Posted June 07, 2019 05:13:11Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is proposing a new federal education law that will create a national plan to keep children safe at schools.
Key points:Teacher safety is a key issue in the federal election in 2019The legislation will be based on an Ontario modelThe federal government has already pledged $15 million over the next four years to the National Policing Strategy, but the government is now aiming for $1 billionA report by the Auditor General of Canada has found that the federal government’s national plan for education is too costly and ineffective.
The auditor’s report, released on Wednesday, said it’s time to rethink the plan and make it more cost-effective.
In its recommendations, the auditor says the government’s plan will:Ensure teachers are given the tools they need to respond to emergencies and to identify and respond to students who are at risk of injury or death;Ensure that students are able to be in a safe environment when learning and should not be asked to do activities or perform work that might pose a risk of harm to others;Provide better protection for students in school facilities that are not well-lit;Provided funding for schools to ensure they have adequate staff to ensure students are safe; andCreate a National Police Strategy to help teachers manage and respond quickly to a variety of emergencies and situations.
The Auditor General said the federal plan is too expensive and ineffective, especially given the importance of safety to Canadians.
“The government should not rely on an outdated national plan that has not been updated in 50 years, that is not supported by the evidence, and that is unlikely to lead to the effective, cost-saving, and reliable national response that it should be,” the report says.
The federal Liberals are proposing to spend $15 billion over the course of the next two years to provide extra resources to schools and to expand the national strategy.
The report says the plan is based on Ontario’s “best practice model” which is set up by the province in a bid to improve safety and ensure students have access to safe, safe environments.
“Teachers across the province have implemented this model to improve student safety and are now making improvements across Canada,” said a spokesperson for Education Minister David Eggen.
“We believe this model will have a significant impact on reducing the incidence of student injury and death and helping schools to improve their safety.”
The government has also promised to spend a total of $1.4 billion over four years on the Policing strategy, which will include $1 million for the National School Safety Network, $500 million for a national training centre, and $150 million for more resources for teachers and staff.
The Liberals are also proposing to invest $1,200 a student in a school safety card.
The auditor also recommends a number of other measures including:Funding for the Ontario Policing Partnership and the Toronto Police Services Board to support police officers who have been deployed in schools and in community safety initiatives, and to provide additional funding for those who have had to work with students who have disabilities.
Establishing a national partnership with the Canadian Association of School Administrators (CAOSA) to work on creating a national Policing Plan and to create a partnership with a third party to provide advice to school boards on how to implement the plan.
The government is also recommending that the Minister of Education, David Eggel, appoint a Commissioner of Policing.
The minister will then have the power to appoint a commissioner.
The Conservatives have called the plan a national police plan and the Liberals have said it is not.
Eggel has been critical of the plan, saying he wants to be sure that “we are taking our education seriously, that we are getting the best information, that this is a national response.”
The Liberals have promised to make changes to the plan to improve the effectiveness of the federal response, including increasing the number of police officers and providing a special fund to help school boards with their safety initiatives.