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Teachers: For the people

in Opinion by

In the mid 1990s, while working at a newspaper as a young scribe, I wrote what I thought was a great story about a teacher who was taking a sabbatical. He was going to visit an overseas country and increase his learning and experience. He would inevitably accumulate new wisdom to bring back to future students one day.

Except that particular story never ran. I was told to get the ‘real’ story. How much was this going to cost? What sort of burden would this be to ‘taxpayers?’ The headline was altered, the focus shifted. In the end, the teacher and board of education were meant to feel shame for allowing such a thing to happen. I was embarrassed to see my name on that byline.

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New directions, great traditions combine at Lindsay Golf and Country Club

in Business by
Russ DaSilva and Nicole Haddlesey. Photo: Roderick Benns.

There’s a new buzz at the Lindsay Golf and Country Club. That’s what happens when you mix the tried and true – like great golf on a professional-grade course – along with some new blood to shake things up.

General Manager Russ DaSilva says it’s going to be a banner year for the club for a number of reasons. To start, Lindsay native Nicole Haddlesey is events co-ordinator, while Ron Carter, culinary manager, has come on board with a brand new menu for diners.

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‘Attrition protection’ fund added by PCs to prevent teacher layoffs

in Education by
'Attrition protection' fund added by PCs to prevent teacher layoffs

A news release from the Ontario government indicates that a new “Attrition Protection Allocation” of $1.6 billion in the province’s education funding model will top-up funding for school boards to protect front-line teaching staff from being laid off.

This will “prevent boards from having to lay off teachers impacted by proposed changes in class sizes and e-learning,” says the release.

The PCs appear to be getting the message from both union picketing and community feedback, after weeks of advocacy that tried to prevent the layoffs.

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Unions call on education director to counter Ford government’s ‘false narrative’

in Education by
Over 100,000 students walked out of more than 700 Ontario schools to protest the PC government’s cuts to education. Photo: Roderick Benns.

The heads of the elementary and secondary schools’ teachers’ unions are calling on Director of Education, Larry Hope, to set the record straight – that teachers did not coerce students to walk out on April 4.

Just a few days ago more than 100,000 students walked out of more than 700 Ontario schools to protest the PC government’s agenda, including changes to the health curriculum, deep cuts to OSAP, and the recently proposed changes to class sizes and e-learning. These were student organized and student-led protests.

But on the evening of April 4, Minister of Education Lisa Thompson, on the official ministry website, dismissed the activism of the student organizers “and attempted to spin a false narrative about the role of teachers and teachers’ unions,” according to the open letter from the union reps.

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February is Black History Month: Why it still matters

in Education by

The study of history is a revelation of the entire human experience, helping us to make connections between the past and present, and providing us with guidance for the future based on the lessons we have learned.

Marcus Garvey, one of the thinkers I studied as a child growing up in Jamaica, said that a people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.  In a similar vein, on the other side of the Atlantic, in a 1948 speech to the British House of Commons, Winston Churchill said that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

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Sir John A Macdonald: His past is our past

in Just in Time/Opinion by

Sometimes when I walk by Lindsay’s iconic municipal building — our former Town Hall — I look up at that top-level balcony and imagine Sir John A. Macdonald speaking from there. Our first prime minister – whose birthday is Jan. 11 – visited Lindsay twice. The first time was as prime minister, in either 1872 or 1874 (records vary), and a second time he visited as leader of the opposition in 1877.

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ETFO urges Ontario government to make investments in public education

in Education by
EQAO results show students struggling, especially Grade 3

In 2019 pre-budget hearings, the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) urged the Ontario government to make investments, not cuts, in public education to better prepare all students for success.

“Our students’ education and future should not be sacrificed in the government’s zeal to cut spending, particularly when tax cuts have disproportionately benefited corporations and high-income earners and Ontario’s public program spending as a share of GDP is the lowest in the country,” ETFO president Sam Hammond told members of the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. ETFO’s submission can be viewed at www.etfo.ca/link/pbb2019

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Teachers matter: Educators help create resilience

in Community/Education by
A challenging home life can be eased through strong teacher and school support.

When we thought about our daughter going to Grade 7 this fall — at a new school in a new town — we had many concerns and hopes, but none were about the curriculum. The PC government’s attack on teachers and the threat to add a snitch line seems so petty. Teachers aren’t employed by the Province in the first place and the Ontario College of Teachers requires accountability and a professional level of standard — and boards are in place to monitor necessary levels of conduct.

Our concerns were typical parental concerns. Will she make friends? How will she adapt to having more than one teacher each day?

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