Earlier this week, we learned that the Minister of Education has decided to cut $25 million from school programs that help marginalized youth, without any consultation.
Just over a decade ago, Jordan Manners, a grade 9 student at C.W Jeffreys high school in Toronto, was killed. This tragic event brought attention to an issue that for too long had gone unaddressed, namely, the lack of school supports and programming for low-income youth. Working alongside school boards, the Government took action and put in place a slate of targeted programs to help provide students with more opportunity to succeed.
These programs are on the Minister of Education’s chopping block.
I’ve seen first hand how these programs make a difference in the lives of kids they help. If Minister Thompson takes these programs away, it reinforces that institutions like government will let these youth down, instead of building them up for success.
It’s clear this Government lacks any sense of compassion, but more to the point, they display a lack of understanding towards the root causes of youth and gun violence. We hear the Premier talking a lot about preventing gun violence and keeping kids safe, but his government is tearing down programs that are doing just that.
Our children’s safety should not be a partisan issue. We know these programs work, and we know how much students, parents, and educators rely on them. I call on the Minister of Education to reverse her decision, a decision that will result in real harm to Ontario students.
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