Parliament of Canada

Supporting Families: 2013 CTF Hill Day

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) speaks for approximately 200,000 teachers in Canada as their national voice on education and related social issues. CTF is a national bilingual umbrella organization, made up of 15 provincial and territorial teacher organizations across Canada, and one Affiliate Member.

CTF advocates for national policies that promote a strong social fabric. For nearly 90 years CTF has advanced the cause of children and youth, defended the rights of teachers, promoted a strong public education system, and provided assistance in developing countries.

Canadian teachers firmly believe that a strong publicly funded public education system, rooted in the principles of universality, equity, responsiveness and accountability, is essential to sustaining and promoting our democratic society working for the good of all. Teachers also believe that:

  • the best interests of all children and youth must guide each decision that society and its institutions make on their behalf.
  • the development of educational policy should be founded in the belief that public education is a public good for the whole of society.
  • Canada must honour its commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to make the well-being of children this nation's highest priority.

CTF has a long-standing interest in supporting Canadian families, and more specifically, advocating for the removal of any societal barriers that may impede a child's access to the full benefits of publicly funded education.

And make no mistake, there are impediments. This is not about the majority of students who do experience success in school. Rather this is about those students who have slipped and continue to slip through the cracks for a number of reasons - poverty, mental health problems, bullying, lack of fluency in the language of instruction, lack of resources, and discrimination to name a few. This is about those students who break a teacher's heart every day because the teacher often feels so inadequate in trying to reach and support them.

We believe a number of issues need to be addressed, which we have categorized as follows:

  • Reducing child poverty - supporting low income families
  • Immigrant families
  • Aboriginal families
  • Francophone families in a minority setting
  • The mental health of Canadian families (mental health, bullying, addiction, etc.)
  • Supporting families in developing countries

Each brief addresses these areas and provides recommendations specific to each issue. It should be noted that as poverty is a theme cutting across all of these issues, we believe that strong federal leadership in alleviating poverty would go a long way toward supporting Canadian families.