SLSS Students Protest Against Bill 115 in Cornwall Ontario by Amanda Cross – December 11, 2012

CFN – Despite a cold day, St. Lawrence Secondary School students were protesting at the front of their school against the Bill 115 which was passed by the Ontario Government on Sept. 11, 2012.


Bill 115 act is taking away the teachers rights to negotiate salary, amount of sick day benefits and prevents teachers from striking. So, in return the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation has decided to fight back by asking teachers to give up some of their extra work to gain awareness. This includes cutting out school dances, sports, clubs and student council related activities.


Coincidently enough Bill 115 is also called the “Putting Students First Act, 2012”. This has grabbed a lot of attention by several students across the GTA as they feel this is not exactly what you call putting students first since the act is taking away what students love.


The whole reason behind why St. Lawrence students were protesting today was to voice their opinion.

“We want to get people to take notice of Bill 115 to show that we as students won’t be used as pawns.” says organizer Josh Welsh who also had the idea of the walk-out. “We don’t appreciate the extra-curricular activities getting taking away from us.” He added.


Secondary teachers have been in a legal strike position since Nov. 7 and as of Dec. 10 the teachers’ union announced that high-school teachers will no longer participate in any extra-curricular activities and sports. Elementary teachers won’t be in a legal strike position until Dec. 13. Students of St. Lawrence are extremely upset to say the least about this.


“I feel it’s not right to put students in the middle.” said Welsh.


Ghania Nasir a grade 12 student protester, “The Bill was only supposed to affect the teachers and now it’s affecting us, the students! This isn’t fair one bit and we don’t agree with this.”


Student council representative Edward Ross says, “This decision has caused so much fear and unrest in the student body. It leaves students in a position where they cannot participate in school outside of class” adding to the fact “which many education leaders say is most important after grades”


There are possibilities of more than one walkout for St. Lawrence students, who were only going to have one walkout in the first place and be “professional” about it. Welsh stated, “I along with other organizers of this event are thinking about having more walkouts, but more research has to be done before anymore happen.”


Students at CCVS, Char-Lan District and Rothwell Osnabruck also had walkouts today. There’s no doubt that students across the GTA are fully aware of this situation, but how aware are the communities? According to Welsh, “They might need a bit more awareness.”


Bill 115’s provisions will effectively take place as of December 31. Students are hoping to make a change and turn things around. They simply want everyone to be happy in the end.


Welsh says, “We’re hoping they come to a consensus, that in the end won’t hurt either party.”

If you wish to help stop the Bill 115 Act, click the following link below and sign the petition.

Amanda Cross – 17 year old dual credit student studying Journalism at St. Lawrence College while still in high-school at St. Lawrence Secondary School.

At a young age she had fallen in love with photography and has always enjoyed writing. Hoping to get a diploma in Journalism and meet several interesting people along the way.

Also a music junkie and huge sports fan.

Shop in Cornwall for Christmas


  1. The students should be blaming the teachers for removing the activities, not Bill 115. The teachers, again, are putting themselves ahead of the students by cutting out special activities. So typical, and so unfortunate.

  2. I empathize for the students, but I stand behind the teachers.
    They are setting an example for the students & showing how a true democracy works.
    Teachers volunteer countless hours & in reality should be getting paid for ALL they do.
    Are nurses asked to work without pay or any other unionized professions? Absolutely not!!!
    If the parents contributed more the students wouldn’t be missing out these extra-curricular activities.
    I support Bill 115 & thank you teachers for ALL you do!!!!

  3. I think you all need to truly review the Bill.

    I challenge anyone to quote and provide a section or subsection that explicitly states the Ontario Teachers unions cannot negotiate!!!!

    To date I have found NO teacher that can provide evidence that the bell removes their right to negotiate. The bill does place restrictions on the tactics. As it stands now there is nothing the government can do to make changes to education. It is all run by teachers and secondary education.

    As I mentioned in a different news article the system is a fraud. If we take a close look at the curriculum you will see a generic definition of courses the schools need to provide as prepared by government. The board then skims what it believes they can provide by demographics and finally the school chooses how the courses are to be delivered.

    It’s not a bad system for the schools, but if any of you are in industry or business you see just how poor the provided education is. Also how can a person that has never been in industry or business instruct children on the necessary requirements?

    Each time government tries to improve what we need for our children the education system kicks up it heels and cries foul. How can a system run by people only a couple days smarter then the kids tell us how to teach and what is needed?

    Students you are being held hostage for the solely benefit of people you will have to pay taxes for and providing no viable service and ensure an income into retirement for them. How do you benefit?

    Also if you believe in democracy, ask the teachers to speak out on their behalf. Now they are chastised by the union of they publically give an opinion.

    Your endeavors are just but misguided, your walk out is carried out in the same manner as the teachers, you are being misled and follow blindly based on a persons opinion.

    In the end nobody truly benefits

  4. Yes, nurses do work without pay….shift change can and has taken an hour, u must be there before shift change and cannot leave until fully informed and keys etc are handed over. In that time I have experienced emergencies, interruptions etc. no pay for myself or the nurse I’m getting report from, who is desperate to get home. Especially after a long night. Every shift change….it really adds up. Lets not even get into the missed breaks or the fact that we must pay for parking. Oh how nice it would be to be a teacher…I’d love a summer off!

  5. Oh and PA days, what I’d give for a PA day!

  6. Teachers do work during PA days, only students have the day off.
    I understand the life & work on nurses all too well, however, many are martyrs & should demand to be paid when breaks are missed or staying past your shift. I’m sorry, but that’s your own lack of a back bone! Teachers actually volunteer time & plenty of it.
    When’s the last time a nurse went in for a 4 hour shift without pay???
    Each profession has it’s own set of special circumstances, but I believe we should be supporting eachother. Wanna be pissed at someone, try your union. ONA is a useless union, pathetic really on many levels!!!

  7. In reply to Freddy,
    No, we’re not blaming the teachers seeing as it’s not their fault. If they could have it their way, they’d still be coaching and setting up all kinds of events. The teachers are being told by OSSTF to stop participating in activities as their way of fighting back against Bill 115… Several teachers if not all, are extremely angry with this whole thing to say the least.

    In reply to concerned citizen 2…

    How can you say you support Bill 115, and yet say you appreciate what teachers do? It’s great and all that you understand our feelings but even the teachers HATE Bill 115. You have to pick a side.. and don’t be on both. The parents have nothing to do with why students aren’t getting our activities.. it’s the OSSTF’s fault because that’s their way of “fighting back” against the Bill 115… but in the end it all comes down to the governments fault seeing as how McGuinty is the one making all this stuff happen…

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