June 17, 2024
Assertions by Ontario teachers' union don’t stand up to scrutiny
Ontario’s hefty deficit is the big piece of context that both the conference board and the union ignore. The provincial government doesn’t have that luxury.
Ontario’s hefty deficit is the big piece of context that both the conference board and the union ignore. The provincial government doesn’t have that luxury.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation has found an entirely new argument in its campaign against larger classes and fewer teachers. The issue is about more than just students and teachers, the union says. It’s about the economy. If Ontario cuts education, “everyone will pay more,” the union claims in a tagline for its new ad campaign.

One TV ad shows a nice old lady with a walker and poor folks who appear to be at a soup kitchen. They will be the ones who will suffer if there are fewer teachers, the union contends. The visuals are more compelling than images of angry protesters, but one would immediately wonder how spending less on education would mean having to pay more for health care and social services.

The Conference Board of Canada attempts to answer that in a report commissioned by the teaching union. It is an uphill struggle. The short version of it is that people who graduate from high school cost society less in social service, health care and justice system costs than those who fail to graduate. If education spending were cut, and if graduation rates fell, then there would be a $16.4 million annual increase in health and social services spending, leaving a bit less for the lady with the walker and the folks at the soup kitchen.

In addition, the board calculates that every additional dollar spent on education generates $1.30 in economic benefits as that dollar is spent by education employees and employees of businesses that supply the school system. Conversely, taking a dollar out of education has the opposite effect, reducing the province’s economic growth. So, more education spending is good, less education spending is bad.

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See Also:

(1) Ontario First Nations balk at province’s newly-announced cannabis retail licence lottery

(2) The price of legal cannabis is as much as 80 per cent higher than black market: StatCan (Sorta like cigarettes)

(3) Government appointee with reported ties to Dean French resigns

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