At first glance we may seem like an unusual couple to be writing this opinion piece. One of us is a former union leader while the other is a church leader. However we share much in common.
This is crunch time for the NDP. Here is the question a lot of progressive people like me are asking: Is Andrea Horwath just another wind-up politician or is she an actual leader?
Because the same-old, same-old populist posturing that's going on right now makes it look like she thinks it's all business as usual, which it is not.
We all do understand that she and the party are in a quandary. But this budget is unfolding in a dangerous context that forces us to expand the frame of this conversation and get real.
The fate of Ontario's minority Liberal government is in the hands of NDP leader Andrea Horwath, who has said she is taking the next few days to hear from the public about whether or not her party should vote for the Liberals' budget. The Conservative Party led by Tim Hudak will vote against the budget. If the budget is defeated that would mean an election will be called.
The union representing education workers in Ontario elementary schools said yesterday that despite "respectful and positive" talks with the government under newly-minted Premier Kathleen Wynne, it has no intention just yet of telling its members to end their boycott of extra-curricular activities.
Since September, elementary school teachers have been protesting the government's passage of Bill 115 by declining to lead student clubs, sports teams or other extra-curricular activities.
What a start. Half of Kathleen Wynne's own backbenchers plus most of the NDP, including its female leader, skipped the swearing-in of Ontario's first female and Canada's only openly gay premier. That's some rebuff from the progressive sector she comes from and should appeal to. This will be challenging.