October 08, 2009
It's hard to believe we're already well into October! I hope everyone has had a wonderful start to the fall. This season has already been a fulfilling one and I’d like to share some of things we’ve celebrated and some other things that are on my mind.
Many of you are likely following the news this week about e-Health and the Auditor General’s report. I want to assure you that we, as a government, are taking this report very seriously. The Auditor General has issued a series of recommendations that we will be implementing. We have already taken steps to tighten procedures and set a higher standard for accountability.
Also this week, we celebrated World Teacher Day. Let me take this opportunity to thank all the teachers in all of our Ontario schools and all the people who support the work of those teachers. Thank you! Merci! Miigwetch!
Also on Monday I had the opportunity to take part in WE Day at the Air Canada Centre (ACC) in Toronto. This phenomenal event is run by the Free the Children Foundation lead by Marc and Craig Kielburger. Some 16,000 young people filled the ACC with their teachers to hear inspirational speakers including Robert Kennedy Jr., Elie Wiesel, Spencer West and to hear performers including surprise guests the Jonas Brothers. While the excitement was palpable and invigorating, my hope is that the fundamental message of empowerment to make the world a better place will be translated into action by each student with the help of fellow students, friends, school staff and community partners. Congratulations to Free the Children for delivering a message of empowerment and challenge in such a big, creative way! For more info and pics click the link: http://www.kathleenwynne.onmpp.ca/blog.aspx .
I thought you all might like to see a picture of the solar powered pontoon boat run by the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) on Lake St. George in Richmond Hill. It's a silent, floating environmental education and ecology classroom for students who are lucky enough to spend time at the TRCA's Outdoor Education Centre. I went to visit the Centre on Friday October 2 and incidentally, the TRCA has named the boat, built right here in Ontario the 'Kathleen Wynne' in recognition of the work our team at the Ministry has done to strengthen environmental education in the curriculum. For more info on the curriculum look here: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/curriculumcouncil/education.html and to see the solar powered pontoon boat look here: http://www.kathleenwynne.onmpp.ca/blog.aspx . Many thanks to the TRCA for all its work and for the honour last week!
As I reflect on WE Day, and the days of Thanksgiving and Remembrance that are to come, I am struck that we all have a role to play to help those here at home as well as on far away continents. To everyone with family and friends in the Philippines and Indonesia, please accept my condolences and prayers for their safety as that part of the world deals with horrific weather conditions. It’s a challenging time but we have the power to help make a difference.
For more information on how you can lend a hand, go to http://www.philcongen-toronto.com and http://www.indonesiatoronto.org .
And in closing, as this time of year is also one of observance in so many of our cultures, I want to wish warm regards and best wishes to all who have observed Ramadan and Eid, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
And for those who are celebrating Thanksgiving, Diwali and the Hindu New Year in coming days, I would like you all to enjoy your holiday.
Best wishes everyone!