|literacy.ca||Volume 5, No. 2, Winter 2003|
Minister Stewart has asked the all-party Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resources Development to put literacy on its agenda and report to parliament with recommendations before summer. MCL has already appeared at the preliminary committee hearings along with other literacy witnesses; and our presentation was strengthened by the unified voice that is emerging through our consultations and networking. MCL will continue to work hard to push for meaningful action in the priority areas youve helped identify.
Insight... Pan-Canadian vs National
You may be wondering why you see the term pan-Canadian used instead of national. Gone forever are the days when the federal government could make decisions for the whole country without first getting all the provinces and territories to agree. The term pan-Canadian implies the possibility of special arrangements with different provinces and territories.
A "pan-Canadian" approach allows for national vision and leadership, while respecting regional and community differences.We envision a "pan-Canadian literacy strategy" that benefits every region of the country equally, but does so by building upon the approaches, mechanisms, or practices that work best in each province or territory.
Change: Your Voice Matters!
What springs to mind when you think about politics? Do you think of shouting matches in the House of Commons? Do you picture men in expensive suits spouting off sound bites on the 6 oclock news? Or, even worse, do you imagine a solid brick wall that stands between you and the important political choices that are being made every day in Ottawa, or in your provincial capital, or in your city hall choices that have the power to seriously affect your life?
If you feel like politics are too complicated, too time consuming, or too out of reach, youre not alone. In the last federal election, four out of ten voters didnt even bother to cast a ballot. In between elections, the number of people who get involved in shaping the political process is much, much smaller. For too many Canadians, the political process seems out of reach.
As someone with a decades worth of work experience on Parliament Hill and as MCLs policy consultant, I want to tell you this: your voice matters! There are so many little ways that each of us can influence big policies and decisions. I also want to tell you that the literacy community must not only care about the political process, but must find the time to help shape it. You are the ones whose work, whose lives, and whose futures will be affected by those very policies that are being shouted about on Parliament Hill or simplified into sound-bites! You are the experts when it comes to how proposed policies will affect you. (next page...)
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