Where I Stand

By Elizabeth Lau

Education

As education is under provincial jurisdiction, I believe that Ontario is doing a fairly good job so far. I do have a few concerns though. Funding from the government for textbooks has been cut off. As textbooks for our schools are part of the curriculum, how are we going to learn once our textbooks are too outdated and abused for use? We will be learning old information due to the fact that we can't afford to buy new books. As a student who prioritizes my education, I am worried about how my school will have the means to buy new textbooks. Where will the money come for it? Textbooks are more important than other things that our school budget is put towards. For example, clubs or dances. Money could be taken from events like those to raise money put towards new textbooks.


Not only is funding for textbooks being taken away, but for many more educated-related issues. Schools are being closed due to a deficit. This causes many problems to arise such as where the students from those schools are going to attend. Will they have to go far away to attend school? Will it cost extra to go to another school? Though closing schools may help to reduce the deficit, I'm sure there are less consequential solutions.

Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs

In recent years, a concerning issue has risen. There is noticeable difference in the visual appearance of our communities. Farmland in Markham for example, has almost completely vanished to make room for residential areas. Rural areas are being pushed back further as cities continue to expand. Though expansion has its good points, I am worried about what problems it may cause for rural communities. Will it damage the environment, especially the land on which the farmers depend on for a living ? Will it force people to move elsewhere? As rural areas grow smaller, so does the amount of local food. How is Ontario going to be fed with its food sources that are slowly being depleted each year? Hectares of land are torn down every year and the consequences of these actions aren't often made public. I just want to make sure that this province's rural areas are being taken care of just as much as its urban areas.
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Aboriginal Affairs

When I was in elementary school, I didn't know much about the circumstances in Aborginal reserves. As I entered high school, I learned more about and was exposed to the dire circumstances that these communities face daily. Many communities live in poverty, with no proper sanitation, nor water that is safe to drink from. A lot of people living there don't get a proper education as there isn't enough funding provided. All these issues and many more all have one thing in common, that these communities are being neglected by the government. First Nations peoples are just as Canadian as those who don't live on reserves. I believe that there should not be a priority to who the government pays attention to. The conditions that some of these people live in is atrocious. Some reserves in Ontario are like this. When I found out that people could be living in such dire conditions in our country, let alone our province I was truly shocked.


In the community of Walkerton, Ontario, numerous people fell ill to E.coli poisoning due the unsanitary state of the water system there. This is unacceptable. The geological location may make this area isolated but that is no excuse for the neglect that this community faces. The provincial government needs to work faster and more efficiently about improving the living conditions in these Aboriginal communities. Ontario cannot be considered a part of this "developed" country called Canada until all areas of it actually are developed.

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