Ontario’s Liberals Failed Our Children

The most shameful aspect of Ontario’s former Liberal government was its abject mismanagement of Ontario’s public education system, reflected in the steady, significant and shocking (though, perhaps, not surprising, in light of the content of their policies) decline in math education in this province.

This decline is evidenced, most recently, by the release of grade 6 math test scores showing that only 49% of grade six students are meeting provincial standards. We have an education system which fails to impart key skills to just over half its students. Shocking on it’s own, but all the more so since, as recently as a decade ago, that number was 63%. Similar declines show up in grade 3 math testing and in international PISA test scores. The Liberals took an education system that was not particularly good at teaching math in the first place (that only 63% of grade 6 students made the grade in 2008-09 was scandalous enough) and made it much, much, worse.

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Law Society of Upper Canada Sticks it to Christians… and the Law

I guess being the Law Society of Upper Canada (the “LSUC“) means you aren’t compelled to comply with silly little rules… like the law.  How else can one explain the appalling decision of the LSUC to refuse to accredit the proposed new law school at Trinity Western University (“TWU“)?

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Law School Graduates Can’t Get Articling Jobs? So What?

A big issue among Ontario lawyers these days is the paucity of articling jobs for law students looking to become lawyers (generally, to become licensed as a lawyer you have to work for another lawyer as an “articling student”, basically a glorified apprenticeship, for 10 months).  Between a sharp drop-off in activity in the legal community, and increases in enrollment at Ontario law schools and in the number of Canadians law students who couldn’t get into a respectable Canadian school attending law school abroad (hello, Bond University, I’m looking at you), we’ve reached a crisis point with hundreds of students graduating from law school (often with 6-figure student loans) with no realistic possibility of ever becoming lawyers.

To the Law Society of Upper Canada (the “LSUC”), this is a problem to be addressed.  Since lawyers can’t be persuaded to hire more articling students then they need, the LSUC is proposing to create a new parallel licensing arrangement (the “PLA”), consisting of a  4-month long “Law Practice Program” and a 4-month co-op placement.

Personally, I don’t think the current excess supply of law students is a problem, over time it will decrease if gradates can’t find jobs.  And the PLA is a non-solution to this non-problem that, if it achieves anything, it will be to increase the amount of disciplinary complaints about new lawyers.

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Classic Bob – The 2011 Ontario Election

Someone asked me to start posting some of my original – Classic Bob – email rants which inspired this blog.  Here’s one first prepared on October 6, 2011, in preparation for the Ontario provincial election (some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent): 

Joe asked me to rant about today’s provincial election.  Why, I don’t know, but I’m a sucker for a rant.

This may come as a surprise to you, but my own inclinations are pretty hard-core conservative (No! Surely not).  So I’ve cast my vote for the Tories (not that it really matters, where I live, the Tories could run Satan and still win with a hefty margin).  I would generally encourage you to do the same.  But I can’t say that I’ve been particularly impressed with the Tory campaign.  Don’t get me wrong,  I like Tim Hudak and I even think he would be a pretty good premier, but this has been a Joe Clark/Stockwell Day of a campaign.

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