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Commercialism in Canadian Schools: Who’s Calling the Shots?

Pat McAdie

The Media Coverage

Commercialism in CanadiaSchools: Whos Calling the Shots? was a joint research project of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and the Fédération des syndicats de l’enseignement. It generated an enormous amount of media coverage. Here are some examples of what newspapers across the country said.

Reading, writing, advertising

Another school bake sale: You stifle a groan. … Another chocolate bar drive: They’re the worst. …

No  parent  of   school-age  children expects to be free of chocolate almonds anytime soon. But many would like to see their tax dollars used to support a healthy public education system….

Carol Goar, Toronto Star, May 24


School funding cant be left to the whim of the marketplace

Our governments have the responsibility to ensure universality not only for health care and pension benefits, but for education as well. Every child in this country deserves equal opportunities in school – and that is far too important to be left up to Coke, Pepsi or some corporate sponsor….

Editorial, Vancouver Province, May 19


Commercial Schools

When schools raise an average of $15,000 through user fees, advertising revenue and other activities to pay for the basics, you wonder whether “public education” has become a misnomer. …

Editorial, Edmonton Sun, May 16


Commercialis in the schools could be a reality

Coming soon to a classroom near you: “This history lesson is brought to you by History Television,” or “This home economics class is  sponsored by McDonalds or  Pepsi.” …[I]t  could happen if government  doesn’t  get  a  handle  on the amount of commercial  advertising and  fundraising that’s  allowed  in  our schools. …


Editorial, Daily News, Truro, Nova Scotia, May 18


Put school fundraiser in their place

No child should have to feel  the  pressure of selling these items. They go to school to learn and  when they’re away from school they should be engaged in homework,  hobbies, part-time jobs or good old-fashioned play.

Editorial, Sault Star, May 17.


Students dont need this

Children go to school to learn and to socialize. They should not be burdened with having to compensate for the shortcomings of the adults who don’t provide them with the tools required. …

Editorial, Daily Observer,

Pembroke, May 17


Tax dollars not enough

[S]urveys  like  this  most  recent  poll, prove  vigilance  remains  necessary  to ensure public education remains accessible to all.

Editorial, St. Thomas Times-Journal,

May 18


Books are not frills

One purpose of a public-education system  is  to  circumvent  social  inequalities. Any child, in any household, in any neighbourhood,  has  a  right  to  learn. Fundraising can be less successful in poor communities. If schools rely on fundraising to pay for essentials, schools in poor areas will have fewer books.

Taxpayers have a duty to ensure that every child gets an education.

Editorial, Ottawa Citizen, May 17


Pupils shouldnt be selling to buy textbooks

What  we  advise  instead  is,  next  time your children are sent home with something to sell, send them all over to the MLA’s house to collect the money. Then we’ll maybe see some real action to keep our schools competitive – and we don’t mean in the marketplace.

Editorial, Journal-Pioneer

Summerside, PEI, May 17