• To be a visible national voice for teachers
  • To act as a strong advocate for public education
  • To bring public attention to the need for all members of school communities to work, learn and live in a safe and healthy environment
  • To focus public and professional attention on necessary conditions for teaching and learning
  • To advocate for social justice issues

CTF stands for the right to free and full collective bargaining, trade union rights, human rights, equity, bilingualism and national unity in a democratic society. One of CTF’s top priorities is the promotion, encouragement of diversity and equity in public education.

Further CTF believes that equity for children must be addressed by all sectors, including civic, provincial and federal governments, parent groups, university teacher preparation programs and teacher organizations.

Diversity and human rights may include a focus on poverty, racism, Aboriginal issues, gender identity, child labour, child exploitation, immigration and gender issues.


CTF believes the role of educators is critical in creating positive societal change to address the realities of BGLTT issues for students, parents, and teachers.

Teachers can no longer ignore or deny homophobic and heterosexist prejudice and hatred in addressing discrimination in Canadian education.

The following CTF publications have been produced to help teachers, school administrators, and counselors understand the educational, health and safety needs of bisexual, gay, lesbian, trans-identified and two-spirited (BGLTT) students:

  • Sexual and Gender Minorities in Canadian Education and Society 1969-2013. A National Handbook for K-12 Educators (2016)
  • Supporting Transgender and Transsexual Students in K-12 Schools (2012)
  • Challenging Silence, Challenging Censorship (2007);
  • The Gay-Straight Student Alliance Handbook (2006).
  • Lessons Learned: A Collection of Stories and Articles About Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Issues (2005), and
  • Seeing the Rainbow (2002) produced in cooperation with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

For more information on these publications and to order online, visit the Publications Catalogue. Volume purchase discounts apply.

We hope these ressources will become important contributions to anti-homophobia and anti-heterosexism education which will promote equity through practicing the principle of inclusion, affirming the identity of individuals and groups, initiating comprehensive school programs supporting equity.


The Canadian Teachers’ Federation believes in the concept of social justice in public schools which embodies a focus on equity, democracy, rights, global citizenship, and respect for differences. Our education system and school communities are critical to the creation of a more socially just society.

CTF’s earlier work on Racism and Multiculturalism is included within the framework of social justice as are the concepts of diversity, equity, inclusion, and poverty.


Early intervention is a key issue for Canadian children and youth. The CTF promotes a vision in which all Canadians take collective responsibility for ensuring accessible opportunities for children and youth to develop and grow. We take this opportunity to stress how important it is for Canada to strive towards a national child care program that is universally accessible, affordable and of high quality.

It is our view that the current system of Universal Child Care Benefit is not working and does little to assist children from poor families.

It is unfortunate that the current funding provisions for child care in Canadian jurisdictions, has attracted multi-national, corporate child care providers. An element of service so important to our children should not be entrusted to for-profit enterprises. The implications are so obvious they should need no further explanation. Experiences and research in other countries is evidence enough.

If there is widespread expansion of for-profit child Care providers across Canada, the possibility of a comprehensive Canadian child care program will be severely compromised, since government funding will go to corporate profit instead of towards the building of an accessible affordable and equitable child care system. For-profit child care and early education fosters inequality of access and is a contradiction to the principles inherent in the Canadian public education system.

Federal funds for child care should only be used for the purpose of building a national, not-for-profit child care program that is universally accessible, of high quality and accountable to the public. The provinces, in turn, should ensure their child care services adhere to specific principles of quality and content and are accessible to all children.

Research has shown that Canada ranks last out of 30 OECD countries when it comes to investing in early childhood education

Investment in education is a key factor in improving economic performance. We have, and continue to be, supporters of a multi-faceted, pan-Canadian action plan that provides and promotes the highest quality of education, income security, social and community services.

We believe that federal government partnerships with provinces and territories, NGOs, the voluntary sector and communities, provide excellent opportunities to develop and invest in initiatives that will give children and youth improved prospects for healthy and successful lives. The federal government should give priority to funding proposals that foster partnerships and the integration of services for children and youth.


Specific initiatives for ensuring all children are better provided for include:

  • a universal child care system providing dedicated funding for high quality care and early intervention and school-readiness initiatives for all children;
  • restrictions on the growth of for-profit corporate child care;
  • support for school boards and relevant community agencies in their attempts to coordinate health, recreation, and social services at school sites;
  • political commitment to a national poverty reduction strategy;
  • the inclusion of child and youth services as part of federal/provincial/territorial agreements concerning immigrants and refugees;
  • funding for First Nation child welfare agencies to deliver in-home support and prevention services to First Nation children and their families.