Letters to the Editor: Oct. 1

I’m glad to see the success of Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, which provides helpful information and new products for our farmers.

Letters to the editor

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Sprawl hurting farming and food supply

I’m glad to see the success of Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, which provides helpful information and new products for our farmers.

With farming vital to each and every one of us — our existence depends on the food farmers produce — why are we destroying the arable land crops and livestock use with more urban sprawl? To cite one of the many examples of “death by a thousand cuts,” the City of Woodstock’s planned annexation of an adjacent portion of South-West Oxford Township.

Won’t urban sprawl add traffic, resulting in added pollution and greenhouse gases that cause climate change that’s eating away at farmland on the Lake Erie shoreline?

Won’t urban sprawl generate more garbage when Oxford County hasn’t figured out how to handle the waste we now produce? That would be extra garbage the new residents will have to put up with if the proposed dump near Ingersoll is approved.

Brendan B. Read


Government supports education

The success of our students is our government’s central focus and principal concern for Ontario families. With the start of the new school year, I’d like to clarify the record for the constituents of Oxford.

Our government’s strengthening and modernizing our education system to better help students reach their full potential and prepare them for their future careers with transferable life skills.

Our government is making key investments in our students’ education in our local community. These investments include $1,240,285 to the Thames Valley District school board for the Schools Foundations Grant for salaries of teachers, education workers, librarians, guidance councillors, classroom supplies and textbooks. There’s also the Special Education Grant of $2,159,528 for special education supports, equipment and supplies.

We’re also providing students with an updated and modern curriculum, and tools to succeed including a careers curriculum that features a more comprehensive focus on financial literacy, a  four-year $200-million math strategy designed to make sure students and educators have the math skills and resources to succeed in both the classroom and the workforce and doubling the mental-health supports in class and enhancing the health and physical education curriculum with an increased focus on mental-health awareness, concussions, healthy body image, cybersecurity, and bullying.

Our reforms to class sizes will amount to a provincial average of 22.5 kids in classrooms grades 9 to 12 this school year compared to 22 last year. It’s also important to remember our youngest students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 will see no increase in class size. Grades 4 to 8 will see up to one additional student in the classroom this year.

At the beginning of every school year, late registrations can cause some classes to be too full. This is something that happens every year. School boards and schools will be spending the next couple of weeks adjusting to these enrolment challenges.

It’s important for parents and students to know every high school in Ontario is equipped to support students in meeting their graduation requirements, meaning every student will be able to graduate with confidence that our skills-focused education system will lead them to a successful and meaningful career.

I look forward to continuing to provide parents and students the facts and to stand on their side as we work to ensure that students live up to their full potential, have the best education available and the brightest future.

Ernie Hardeman

Oxford MPP