Working Families Coalition Reality Check

Today  the liberal friendly working families coalition launched a new series of negative ads  . For those who think calling the WFC a liberal front group is  just another over exaggeration.. back in 2007 the WFC had a fairly public squabble with unions who did not  back  the Liberals  instead opted to support their traditional ally the NDP.

From  Toronto Star 
On July 20, Pat Dillon of the provincial building trades council wrote an accusatory letter to Michael Lewis, brother of former provincial NDP leader Stephen and a former Steelworkers official. Dillon accused Lewis of actively discouraging other unions from joining the working families group.

In his letter, Dillon recalled “the great harm done” by the Conservative regime under Mike Harris and Ernie Eves and declared: “Instead of trying to undermine the only effective voice for working people in Ontario, you should be focusing your efforts in trying to prevent a repeat of the Harris-Eves era.”

Dillon also complained that the NDP had appropriated the “working families” brand name for its own campaign slogan (“a fair deal for working families”).

Lewis responded in writing last week with a stinging rebuttal that said only the NDP could be counted on to advance labour’s agenda.

“There are some unions that see things differently, some who would support the Liberals for short-term gains,” wrote Lewis.

“I believe that these unions are mistaken if they think that this promotes the interests of working families.”

Lewis also mocked Dillon’s suggestion that the NDP had stolen the “working families” brand.

“Long before the working families coalition was a gleam in Don Guy’s eye, the NDP has been speaking about and fighting for working families right across Canada,” wrote Lewis.

Don Guy is the Liberal campaign director. He is also president of a polling firm that has done work for the working families coalition.

Pointing to this and other connections with the Liberals, the Conservatives have suggested that the working families coalition is just a Liberal front created to circumvent campaign spending restrictions. A formal complaint has been filed by the Conservatives with the chief election officer and is under investigation.

But the Lewis/Dillon exchange shows that the battle over the working families coalition is being waged not just between the Liberals and Conservatives but also within the labour movement, where the two letters have been widely circulated.

If the WFC was standing up for families why would they concern themselves with further splitting the union vote in Ontario?