Ontario consulting on education and the environment

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The Ontario Government has launched a province-wide consultation process, consulting with parents across the province to address concerns and get feedback in several areas of the education system and their plans for environment policies, including those on climate change. The consulting process on Education uses a number of formats, including open submissions, an online survey and additional telephone town halls.

The government hopes, it says, to use the results of this process to help shape decisions in the following areas:

  • Improving student performance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
  • Preparing students with needed job skills, such as skilled trades and coding
  • Improving provincial standardized testing
  • Ensuring students graduate with important life skills, including financial literacy
  • Managing the use of technology in classrooms, such as cell phones
  • Building a new age-appropriate Health and Physical Education curriculum that includes subjects like mental health, sexual health education and the legalization of cannabis
  • Developing the first-ever Parents’ Bill of Rights.

The telephone town halls are being held in the various sections of the province, and there will be three such sessions for Eastern Ontario. Citizens are asked to contact the website and choose to register for one of the following sessions in this area: October 30: 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.; November 16: 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.; or November 22: 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Information about the various formats being used in consulting parents across the province, and registration for consultations in Eastern Ontario is now available at: www.ontario.ca/page/for-the-parents.

The environmental consultations undertaken by the government seeks input on a “made in Ontario” plan to direct “how Ontario can deal with environmental challenges such as climate change”.

“We share an opportunity to work together to tackle the big environmental challenges that currently face our province and, indeed, the entire world,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “At the same time, Ontario has many resourceful and innovative individuals and businesses – we want to hear from you on how best to balance a healthy economy with a healthy environment.”

Having cancelled the Cap and Trade program introduced by the previous Liberal Government, and having expressed its opposition to the federal Government’s Carbon Tax initiative, the Ford Government is looking for ideas that would somehow avoid both of those approaches, while still dealing with environmental threats facing not only Ontario, but the whole world.

The Government statement notes that: “In particular, the consultation will focus on resiliency efforts, pollution reduction and how government can better partner with the private sector on sustainable solutions”.

The government’s new made-in-Ontario environment plan will be released for formal feedback later this year. The Government’s hope is that it will be “a comprehensive environmental plan to build a resilient Ontario that protects waters and air, cleans up communities and encourages conservation”.

People can submit their views on these issues on the government website at: www.ontario.ca/form/tell-us-your-ideas-climate-change.

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