2A), Queen Street West Site 1001 Queen Street West Toronto, ON M6J 1H4 Tel: 416 535-8501 x32330 Fax: 416-583-1254 Email:
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