An election is an exciting time. It is a time to share ideas and to reassess the vital questions of the day. In this election, jobs and the economy are expected to dominate public attention – therefore we have an important opportunity to demonstrate the link between the economy and literacy and essential skills. There is no better time to bring the importance of this issue to the attention of key decision-makers.
The Ontario Literacy Coalition’s (OLC’s) Election Kit is designed to help learners, champions, practitioners, and organizations speak to the needs of Ontarians requiring literacy and essential skills training. The kit is a set of tools that will help you facilitate meaningful conversations with MPPs and candidates – at meetings, on your doorstep, and during debates. We hope it will help all Ontarians make informed decisions about the literacy sector’s contribution to the future direction of our province.
OLC’s key messages focus on linking the literacy and essential skills of Ontarians to Ontario’s economic recovery and growth and to creating a higher-skilled province.
OLC’s Election Kit includes:
- a briefing note to be shared with MPPs and candidates that presents a number of cross-cutting issues affecting the sector. Remember, it is important to remain non-partisan and to speak to all political parties;
- two template letters that can be specifically edited to reflect your experience and shared as needed - one for use by literacy advocates, the other for learners;
- a template for literacy service organizations that can be filled in using program data that candidates are likely to ask about; and
- key information about the voting process and where to find relevant information.
We encourage you, your stakeholders, and clients to ask locally relevant questions of candidates in your riding.
OLC’s Election Kit is a living document. Please adapt it to the circumstances and realities of your community. While the messages we put forward resonate across Ontario, feel free to include your own perspective on the issues.
In order to support practitioners, programs, support organizations, interested Ontarians, and most importantly, literacy learners, OLC will be hosting a weekly series of teleconferences in the weeks leading up to the election. On these teleconferences, Gareth Blair, OLC’s Manager of Research, Policy and Development will be answering your questions on policy, government relations, the election and OLC’s work. Each of the calls will last approximately one hour, and will take place on the following dates:
Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 4:00PM EDT
Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 10:00AM EDT
Friday, September 23, 2011 at 11:00AM EDT
Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 12:00PM EDT
If you are interested in participating, please dial in at the stated time to 1-888-289-4573 and enter the code 4873431#.
We encourage each of you to bring to OLC’s attention any media coverage, political announcements, or other election developments of interest to the sector so that we can share them with colleagues and supporters across the province. If you have any questions, information to share, or requests for assistance, please contact Gareth Blair at email@example.com or (416) 963-5787 Ext.32.