Cuts, freezes and protections for education introduced in the 2012 Ontario provincial budget are not sitting well with some of the province’s partners in education.

While the province has chosen to protect small class sizes, full-day kindergarten and almost 20,000 teaching and support staff jobs in its austerity budget presented March 27, the government is also calling for the closure of under-utilized schools and potential board amalgamations to maximize resources.

Nancy Kirby, Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association president, acknowledges the importance of early childhood education, but said going “ahead with full-day kindergarten on the same timeline ... is an expensive decision.”

Published in Education

OTTAWA - The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) is urging the federal government to make families, compassion and charities priorities in its upcoming 2012 budget.

Though the national association for Evangelical Christians does not usually engage in pre-budget consultations, it stressed that “a budget is fundamentally a moral document.” In a budget, political leaders “decide what is ‘right and wrong’ for public expenditure, and as such biblical principles are relevant to the budgeting process.”

The budget should shore up the key building blocks of Canada, it said.

Published in Canada

In a time of high unemployment, jittery stock markets and worrying news about the European and American fiscal crises, many Canadians have been lowering their debt loads.

Their federal government is planning to do the same. Its challenge is to implement cuts without stalling a fragile recovery while also making the investments necessary to protect the next generation of Canadians.

Published in Guest Columns