THE CANADIAN PRESS
WATERLOO– Premier Dalton McGuinty said Monday he isn’t ready to call back the legislature to force an end to the York University strike, and he wants to see the result of a two-day vote before considering any action.
“It’s in the hands of the parties right now, and that’s where it should be,” McGuinty said after making a health-care funding announcement.
“There’s an opportunity today and tomorrow to bring it to an end.”
McGuinty declined to say whether he thought the months-long situation had reached a breaking point, but suggested a resolution is overdue.
“I am very concerned about the length of time that’s been involved, very concerned about the impact it’s had on students’ studies,” McGuinty said.
“I remain hopeful that during the course of today and tomorrow, all the folks involved on both sides of this difficult issue will understand that there’s nothing more important than ensuring that young people are in the classes.”
The 3,400 teaching assistants, graduate assistants and contract faculty have been on strike since November, locking out thousands of students from their classes.
The dispute’s main issue has been job security for contract staff.
Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory said that while he also hopes Monday’s and Tuesday’s vote will resolve the impasse, McGuinty should take action to bring classes back.
“Mr. McGuinty should make it clear – and do it now – classes will be resuming at York University not later than Monday,” Tory said.
“And if he has to recall the legislature to make that happen, he’ll do it. I think that might have a positive outcome on the vote.”
A spokesman for the New Democrats declined to comment on whether the party would support bringing back the legislature to force the issue, saying it wouldn’t be helpful to hypothesize while the vote was taking place.