Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour
Drive To Work Caravan

Drive To Work Caravan

June 24, 2009 15:12 ET

Media Advisory: Toronto Welcomes OFL's Drive to Work Caravan 3,000-km Tour Ends at Queen's Park, 12:30 p.m., Thursday, June 25

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 24, 2009) - A 3,000-km province-wide tour to draw attention to the recession's effects on Ontario people and communities wraps up Thursday, June 25 with a 12:30 p.m. arrival at Queen's Park, followed by a meeting with representatives of the Ontario government.

For the past 17 days, the Ontario Federation of Labour's (OFL) Drive to Work caravan has held more than 100 events in more than 50 communities throughout the province, from Kenora in the northwest and Geraldton in the northeast to Cornwall in the southeast, and Windsor in the southwest.

Communities throughout Ontario are reeling from the economic storm. Job loss has been sharp and widespread, and workers and communities have been hit hard. The crisis that had been confined to Ontario's manufacturing and forestry sectors over the past few years has spread throughout all sectors of the economy.

Over the first four months of 2009, there were 233,000 fewer Ontarians working than in 2008. The goods-producing sector gave up 153,000 jobs, and the service sector, another 80,000.

Those on the caravan, most of whom are unemployed workers themselves, heard and collected the stories of people affected by the worst recession since the 1930's - workers, unemployed, labour and community activists, students, retirees, mayors, and more.

From every city and town the caravan heard plenty about the terrible toll of job loss on individuals, families and communities. Teachers are faced with hungry students, and workers close to retirement have lost pensions and security they worked their entire lives to earn. Community agencies are struggling, and in far too many cases failing, to meet demands at food banks, shelters, and other services. People have been forced to leave their families and communities, hoping to find work.

"We wanted to meet the people and hear the stories behind these statistics," says OFL president Wayne Samuelson. "We wanted to see the faces and hear firsthand what's been happening to people and communities. We also wanted to know what people need from their governments to survive. We went to the places that people call home and let them have their say."

"The voices of the thousands of people that have been organizing and participating in the Caravan deserve to be heard by our government. This is about people and communities," Samuelson said.

At www.drivetowork.ca, you'll find: the Caravan route, stories, employment data, proposals for good jobs, strong public services and healthy communities, and connections to our twitter, facebook, and youtube sites.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Federation of Labour
    Wayne Samuelson
    416.571.7408 (mobile)
    OFL Communications
    Dana Boettger
    416.443.7665 direct or mobile 416.803.8282