Canadian Education News

Canadian Wetland Education Network Won a National Award
Ducks Unlimited issued a press release stating that the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communications (EECOM), which held a national annual conference, awarded three out of five awards, called EECOM Awards to the “Ducks Unlimited Canada-relates programs and teachers.”

“EECOM’s Outstanding Organization Award was presented to DUC’s Wetland Centres of Excellence/ Centres d?excellence des milieux humides (WCE/CEMH) network,” the press release said, “DUC’s WCE/CEMH form a national network of dedicated educators, students, supportive administrators, and communities working to conserve wetlands.”

The WCE/CEMH students have, over many years, been advocates for the protection of the wetlands. This means having meetings with provincial and federal politicians in addition to the pursuit of careers in the relevant areas.

Potential amendments to the Education Act with Bill 37
“Education Minister Paul Quassa made a last ditch plea to Nunavut MLAs Wednesday to open proposed legislation to change the Education and Inuit Language Protection Acts to debate. Quassa gave a 50 minute speech outlining the work of his department, how Bill 37 came to be and giving a step-by-step explanation of the proposed changes,” CBC News: North said.

He feels that the provincial government will need to re-examine the amendments done to the Education Act, butthe bill to do so is at risk of ceasing to exist. The Standing Committee on Legislation recently said that it recommends the bill not proceed.

The bill gets to move forward only if the assembly receives the report from the committee, or if 120 days in the calendar have gone by since the second reading of the bill. The current deadline for offering bilingual (Inuktitut-English) education is 2019 now. The main complaint is that the act that the bill seeks to open to debate would push this education to 2029 for some grades and postpone the deadline for grades 10-12 indefinitely.

Truth and Reconciliation and Residential Schools? Impact
CBC News: Saskatchewan reported that two years have gone by since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission with the 94 calls to action within it. The former commissioner, Marie Wilson, noted the residential schools and their impact continue to be a “huge task” to manage.

“There are still many, many people in this country that don’t even know we had a Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” Wilson said. Wilson, by her estimates, heard the residential school survivor stories of 1,500 individuals.

Wilson is not frustrated by lack of knowledge about the commission, but by the resistance after people know about it and try to make it something different than it was, because it was something terrible that happened.

Responses to Common Ideas about Indigenous Populations
There are some common ideas about the Indigenous population, but the Brampton Guardian sought to address some of these by re-publishing a notice from the Anishinabek Nation Union of Ontario Indians. One of these common ideas is the statement that First Nations receive free housing. However, First Nations do not get the full cost of housing covered by the government

Also, in answer to a question about free education, “No, First Nations receive education funding from the federal government, which they use to cover the cost of operating First Nation schools, pay school boards if their children attend schools off the reserve and cover some post-secondary education.” Noting that they do not receive free education.

With regard to “Status Indians,” or First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in Canada and taxes, these Canadian populations have to pay taxes the same as every other citizen. The only exemption is in Section 87 of the Indian Act. Which exempts money earned wile working on the reserve, for the reserve.

Newfoundland and Labrador Education Minister Defends Consultant Report
CBC News: Newfoundland and Labrador stated that the education minister of Newfoundland and Labrador, Dale Kirby, “is defending a consultant’s report,” which is on the public library system the province. It was attacked as amorphous by the union for the library workers.

“It’s very comprehensive … It’s well overdue,” Kirby said in its defence, “I think it provides quite a good roadmap for the [Provincial Information and Library Resources Board] to make its plans for the future strategically.”

CUPE Local 2329 representative, Dawn Lahey, thinks the report is “very vague,” where workers want more information. Public consultation with the libraries has been heated, but Kirby does not see the current status quo as acceptable.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is AUSU’s VPFA. He works with various organizations, and runs In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, and In-Sight Publishing.

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