Tag Archives: Public Infrastructure

Conversation starters and questions for the federal election

Throughout the federal election campaign, you will likely have many opportunities to speak with candidates and MP’s. We encourage you to take the opportunity to let them know you consider public schools an integral part of our public infrastructure.  

Potential conversation starters:

Potential questions:

  • Do you view public schools as an important part of this country’s public infrastructure?
  • Would you consider accessing federal infrastructure dollars to address disrepair in Canada’s public schools?
  • Given the almost $15-billion in outstanding repairs plaguing Ontario public schools, what advice would you give to the provincial government regarding funding for public schools in this province?

We hope this makes it easy for you to engage with politicians during this federal election campaign. Please email us additional questions or conversation starters to share!

TTC shutdown highlights funding needs

An equipment failure shut down Toronto’s entire subway system on Monday, June 8 and impacted over 100,000 riders. This shutdown certainly highlighted how integral the TTC is to our City’s infrastructure. CEO Andy Byford said that $2.7-billion is needed to complete all the work that needs to be done, pointing out that none of this work is of the “nice to have” variety.

Surely, the same could be said of the $14.7-billion of outstanding repairs in Ontario public schools. None of the repairs to roofs, boilers, fire systems and structural elements of children’s schools are simply “nice to have” – they are all things we need to be doing. Disrepair in schools impacts students and teachers every single day. Ceilings leak, causing some children to slip and hurt themselves. 2015_06_08_Buckets from LisaBoilers break down, leading some students and teachers to wear winter coats as they try to learn and teach. Lead is discovered in water, meaning students and teachers cannot drink safely from school water supplies. Stairs crumble in front of fire exit doors, placing children and teachers at risk. Luckily, most of what happens inside these Ontario public schools is pretty great and, as a result, most children head home happy each day. But one does wonder what would have to occur to highlight the funding needs of public schools across this province…and to highlight how integral public schools are to public infrastructure?

Fundraising in public schools

On November 3, 2014, The Globe & Mail published an article about how Fundraising gives Toronto’s affluent schools a wider edge

In this article, Annie Kidder, executive director of the not-for-profit charitable organization People for Education, said it is concerning how much schools have come to rely on fundraising to augment their budgets.  How true.

The conversation needs to shift to become about how public schools are an integral part of our public infrastructure – on par with roads, transit, water.  Would we fundraise in our communities to fix roads or build a new subway line?  Sounds ridiculous – right?  To make this point, we submitted a letter to the editor, which appeared in the November 5 edition under the title “Here’s Hoping”.