Public school students in the northwestern-most corner of Ontario get a day off from classes today, as teachers with the Keewatin-Patricia public board stage a 24-hour strike.

Schools affected:

  • Keewatin Public
  • Lakewood
  • Evergreen
  • Valleyview
  • King George
  • Open Roads
  • New Prospect
  • Sioux Mountain
  • Golden Learning Centre
  • Red Lake Madsen

Schools with day care programs that will remain open for day care only:

  • Lakewood
  • King George
  • New Prospect
  • Sioux Mountain
  • Golden
  • Red Lake Madsen

All secondary and French and English Catholic schools were to remain open, and buses were expected to be running for these students. Bus schedules and timing could fluctuate with the reduced numbers of riders.

It's part of province-wide action taken by the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario against the provincial government.

More than 400 full- and part-time teachers are off the job from schools from Upsala to Kenora.

The head of the Keewatin Patricia local of the union said the reaction to the strike has been mixed.

"Some parents are supporting us. They believe that this fight is not about money," Anne Saltel said. "It's not about benefits or anything else. It's all about democracy and our democratic rights."

Saltel said teachers were to bus to Dryden Tuesday morning from their home communities to picket outside the provincial government building there.

"We are not picketing any schools.  We are not picketing any board offices," Saltel said.

"Everybody is boarding buses and they're coming here to Dryden, and then we're going to be picketing the government building."

She noted they are "hoping to make a statement to the government" that Bill 115 is undemocratic and must be stopped.