Ontario English Catholic Teachers

Rally Stories

Jen McKeown

OECTA Durham Elementary Unit

It was a fantastic day! To feel the unity, solidarity and energy that was all around us at Queen’s Park that day was something special. It didn’t matter if you were a Catholic or public teacher, a student, a support staff member or a parent or grandparent of a child in the school system. We all stood together. I was happy to be able to experience that moment with my 12-year old daughter. She even brought back a button for her teacher :)


Lyne Jemmott


I had the pleasure of attending the rally for education with my 12 year old son. Even at 12 he understands the impact of the proposed changes to education. He needs assistance in the classroom but already loses support when a more needy child has a difficult day. The Rally gave us both the opportunity to step up and do something to let Premier Ford know that children need to come first!


Veronica Tuzi-Duarte

Teacher with the TCDSB

For my husband (12 years experience) and I (16 years experience), this was our first ever rally. We both realize we've faced other moments in our careers where job action was perhaps possible, but this year feels different... this year, it feels imminent. Being at QP with tens of thousands of supporters, whether they were in education or members of the general public, was a humbling experience. It showed the true unity we all feel, at this very critical juncture in time. We must continue to cling tightly to this unity, and stand strong together, so that we can do our absolute best for our students, and provide them with the education they deserve.


Cathy Bechard

Teacher at St. Vincent Catholic School, Chatham

We gladly got up at 6am and hopped on a bus from Chatham in order to be a part of such an important, historical day. Interestingly enough, several of us were also in Toronto 22 years ago as well protesting cuts to education! It was worth it. It mattered. Many of our closest friends are dual-teacher families and my own husband is the president of our St. Clair Elementary unit. Our good friend is the president of the Secondary unit. My daughter is currently in university going through for a teacher. So we ALL have a vested interest in education in Ontario. We stood proudly, in solidarity with 30 000 others, to defend the education we try to provide for the kids placed in our care! The energy was electric. The speeches were inspiring. The day was, without a doubt, a huge success. Proud to have been part of it.