ETFO Waterloo Endorses local NDP Candidates

Last week, the ETFO Waterloo Executive met to decide which Waterloo Region candidates we would endorse and recommend to the membership ahead of the upcoming provincial election on June 2. After much deliberation, the executive has endorsed all five local NDP candidates.


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Why did ETFO endorse candidates?

ETFO is responsible for providing its members with advice on which party/parties and candidates have the best education platform or policies. We also advise which platforms are worker-friendly, inclusive, and supportive of the labour movement's progressive ideals.

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Is ETFO endorsing all NDP candidates across the province?

No. The ETFO Provincial Executive has not endorsed one party, but rather encouraged local executives to make a decision based on a set of guidelines. 

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Are members required to vote for endorsed candidates?

No. Endorsements are simply recommendations. 

On election day, members can independently decide how to vote, and the union would never know if they went against someone recommended. 

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Are members allowed to publicly support candidates that the union did not endorse?

Yes, members get to publicly support any candidate that best aligns with their own personal values and beliefs! These endorsements are simply recommendations based on ETFO's experience over many years in working with the government and local MPPs, as well as a thorough review of the party platforms. 

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What can I do if a disagree with these endorsements?

Members are encouraged to contact President Jeff Pelich if they have any questions or would like to share their views on these endorsements. Feedback is important and will be considered in future endorsement discussions. In the meantime, 

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What was the endorsement process?

Our endorsement process followed the guidelines provided by our provincial executive. These guidelines have the primary goal of voting out Doug Ford and include the following criteria:

  • Incumbency for an opposition party (NDP, Liberal or Green)
  • Support for public education
  • Support for workers' rights
  • Ability to defeat PC Candidate
  • Support from the OFL and education affiliates
  • Support for opposition party leaders (NDP, Liberal or Green) and education critic

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Did ETFO Waterloo consider supporting Ontario Liberal Candidates?


The Ontario Liberal Party has strong candidates across the province, and many ETFO locals will be endorsing these candidates. However, the local executive strongly felt that past Liberal government attacks on education and the collective bargaining process and its failure to address the many cuts from the Harris government made it impossible for our local Federation to support these candidates at this time.

If the Liberal Party were to form the government or if one of the local Liberal candidates is successful in becoming an MPP, ETFO would lobby them to change their past actions so that we might be able to consider them in future elections. 

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Where can we learn more about Party Platforms?

You can learn more about each party's platform on their website. Some platforms are more existent or robust than others.  😉 

The platforms of a few of the major parties are below:

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What about the smaller parties? Did the local executive consider them?

Yes, we considered all parties during the endorsement process, but they did not align with the guidelines from our provincial office.

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Why did the local choose to endorse Karen Meissner?

Karen Meissner has been a WRDSB Trustee for the last four years. Karen has fought to protect education workers and students during the pandemic, refusing to accept minimum safety standards. She has consistently advocated for a strong public education system and equity/inclusion in our classrooms. Karen is dedicated, knowledgeable, and a fierce advocate for social justice, and she will represent her constituents extremely well at Queen’s Park. 

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Why did the local choose to endorse Catherine Fife?

Catherine Fife has been the MPP for Waterloo since the historic by-election in 2012. Since that time, Catherine has been very involved in the NDP’s push for small class sizes, reduced classroom violence, and more resources for the most vulnerable learners. She has always been willing to listen to the concerns of frontline educators and eager to bring these voices to Queen’s Park. 

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Why did the local choose to endorse Laura Mae Lindo?

Laura Mae Lindo has been the MPP for Kitchener Centre over the last four years. During this time, Laura Mae has been steadfast in her commitment to social justice, including advocacy against anti-black and systemic racism. She continues to push all levels of government to do better. Laura Mae is an educator herself, and the local has appreciated her willingness to bring forward the experience of our members to Queen’s Park. 

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Why did the local choose to endorse Joanne Weston?

Joanne Weston has been a WRDSB Trustee for four years and served as chair for one year. Joanne has always been willing to listen to education workers and advocate social justice. She confidently and professionally led the meetings during the pandemic, ensuring all voices were heard and respected at the table. Joanne understands education and will be a tireless advocate for us at Queen’s Park. Joanne understands education and will be a tireless advocate for us. 

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Why did the local choose to endorse Marjorie Knight?

Marjorie Knight is a family outreach worker and understands the lived experience of those people who are the most vulnerable in our community. She was the driving force behind the $15 and Fairness campaign in the Waterloo Region and volunteers her time for ACCKWA (AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area) and the Cambridge Shelter. Marjorie understands public education and will fight on behalf of our members when elected as MPP for Cambridge. 

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What can members do to support these candidates?
  • VOTE!
  • Encourage everyone you know to VOTE!
  • Volunteer for one of the campaigns above. 
  • Ask for a lawn sign. 
  • Donate. 

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