OTTAWA – The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) believes that the 2019 federal budget provides the potential for addressing many of the challenges facing Canadians, including poverty, Indigenous education, gender equity and climate change.
“Progressive measures aimed at creating a more equitable and sustainable society are desperately needed as an increasing number of Canadians struggle to keep pace with a changing world that is leaving too many behind,” says CTF president Mark Ramsankar. “This budget shows promise for tackling not only the issues of today, but for looking ahead and improving the lives of Canada’s most vulnerable citizens.”
Ramsankar says that the mounting cost of living coupled with stagnant wages places solutions to the country’s biggest challenges out of reach for most Canadians.
“When Canadians are left to worry about how they will manage day-to-day expenses, it becomes increasingly difficult to deal with systemic issues, such as climate change, reducing gender gaps and advancing truth and reconciliation,” stresses Ramsankar. “This budget has dedicated funds that make teachers’ priorities Canada’s priorities.”
In Ottawa and across the country, the CTF-FCE is taking action on an extensive set of priorities supported by three central pillars:
- Strengthening labour rights and advancing union renewal as a foundation for democracy
- Ensuring adequate funding and resourcing of public education
- Being unwavering in our efforts to advance social justice
The 2019 federal budget addresses several CTF priorities within the latter two pillars, including poverty reduction; working to achieve gender equity; an increased focus on mental health; improving the lives of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples; and the urgent need to confront climate change and environmental degradation — all of which must be addressed at the federal level. Of course, each of the promised measures must also be weighed against the broader context of recent government commitments and initiatives.
The CTF president says that even with a budget that makes promises of positive change, the country cannot prioritize the economy at the expense of a well-cultivated, robust culture derived from a richly diverse and educated society. ❚