M

OPSBA Advocacy Days at Queen’s Park

The purpose of OPSBA’s Advocacy Day meetings are to re-introduce OPSBA and its priorities to the government and the opposition parties. It is also an opportunity to increase and elevate the overall awareness of the Association and its advocacy efforts.

February and March 2021

A graphic reading: OPSBA Virtual Advocacy Day - with photos of students at computers and in class and a Zoom meeting of trustees.

A screenshot of a Zoom meeting with the PC Caucus. OPSBA trustees and staff meeting with Green MPP Mike Schreiner.
OPSBA meets with the NDP caucus on Zoom OPSBA meets with the Liberal caucus.

Top Left: OPSBA  Virtual Advocacy Day meeting with Minister Stephen Lecce, PA Sam Oosterhoff, and PC MPPs – February 19, 2021
Top Right: OPSBA  Virtual Advocacy Day meeting with Green Party Leader and MPP (Guelph) Mike Schreiner – February 24, 2021 
Bottom left: OPSBA  Virtual Advocacy Day meeting with NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, Education Critic Marit Stiles, and NDP MPPs – February 27, 2021
Bottom right: OPSBA  Virtual Advocacy Day meeting with Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca, Education Critic Kathleen Wynne, and Liberal MPPs – March 5, 2021

OPSBA secured a series of meetings for OPSBA’s Executive Council to participate with one provincial party caucus at a time over Zoom. Joining the Executive Council were representatives from the Indigenous Trustee’s Council and provincial student trustee leaders. The meetings were an hour in length and included two agenda items: 2021-22 Education Funding and The Future of Public Education.

The purpose of OPSBA’s Virtual Advocacy Day meetings was to re-introduce OPSBA and its priorities to the government and the opposition parties. It was also an opportunity to increase and elevate the overall awareness of the Association and its advocacy efforts. We also encouraged trustees to reach out to their local MPP(s) to set up a phone call or virtual meeting during the first 2021 constituency week, which occured March 15 to 18, 2021. OPSBA staff have developed a PowerPoint slide deck that could be used.

November 25, 2019

OPSBA’s Advocacy Priorities

The Whole Child and Student Well-Being

Indigenous Education

Education Funding

More than 50 public school board trustees and student trustees from all regions of the province were in Toronto on November 25, 2019, to take part in OPSBA’s second Advocacy Day. The day began with a news conference that released the results of polling and research done in partnership with Nanos Research. This initiative bolstered OPSBA’s advocacy position on key issues, such as the importance of investment in public education, Indigenous Education, curriculum, mental health supports and the importance of electing trustees.

Overwhelmingly, Ontarians support public education and see it as an investment for the future.

Other highlights from the polling include:

  • Nine in ten Ontarians say it is important or somewhat important to invest in special education
  • Seven in ten Ontarians support or somewhat support having a mandatory Indigenous education curriculum
  • Nearly two-thirds of Ontarians think funding for education should be set based on number of students and inflation rather than overall provincial spending
  • Just over four in five Ontarians support or somewhat support school boards having more autonomy to ensure their budgets reflect local needs
  • Nine in ten Ontarians say it is important or somewhat important to invest in school maintenance and repairs

Some highlights of the day included:

  • A breakfast meeting between the Minister of Education Stephen Lecce and the OPSBA Table Officers.
    OPSBA Table Officer Meeting with Minister Lecce
  • The OPSBA/NANOS news conference – which was carried live on CP24 and reported on favourably by several media outlets including the Toronto Star and CTV.
    OPSBA participates in a press conference in the Queen's Park Media Studio.
  • Attendance in Question Period, where many individual trustees were recognized by their local MPPs, and OPSBA was formally welcomed by all parties.
  • Meetings with 54 MPPs – 24 PC, 23 NDP, three Liberal, one Green, and one Independent.
Meeting with members of the PC caucus Meeting with Toronto NDP MPPs.
  • An evening reception attended by many MPPs, the Deputy Minister of Education and two Assistant Deputy Ministers, and featuring remarks from Minister Lecce, Education Critic for the Official Opposition Marit Stiles of the NDP, Liberal Education Critic and former Premier Kathleen Wynne, and Leader of the Green Party, Mike Schreiner.
Former Premier Kathleen Wynne chats Ellen Chambers (left) and Jennifer Kitowski (right) of OPSBA's Board of Directors. OPSBA BOD members Arlene Morell and Jake Skinner with Minister Monte McNaughton

April 8, 2019

OPSBA's Executive Council at the April 2019 Advocacy Day at Queen's Park.

On April 8, 2019, OPSBA President Cathy Abraham was joined by Executive Council members and OPSBA senior staff in the Association’s first Advocacy Day at Queen’s Park.

OPSBA Advocacy Day provided an opportunity for OPSBA representatives to build on collaborative relationships with provincial stakeholders – both MPPs and political staff.

OPSBA Advocacy Day featured meetings and conversations with all four political parties – the Progressive Conservatives, New Democrats, Liberals and Greens. President Abraham and Executive Director Rusty Hick also met with staff from the Premier’s Office, the Ministries of Education and Municipal Affairs and Housing, and the Treasury Board Secretariat.

ajax-loader