By Sheila Nykwist
A week after the unexpected resignation of Ontario Premier Mike Harris, student activists say they have no plans to ease up on their protest of provincial Tory policies.
“The poster boy for economic globalization is gone and some may see it as one step forward,” said RyeSAC v.p. education Alex Lisman.
But the policies will remain the same, he said. That also goes for RyeSAC’s tactics to oppose the policies which Lisman claims have cut funding from areas such as education.
“There could be a false sense of security,” he said, referring to people who assume the premier’s resignation will result in a shift in Tory policy. He says activists shouldn’t let on their fight.
Demonstrators marched through the streets of downtown Toronto last Tuesday, protesting Conservative policies.
The celebrations peaked when Harris himself confirmed the rumours later that morning at a press conference. The demonstrator, Michael Doucet, president of the Ryerson Faculty Association, is both anxious and concerned about who will take over as leader of the province.
“Depending on who replaces Harris…the public sector and universities could see worse times ahead,” Doucet said.
He noted that one-third of Ontario teachers will retire in the next few years.
This could spell trouble when coupled with the impending double cohort in 2003, when Grade 12 and OAC students graduate high school and enter university at the same time.