A troubling trend which we have seen proliferate across the globe has come to Canada. Lately, we have witnessed increased political polarization and systematic attempts to silence democratic discussion. These pressures felt by the wider public service have also assailed public education. As the voice of the teaching profession, CTF has a responsibility to advocate and pursue the implementation of policies designed to alleviate economic and social inequalities, insofar as they are related to education. These policies support the democratic principles upon which our country was founded.
In 2010, we piloted our Imaginaction program, a project-based initiative to promote social justice and teach citizenship to our youth. This year, we have added a component on democracy allowing students to discover the value of democracy and its relation to responsible citizenship.
We have also launched a grassroots campaign among our members called ‘Hear my Voice’. The campaign aims to shine a light on excessive government secrecy, corruption and waste, attacks on unions and the decline of democracy, while highlighting the messages that good government means listening to all voices and that teacher organizations speak for individual members.
Teachers are concerned about societal inequality because they see first-hand how its impact gets played out within their classes and schools. That is why the teacher voice is more important than ever. That is why we must take on the mantle of leadership and not only speak for a more democratic society but also encourage our students to assume their roles as today’s leaders and challenge them to have a hand in shaping their future.
CTF looks forward to welcoming you to Ottawa where we will discuss our role in supporting democracy in our country, in our classrooms and within our organizations.
Paul Taillefer, CTF President