I was raised by a public school teacher. I have always known that a good education system is a key part of ending inequality.
We have the power to create a land of equal opportunity in Canada. Where all citizens can begin their careers debt-free, where quality education is widely accessible for everyone at every stage in their life, and where retraining for new jobs creates feelings of possibility rather than anxiety.
The NDP vision of progressive education is based first and last on social justice – on the premise that investing in education is investing in equality. This is a vision I share.
But years of Liberal and Conservative direction have left a daunting challenge for that vision.
- Fewer than 40% of First Nations peoples living on-reserve have graduated from high school
- Canadian families owe an estimated $37 billion in student loans
- Transition and training programs are falling behind the needs of those in dying industrial areas
- Employment in all sectors is increasingly unstable, short-term, and without health benefits
We can and must do better.
We can and must invest in education that brings with it the promise of equality.
My entire career has been fuelled by a commitment to equality. For the last decade, I have been working to end inequality at the municipal, national, and international level. Along the way, I have learned from phenomenal leaders about how changing policy can change lives.
I want to bring what I have learned to Ottawa. And I want to use it to create a system of education for all.
I know what this requires:
- Shifting from a patchwork of financial support to a free, universal post-secondary system from apprenticeships to academics
- Finally ensuring every Indigenous child has the opportunities afforded to all Canadians
- Building the retraining and placement services appropriate for those left behind by layoffs and shutdowns
- Mentoring and resourcing commercial, social, and business innovation, so that entrepreneurship creates new green jobs and revitalized communities
- Supporting education that is humanizing, accessible, and self-affirming to all students
- Standing up against hatred and intolerance on campuses
- Ensuring that Canadians with world-changing ideas can use those ideas to help build a strong, just and green economy.
- And as a first step, putting a high priority on investing in early education, coordinated with our child care initiative, making sure parents need not put careers on hold while caring for young children.
I’ve worked my whole life to bring people into politics, and I’m running to be your NDP candidate because I still believe we can make real progress in Ottawa. But only if we join together.