Ontario NDP Leadership News
The provincial leadership contest will be decided by a vote among all eligible members. It's one member, one vote for the first time. Somewhat surprising is that some riding associations have continued with the now-redundant practice of endorsing leadership candidates. The riding endorsement is a throwback to the old way of selecting a leader, when ridings sent a few delegates to the convention and told them how to vote. Those days are over. No longer is any member's vote beholden to the dictates of the riding association or its executive. That would entirely defeat the purpose of having one-member, one vote. The whole point is that each member is free to think and vote as they choose. NDP voting members should not be swayed by a blanket endorsement from a riding. They should shun being led like sheep. What's important now is that those voting for the NDP leader are fully informed and vote with their eyes open.
How is it, for example, that no one's talking about the fact that leadership candidate Peter Tabuns is the subject of a grievance filed in March 2008 by OPSEU Local 578, representing the staff at Queen's Park? The grievance hearing was slated for January 12, but was postponed when the arbitrator unexpectedly declared a conflict of interest and stepped aside. So the grievance has yet to be resolved. Tabuns appears to be ducking responsibility at every turn. Is that what the NDP, the party for workers, wants in a leader – someone who disrespects collective agreements and, by extension, the people who do his work at Queen's Park?
When a hopeful in the race to be leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party is embroiled in a workplace grievance, it spells trouble. It doesn't help that his running mate Cheri DiNovo is a labour relations nightmare, having fired four people without cause or notice for their sin of failing to give up their Labour Day holiday entitlement to serve drinks at Di Novo's family barbecue.