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CTF rolls out federal election priorities

September 24, 2019 ATA News Staff

The federal election has been called for Oct. 21, and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation is ready to bring education issues to the forefront.

The “I teach. I vote.” campaign aims to spread awareness about five priorities: ending poverty, supporting mental health, strong unions and labour rights, climate action and gender equity. For more information, visit

Priority: Ending poverty

The issue: According to Statistics Canada, one in five children aged 17 and under were living in poverty in 2016. Nearly 6 million Canadians are living in poverty, and children make up nearly a quarter of those numbers.

Questions to ask the candidates:

  • What is your party’s plan to fulfill the National Poverty Reduction Strategy?
  • How does your party plan to work with the provinces and territories to reach poverty reduction targets?
  • Where does your party stand on developing national daycare and lunch programs?

Priority: Mental health

The issue: Mental health issues affect students and teachers. Students need age-appropriate supports, and teachers need to understand student mental health and their own well-being.

Questions to ask the candidates:

  • What does your party plan to do to improve knowledge and access to mental health resources, supports and services to assist students, teachers and education support workers in publicly funded, K–12 public schools in Canada?
  • How can your party make mental health a greater priority for all Canadians?
  • How can government work to dispel the myths surrounding mental health?

Priority: Strong unions and labour rights

The issue: Unions are essential in the struggle to maintain democratic governance, fair working conditions and greater economic equality for voters. Union membership has been correlated to lower income inequality, less precarious work and safer workplaces.

Questions to ask the candidates:

  • How does your party see unions as central to helping solve many of our societal challenges?
  • What will your party do to ensure that Canadians are empowered through union membership?
  • What will your party do to protect pensions?

Priority: Sustainable climate action

The issue: Despite self-imposed pledges by almost 200 countries in the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, the world is not meeting its climate goals, which, even if met, would not be sufficient to prevent severe global warming in the decades ahead.

Questions to ask the candidates:

  • How does your party plan to increase climate change education for all Canadians?
  • How is your party going to address the adverse effects of climate change?
  • What can the federal government do to support curriculum dedicated to climate change?

Priority: Gender equity

The issue: Canada must continue to advance and defend gender equity to become a global gender rights role model.

Questions to ask the candidates:

  • What does your party plan to do to provide greater economic opportunities to women?
  • Where does your party stand on implementing a national, universal daycare program?
  • How does your party plan to increase acceptance and understanding of gender diversity?

Are you a teacher running for Parliament?

The ATA News is inviting all teachers who are running in the 2019 federal general election to submit their information for publication in an upcoming issue. Send your name, party affiliation and riding name to managing editor Cory Hare:

This invitation applies to

  • active Association members in good standing,
  • incumbents who were active Association members in good standing at the time of their election to Parliament,
  • Association life members and
  • other members who have maintained the highest level of membership available to them.

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