• Statement on government-mandated free speech policies from the Ontario Universities and Colleges Coalition

    There is no free speech crisis on Ontario campuses. This is an ideological fiction advanced by the government to justify interference in the academic governance and autonomy of Ontario’s universities and colleges. It is telling that the government did not consult with any sector stakeholders before announcing the new requirement for campus “free speech” policies and disciplinary measures tied to possible cuts to university and college funding.

  • Ont. teachers take legal action on sex ed

    One of Ontario’s largest teacher’s union has launched a legal challenge against the government’s decision to repeal a modernized version of the province’s sexual-education curriculum… ETFO President Sam Hammond said the government’s changes to the curriculum are reckless and put students at risk. He said the union’s legal action is vital to ensure that educators and school boards can continue to protect the safety and health of students. “It also seeks to stop the operation of this unnecessary and counterproductive complaint or snitch line”

  • The critics are right: Campus life is not what it used to be

    It is the university administrators who are advocating on behalf of students, motivated by a mix of genuine concern for students’ well-being and enlightened self-interest… The incentives to retain students are compounded, especially in Ontario, by provincial government funding formulas… University administrators are also keenly concerned with their institution’s reputation, because reputation drives student numbers, faculty recruitment and retention, donations, the ability to attract research funds and more.

  • Pathways to Education lowers barriers to achievement for poor kids

    … the dropout rate in low-income communities across the country ranges from 30 to 50 per cent as a result of barriers to education… for every dollar invested in Pathways to Education, there is a return on investment of $24 — a cumulative lifetime benefit to society of $600,000 for every graduate, when you consider factors like higher taxes paid, better life expectancy and health outcomes, and reduced government transfer payments.

  • All children should feel like they belong at school

    Unfortunately, Ontario’s current approach to “special education” is premised on exclusion. It labels students with disabilities as “exceptions” before meeting their needs. Ironically, the “exceptional” label excludes many common mental health, intellectual and learning disabilities altogether, making it even harder for students to get help. Families find the process for identifying and supporting students with disabilities bureaucratic, confusing, alienating, unnecessarily adversarial and exhausting.

  • Ottawa working hard on child care and early learning, minister says

    … last June’s agreement represented an important re-engagement by the federal government. It demonstrated that we understood the need for all Canadian families to have access to early learning and child care that is affordable, flexible and inclusive, as well as the important leadership role the federal government must play in helping Canadian children get the best possible start in life… the multilateral framework represents an aspirational goal, and is part of a long-term vision for early learning and child care that is coherent with universality.

  • Ontario tells colleges, universities to develop free speech policies or face funding cuts

    The government said all university and college policies must include a definition of freedom of speech and adhere to principles based on the University of Chicago Statement on Principles of Free Expression. That document says colleges and university are places for open and free discussion, institutions should not shield students from ideas they disagree with or find offensive, and university or college community members cannot obstruct the freedom of others to share their views.

  • Why Canadian medical students should be offered free tuition

    The move has three principal goals: Free future doctors of the crushing debt load many are saddled with; Give graduates the freedom to pursue lower-paying careers in family medicine and pediatrics rather than high-paying specialties such as cardiology (which some do to deal with debt); Attract the best and brightest students rather than just those who can afford medical school and, in the process, a student body that better reflects the society, in terms of race, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status.

  • We can no longer afford to whitewash our history

    The headlines about the residential schools was the catalyst that made the government admit that the history we’ve been taught has been whitewashed. All Canadian children need to know that their culture has made contributions to Canadian society… Writing workshops were scheduled this summer to update the curriculum…. But one month after the Ontario election, just before the legislature resumed, these workshops, years in the making, were suddenly cancelled.

  • Ontario families to launch human-rights challenge against sex-ed curriculum rollback

    Six families plan to file a case with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in the next week, noting that the old version of the curriculum makes no mention of issues such as gender diversity or the rights of LGBTQ students… The government’s decision to repeal the modernized curriculum violates the province’s human rights code and should be declared unlawful, their lawyers said… a parent from Guelph, Ont., credits the 2015 curriculum for making his daughter’s gender transition almost “seamless.”