Toronto – Ottawa Mayor Bob Chiarelli’s decision to review a city policy allowing OC Transpo to ban ads it considers “too political” is a step in the right direction, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union says.
However, the union is considering a legal challenge under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, if the city fails to amend the advertising policy.
This month, senior officials at OC Transpo vetoed several ads the union planned to place in city transit shelters. Mayor Chiarelli later rejected OPSEU’s appeal to reverse the ad ban.
The OPSEU ads are part of a provincewide campaign the union launched on Monday calling on the McGuinty government to rebuild public services. The ads were approved and are running in transit shelters in 11 other Ontario cities. They feature photographs of OPSEU members who work in the Ontario Public Service and text that reads:
Lives depend on our public services.
It’s time Dalton McGuinty lived up to his promises.
No more cuts – Rebuild our public services.
“OC Transpo has no business acting as a political censor,” said OPSEU President Leah Casselman. “Banning these ads is a clear violation of our members’ right to free speech.”
“We are glad Mayor Chiarelli seems to be having a change of heart, and we want to participate in the city’s policy review” Casselman said. “Unfortunately, the damage has already been done. Unless the city reverses its policy, we may have no option but to take legal action.”
OPSEU represents more than 100,000 public sector workers, including 40,000 in the Ontario Public Service who are currently in negotiations with the McGuinty government for a new collective agreement.
- 30 -
Click here to download the OPSEU transit ad (to download, right click on link and choose "save target as". Note: this is a 2 Meg image.
For more information, please contact:
Myles Magner, OPSEU Communications: (416) 443-8888, ext 8777