TORONTO - The union representing journalists at 35 media outlets is wading into the Ontario election and urging its members not to vote for the Progressive Conservatives.
Unifor Local 87-M — which represents media workers at The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and the Toronto Sun, but not The Canadian Press or CBC — says it has no choice but to break its traditional silence during elections.
Local president Paul Morse says the union is not telling members who to vote for, but "asking them to vote for someone other than (Tory Leader Tim) Hudak and his party."
This comes a week after a similar statement by the union representing the Ontario Provincial Police prompted the Tories to question the force's impartiality.
Unifor's unusual move was quickly condemned by high-profile federal Conservatives such as Treasury Board president Tony Clement and Employment Minister Jason Kenney, who called it a sign of media bias.
Some journalists also expressed discomfort on Twitter, saying they weren't consulted by the union and worried their reputations may suffer.
"Unions representing reporters may have just thrown a lot of their members under the campaign bus," tweeted CTV Ottawa's chief news anchor Graham Richardson.