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Why we need school board trustees during a pandemic

The following article was published in the Waterloo Region Record

Since 1997 when Ontario school boards lost the power to directly collect local taxes, there is have been periodic debates about abolishing the position of elected school board trustees. Abolitionists favour delegating all policy decision-making to the Ontario government with local management being directly responsible for implementing the decisions of the province.

Recent actions by trustees at the Waterloo Region District School Board and the Toronto District School Board demonstrate why eliminating the local voice provided by trustees would be a mistake. While many small examples exist of the typical representative role that local trustees play in supporting families, the decision by the Waterloo board to require masks to be worn by all students who are able and the Toronto board’s alternative reopening plan provide dramatic examples of the value of local trustees.

Continue reading at https://www.therecord.com/opinion/contributors/2020/08/20/why-we-need-school-board-trustees-during-a-pandemic.html

Mandatory masks should be the default option for Ontarians

The following article By Anthony Piscitelli and Jason Thistlethwaite was published in the Globe and Mail:

Ontarians are looking for direction on how to act during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s daily press briefings have had hundreds of thousands of views, and updates from Premier Doug Ford have been eagerly awaited by Ontarians looking for provincial direction on how to address the coronavirus.

While the guidance has been useful, when it comes to mask policies our Ontario government has unfortunately left the decision-making entirely up to local municipalities. Many local governments have stepped up to fill this policy void, but with clear evidence of the effectiveness of masks in reducing COVID-19 already available, more concrete leadership should have come from the province.

Continue reading at https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-mandatory-masks-should-be-the-default-option-for-ontarians/

2020 Student Blog Series

In January 2020 ThreeHundredThirtyEight.com introduced a new blog series featuring content written by Conestoga College Public Service Program students.

Seven student blog posts appeared in the series:

A Progressive Country with an Archaic Electoral System, Is There a Need for Reform? By: Shane Calderwood

Rent Control: The Hidden Truth By: Onomo Ogbe

Abortion In Canada, Are Charter Rights being Infringed Upon? By: Emalee Patrick

How safe are Canadian School Buses? By: Olufunke Pegba-Otemolu

It’s time for Universal Pharmacare in Canada By: Sarah Jefferies

Carbon Tax is Not Enough – the Rich Can (and Will) Keep Polluting By: Lindsay Mewhiney

How secularism became Quebec’s Achilles heel By: Jennifer Peers