Congratulations on your appointment to the position of Minister of Education for the Province of Ontario.
As you note in your statement, you now assume the responsibility for the education of over two million students. This is not an easy task.
You inherit the position after a turbulent relationship between the government and the teachers. I’m sure that a day won’t go by with your briefings about the impact your predecessor has had as school districts prepare for the school year starting in September.
Decisions have been made provincially and school districts have been working to provide a direction within the constraints of these decisions.
As you also note, “The work starts today”.
I hope that that work
- involves serious consultations with school districts and teacher federations about the impact that previous decisions will have on schools going forward and adjusting where necessary
- includes a review of subject offerings that have been withdrawn from Ontario students with an eye towards a solution of making them available
- considers the impact that some of the previous decisions will have had on rural schools in the province
- reviews all of the operations of the Ministry and the initiatives that it supports
Ontario has long been recognized as one of the leaders in education. I would encourage you to take the existing system and make it better.
Ministers of Education have a long history in the province. Many are fondly remembered by their progressive approach to initiatives. The impact that the Right Honourable William Davis’ impact is still seen in schools and curriculum today.
I hope that you can have a powerful and progressive legacy during your term.