The Globe and Mail
February 21 2014
When the Ontario Progressive Conservatives embraced “right to work” policy nearly two years ago, it seemed a perfect fit. They were taking a rightward turn, and needed provocative ideas to grab voters’ attention and give supporters something meaty to vote for. Promising to kill the Rand Formula – which obliges people in unionized workplaces to pay union dues – would do just that. It was controversial but, according to one Tory source, tested well in focus groups.
Now, facing a possible general election in a few short months, the PCs have killed the idea. The move comes after internal dissent on the policy and amid signs from the governing Liberals and the NDP that they would use it as a wedge in the next campaign. For a party stung by previous election defeats defined in part by single, contentious policies – public funding for faith-based schools in 2007; the creation of chain gangs in 2011 – keeping right to work in the platform was deemed too risky.