Legislative UPDATE: to November 20, 2008
Activities at Queen's Park continue to focus on matters relating to the economy and jobs. Much of the legislative debate so far this month has been on economic matters.
As the week of November 17 to 21 is Bullying Awareness Week in Canada, during Member's Statements the member for London Fanshawe, Mr. Khalil Rhamal spoke highly of the efforts put forward by his local district school board, the Thames Valley DSB, and the leadership of staff and students there in combating bullying in their schools.
NDP Education Critic Rosario Marchese made a statement praising The Review of the Roots of Youth Violence, the report by Alvin Curling and Roy McMurtry, and urged the government to act on the recommendations made within the report.
The Minister of Education has faced only one question recently, from PC Education Critic Joyce Savoline, regarding school safety. The question was about the Ministry's role in developing safe school policy and asked if the Minister would implement "mandatory reporting". Minister Wynne explained that Parliamentary Assistant Liz Sandals was continuing to head up the Safe Schools Action Team and was currently developing recommendations on issues of gender violence and sexual assaults, and identifying gaps in reporting and mechanisms to tighten reporting gaps.
Periodically, a question regarding poverty is posed. Such questions are always responded to by Children and Youth Services Minister Deb Matthews, who is leading the government's consultation on a poverty reduction strategy. Minister Matthews reiterates the government's commitment and ongoing work in developing such a strategy and takes the concern raised and/or advice offered by the questioners under advisement.
No new government bills that will directly affect the education sector have been proposed. However, the PC member for Cambridge, Gerry Martiniuk, introduced a private member's bill that would make Internet filtering software mandatory on computers in public schools and libraries, with the intent of protecting children from sexual offenders and from exposure to pornographic material on the Internet. While he acknowledges that many schools and libraries have such filters, it is not legally mandatory.
For more information: Cynthia Andrew, Legislative & Policy Analyst, email Webmaster