• ‘As permanent as you can get’: Ford addresses funding cut for post-secondary campuses

    The funding cuts for three university satellite campuses announced by the province last week are “as permanent as you can get,” according to Premier Doug Ford, who spoke about the projects for the first time since they were cancelled… The premier, however, seemed to leave the door open to future funding, once the government has grappled with its deficit and debt.

  • Doug Ford was right to cancel funding for new Ontario university campuses

    The province’s own University Sustainability data (2017), published by the Higher Education Quality Council, concludes that the Ontario population of 18- to 20-year-olds (the age at which the majority of students enter universities and colleges) will not “recover to 2015 levels until the year 2033”. This is not a period in which one can plausibly claim a pressing need for new university and college campuses in Ontario.

  • Doug Ford government cancels funding for three new GTA university campuses

    Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government is cancelling funding for three university campuses in the Toronto area, blaming the province’s poor finances. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, said the government is no longer in a position to fund the three satellite campuses in Markham, Milton and Brampton owing to the province’s “new fiscal restraints.” The campuses were set to open in 2021 and 2022 and serve a total of 8,000 students.

  • Sex-ed is crucial to the rights of children

    Research shows that comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) helps young people understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships, and gives them tools to help protect them from violence and non-consensual sexual activity. When a young person has been abused, it helps them know how to get help… Having relevant and current information is crucial to setting young people on a healthy path for life. It helps them learn to respect their own bodies and emerging sexuality and that of others, and it factors in on decisions around sexual activity.

  • 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.