Political Leadership with a Focus on Children and Youth – OPSBA Member Boards Challenge all Provincial Candidates


Toronto, May 17, 2011 – The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) takes a non-partisan approach in its strategies to raise public awareness and engage politicians in issues that focus on the needs and well-being of children and youth. The education policies of government are far-reaching. They affect the world our children and youth will inherit tomorrow and they have a clear impact on the conditions in which our young people thrive, learn and live today.

“We want to see all candidates meetings that focus on the future we are building for our children and youth,” said Catherine Fife, president of OPSBA. “This kind of forum where the community can engage directly with candidates running for office is democracy at work. We believe it is important to open up opportunities for the public to question and debate how we as a society work together and how we will meet the education obligations we have to the future.”

OPSBA is recommending to member boards that on September 20th, all candidates meetings be held in local schools throughout the province on the theme of public education. To coincide with the all candidates meetings, the Association is inviting Dalton McGuinty, Tim Hudak, Andrea Horwath, and Mike Schreiner to a leaders’ debate.

The public needs the opportunity to review party platforms and evaluate the various parties’ promises in the context of economic viability, environmental sustainability, inclusivity, and social responsibility. All candidates meetings are non-partisan events that provide an opportunity to do this. Candidates are invited to share their views and answer questions from the community where they are running for office. This allows voters to understand where the candidates stand on important issues and to make informed decisions when it comes to electing the representatives who will shape public policy that profoundly impacts our lives now and in the future.

The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) represents public district school boards across Ontario. Together our members serve the educational needs of almost 70% of Ontario’s elementary and secondary students. The Association advocates on behalf of the best interests and needs of the public school system in Ontario. OPSBA believes that the role of public education is to provide high quality, universally accessible education opportunities for all students regardless of their ethnic, racial or cultural backgrounds, social or economic status, individual exceptionality, or religious affiliation.

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For more information, please contact:

Jeff Sprang
OPSBA Communications
(416) 340-2540