Tag Archives: Minister Hunter

Premier Wynne’s Mandate Letter to Education Minister Hunter

mitzie-hunterIn September, 2016 – to mark the halfway point in her government’s mandate, Premier Wynne issued mandate letters to all of her ministers. Wynne’s mandate letter to Education Minister Mitzie Hunter, who was appointed in June 2016, can be read here.

Premier Wynne highlights the $1.1-billion of new money that her government allocated to school repairs over two years as a key accomplishment within the education portfolio. This new funding brings annual funding for school repairs to the recommended $1.4-billion per year but does not address the $15-billion of disrepair that has been allowed to accumulate in Ontario’s schools over the past 20 years, when annual funding to school boards for school repairs was a fraction of what it should have been.

Therefore, we were disappointed to see that Premier Wynne did not mention school conditions or the $15-billion repair backlog when laying out Minister Hunter’s mandate for the next two years. Given we know school conditions impact student achievement, health and well-being – there is no excuse for this oversight.

Premier Wynne and Minister Hunter: The condition of our publicly funded schools must be an ongoing priority for your government.

Response from Education Minister Hunter

On September 19, 2016, Fix Our Schools sent this letter to Premier Wynne and Education Minister asking the their government please:

  • Explore and implement funding solutions such as issuing provincial bonds to immediately address the $15-billion repair backlog in schools.
  • Work with school boards to develop measurable goals for what school conditions in Ontario ought to be; and plans/timelines for how those goals will be achieved.
  • Release disrepair data at regular intervals to ensure that the $15-billion repair backlog is decreasing; and not continuing to increase.
  • Include school conditions as a key part of your party’s provincial campaign platform.

On October 24, 2016, Fix Our Schools received this reponse_letter from Education Minister Hunter. Although no direct response was received to three out of four of our requests, Minister Hunter did commit to ongoing transparency about the conditions of schools in Ontario, committing to continuing to release the condition and renewal needs of schools in this province. We are optimistic this will be at least yearly and will follow up with Minister Hunter to clarify her commitment.