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Press Releases 2006

October 26, 2006

For Immediate Release

 

Klees: Teachers Join Opposition in Calling For

Withdrawal of Bill 52

 

Klees: "We need a Cheque, not a Bill!"

 

(Queen's Park) PC Education Critic, Frank Klees, called on the Education Minister to withdraw the controversial Bill 52 following another day of Public Hearings during which witnesses unanimously condemned the Bill as bad legislation.

 

" Based on the evidence heard at public hearings, this legislation is so badly thought out, that it is beyond repair," said Klees following the third day of hearings on the Bill.

 

Klees quoted the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation to emphasize the mounting opposition to legislation that would strip students of their drivers' licenses if they drop out and opens equivalent learning programs to unqualified instructors.

 

"The implementation of Bill 52 could lead to a devaluation of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma and the secondary school environment in Ontario . No amendments are possible which would adequately prevent the harm caused by the introduction of widespread dual/external credits by unspecified and unlimited providers of equivalent learning". (OSSTF)

 

"We have been sounding the alarm that this government is systematically lowering education standards for students just to satisfy their political commitment to keep students in school to age 18," said Klees. "It's encouraging to see teachers taking a strong stand against the government on this issue."

 

The point was made repeatedly by witnesses that the Bill is nothing more than political grandstanding by the government, and that what is needed is adequate funding to school boards to strengthen and expand the existing equivalent learning framework introduced in 1999 by the former PC government.

 

The OSSTF pointed out in their submission that "Expansion and increase of the availability of equivalent learning opportunities is already possible under Ontario Secondary Schools, Grades 9-12: Program and Diploma Requirements 1999".

 

Klees called on the government to stop playing politics with this issue and replace the Bill with a cheque instead.

 

 

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For further information

Frank Klees, MPP

416-325-7316