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Q&A: What would Barrie-Innisfil candidates do to help education?

BarrieToday contacted Barrie-Innisfil to hear what they have to say on a series of topics ahead of Thursday's provincial election

Editor's note: BarrieToday contacted all of the candidates in the Barrie-Innisfil riding to hear what they have to say on a series of topics ahead of Thursday's provincial election. Each candidate was asked to provide a 150-word response. Here is what they had to say about education in the province. 

Bonnie North, Green:

Greens believe a properly funded, modern and equitable education system is critical, one which comprehensively addresses issues from kindergarten to higher education.

Some of the many ways Greens will address these challenges include but aren’t limited to prioritizing student mental health and reduce wait times to 30 days or less for children and youth; allocating funds to ensure schools are in compliance AODA disability requirements; ending streaming; capping class sizes: grades K-3 to 26 students, and grades 4-8 to 24 students; implementing a province-wide school lunch plan; supporting in-person learning and opposing mandatory hybrid/e-learning; eliminating EQAO testing; increasing the capacity and funding for the Ontario Autism Program, and quickly onboard families to the program; immediately reversing cuts to OSAP and converting loans to grants for low and middle income students; eliminating student debt interest, and more.

Benjamin Hughes, independent:

I think teachers are doing a great job at making sure our kids are getting a great education. But I think the skill of teaching our youth about how to self teach is something that gets missed in our public school system.

Your teachers and parents aren't always going to be there for guidance and teaching a young person how to find things out and teach themselves is crucial to human growth.

Grace Dean, Ontario Party: 

Implement proven best practices in mathematics, science and literacy; removing curricula not specifically tailored to core academic competencies, especially material meant to instill subjective beliefs and values related to sexuality.

Pekka Reinio, NDP:

A good education is a fundamental part of our children’s development, their future well-being and success. It is also a key part to the social and economic health of our communities and our province.

Ontario children deserve smaller classes, more one-on-one help, and an education that gives them a future with hope and possibility. 

An NDP government will hire more educators, address school violence, increase special education funding, ensure that we have up-to-date ventilation systems, hire more mental health workers, child and youth workers, remove mandatory e-learning, and end EQAO.

John Olthuis, Liberal: 

Cap class sizes at 20 students for all grades; hire 10,000 more teachers; end mandatory online learning; replace standardized testing and end streaming; hire an additional special education worker for every school; update curriculum to add more Indigenous, French, diverse and modern learning; support students’ health and well-being; invest an additional $10 billion to build and repair more schools; make schools more modern with technology; put schools and community hubs in the same building; review and update how elementary and high schools get funded; protect the right of students, parents and education workers to be heard.

Jake Tucker, Ontario People’s Front:

Our education system needs to be put back in the hands of communities and money which is currently being earmarked for highways, digital IDs and other unnecessary spending need to be invested into hiring more teachers and a stronger educational infrastructure.