Despite the mayor not having any real pull when it comes to education, two teachers’ unions are endorsing a candidate.
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation and the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario have endorsed Matt Brown despite some controversy over the optics of the support. Brown has worked for the Thames Valley District School Board since 2005.
President of OSSTF Thames Valley District 11 Blair Middleton says it usually supports its own members.
“Being mayor is not part of your portfolio, the educational system in Ontario, because it’s a province-wide system. But having those people, he can offer support for us in those delicate meetings when he deals with the government.”
Middleton did mention that the endorsement does not necessarily relate to Brown’s platform.
“We’re not telling teachers who to vote for. We’re just saying ‘this is one of our members,’ and we support our members when they strive for this kind of public office.”
Middleton says they have made a financial donation to Brown’s campaign. They will also encourage members to put up lawn signs, knock on doors, and “provide the boots in the ground.”
The endorsement comes after Roger Caranci pulled out of the mayoral race and pledged to support fellow candidate Paul Cheng Tuesday night.