|Volume 9 Number 1||Published by the Literacy Development
Council of Newfoundland and Labrador
What was the purpose of your trip to Ottawa?
I went to Ottawa for a week to participate in Literacy Action Day and to attend meetings for the Learners' Action Network and The Movement for Canadian Literacy. We provided information sessions to politicians. The main purpose of the meetings was to make sure politicians understand the needs of learners and literacy workers.
Did anyone else go with you?
Yes, Della Coish, Director of the Literacy Development Council of Newfoundland and Labrador, also attended the event.
Who did you meet?
We met with a number of Members of Parliament including, Jerry Byrne (Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte), George Baker (Grand Falls-Windsor), and Loyola Hearn (St. John's West). We also met with an assistant to Norman Doyle (St. John's East). We attended a Literacy Action Day reception and met many other politicians and dignitaries including Senator Joyce Fairbairn.
What is Literacy Action Day?
Literacy Action Day is set aside every year for learners and literacy practitioners to bring provincial and national attention to literacy issues. The Movement for Canadian Literacy helps organize the meetings with federal politicians on behalf of the representatives from each province and territory. These representatives discuss the literacy needs of their regions and help politicians and policy makers understand the need to address literacy as a national issue.
What is the Learners' Action Network?
The Learners' Action Network group is a group of learners formed from across Canada and the Territories who meet and advise the Board of The Movement for Canadian Literacy about learner issues.
What is the Movement for Canadian Literacy?
Movement for Canadian Literacy (MCL) is a national organization mandated to represent all learners and practitioners across the country. It deals mainly with literacy policies and provides information and assistance at a provincial and national level.
What kinds of things did you talk about?
Della and I spent a fair amount of time talking about the new Skills and Learning Initiative that was mentioned in the last Throne Speech. We explained that a national literacy and skills program is badly needed. We asked politicians to support such as program. We wanted to help the politicians get the message that we cannot afford to wait any longer, the time for action is now.
Do you think the meetings helped make this point?
We were received very well, but everything takes time. I expect things to move ahead slowly, however, people are listening! We have to keep trying. If we don't, who will?
Was the trip worthwhile?
Yes, very much so. It is important to stay in touch with the people who make decisions and make sure that literacy and the needs of learners stay on their agendas.
Do you have any general comments to make?
The people at MCL are listening to learners. The learners make a significant contribution to MCL's board, and Newfoundland and Labrador's voice is being heard at that table.
|Meet and Greet||Stories from Rabbitown||Knowing Your Province|