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CanadaTrudeau calls Ford government cuts to Ontario's education system 'frightening'

20:55  11 july  2019
20:55  11 july  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

Christine Elliott downplays Premier Ford's health care comments

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today the provincial Progressive Conservative government 's cuts to Ontario ' s education system are " frightening " — and he worries they could undermine the quality of the education his three kids receive at an Ottawa-area public school.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took aim at changes made by Premier Doug Ford to trim costs in Ontario ' s sprawling public education system , which has more

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today the provincial Progressive Conservative government's cuts to Ontario's education system are "frightening" — and he worries they could undermine the quality of the education his three kids receive at an Ottawa-area public school.

Speaking at the Canadian Teachers' Federation's annual general meeting in Ottawa, Trudeau took aim at changes made by Premier Doug Ford to trim costs in Ontario's sprawling public education system, which has more than 2 million students enrolled on average each year.

Protests have followed the government's pledge to increase class sizes (average class size for grades four through eight will rise from 23.84 to 24.5, while grades nine through 12 will jump from 22 to 28), introduce mandatory e-learning modules and cut as many as 3,000 full-time teaching positions.

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The Ontario government is trying to quell speculation about its stance on full-day kindergarten, saying it is committed to keeping "full-day learning" in place for four and five-year-olds. Announcement comes one day after Trudeau took aim at Ford at a townhall in Milton, Ont. over possible cuts .

The proportion of Ontario students requiring special education support has nearly doubled over the past two decades, according to the report. The funding restraint by the Ford government is prompting school boards across the province to issue layoff notices to hundreds of education workers.

The Ford government says it hopes to eliminate those teaching jobs through retirements and attrition. According to the latest figures, there are roughly 126,000 teachers in Ontario.

"As we look at what the Conservative government in Ontario ... has done in terms of cuts to services, cuts to kids, it's really frightening," Trudeau said during a pre-election "armchair discussion" with the teachers advocacy group.

"As a federal politician, even as prime minister, I'm not supposed to have too much of an opinion on provincial education policy. But I was a teacher and I'm also a parent with kids in the system, and I'm very, very worried about them suddenly showing up in September with a class size of 30 plus, less support for the special needs kids, and an environment that is generally hostile to teachers," he said.

Ford government should listen to the alarm sounding in Brantford

Ford government should listen to the alarm sounding in Brantford It shouldn’t take a tragedy for the Ontario government to respond to the alarm bells that are being rung by the Brantford-based Brant Family and Children’s Services. But so far it appears that no one at Queen’s Park is listening. After the entire board of directors of the children’s aid society resigned on Friday saying that provincial underfunding has “put the safety of our community’s vulnerable children at risk,” the government should have rushed in with support. Instead, it made matters worse for kids in that region by ousting the agency’s well-respected executive director, Andrew Koster.

Justin Trudeau has announced .8 million in a funding top up for legal aid for refugees and immigrants in Ontario . The prime minister prefaced his remarks by criticizing the Ford government for making cuts to the program.

Thousands of teachers, students and parents rallied Thursday morning in protest against the Ford government ’s decision to strike cuts to Ontario ’ s education system . Priya Sam has more.

In Canada, education is an area of provincial jurisdiction.

The Ford government has said the current public education system is "broken" and is not producing acceptable test scores in some key subject areas, such as mathematics.

It has defended the cuts as necessary to help get the province's fiscal house in order after years of budget deficits that have left Ontario with the world's largest sub-sovereign debt levels.

Moreover, beyond the cuts and curriculum changes, the Ford government has said it is intent on "modernizing" the school experience by focusing on disciplines like science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), new online learning options, financial literacy, and support for students interested in skilled trades.

Trudeau calls Ford government cuts to Ontario's education system 'frightening'© Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a discussion at the Canadian Teachers Federation annual general meeting in Ottawa.

Teacher groups have said the cuts are a devastating blow to an education system that is generally well-regarded internationally. The hike to classroom sizes will be particularly difficult to manage for teachers, the unions have said. Changes to the Local Priorities Funding program will mean a loss of some $235 million for special education programs to support children in need and at-risk students.

Ontario attorney general invokes PM in spat over refugee legal aid

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MILTON, Ont. — Justin Trudeau says he’s not just concerned about possible cuts Premier Doug Ford could make to Ontario ’ s education system as Canada’s prime minister — he’s also concerned as a father with children in the province’s schools.

Justin Trudeau has announced .8 million in a funding top up for legal aid for refugees and immigrants in Ontario . The prime minister prefaced his remarks by criticizing the Ford government for making cuts to the program.

Trudeau's criticisms appear to be part of a Liberal federal election campaign strategy of running against the controversial Ford and his unpopular budget cuts — a tactic that was on display Thursday as Trudeau warned that electing federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer would lead to the introduction of Ford-like policies in Ottawa.

Trudeau said Conservatives can't be trusted when it comes to the education system, reminding the largely friendly audience of educators that the Conservative election campaign of 2015 ran attack ads mocking him for being a drama teacher who wasn't "ready" to lead.

"We saw the Conservatives try a number of attack lines on me that I was just a teacher, and how could I become prime minister. I mean the issue, and this is a personal thing, I think being a teacher informs deeply how I am prime minister," he said.

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Another high-ranking bureaucrat let go after reported ties to Ford's ex-chief-of-staff Dean French.
Peter Fenwick, Ontario's strategic transformation adviser, has been let go just hours after reports that he had a long-standing relationship with Premier Doug Ford's former chief of staff Dean French. A memo to deputy ministers shared with CBC News says Peter Fenwick, the government's strategic transformation adviser, will be leaving the public service "effective immediately." The memo also says the transformation office is being dissolved after an evaluation of the structure of the cabinet office.

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