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“Very Positive”: CCSTA Connects with newly elected MPs on Parliament Hill

With many newly elected Members of Parliament serving federal ridings across the country, CCSTA took the opportunity to connect with and showcase Catholic education’s impact in Canada.Lobby Day Kurek

On Feb. 4, 2020, CCSTA Board of Directors and staff hosted individual meetings on Parliament Hill with MPs from across the country, many of whom are new to the position.

The day-long Lobby Day was an opportunity to connect with politicians at the federal level.

“The Lobby Day is a key area of focus for us, even though education is under provincial jurisdiction,” explains CCSTA Executive Director Julian Hanlon. “We feel it’s very important for federal politicians to be aware of the impact Catholic Education has across Canada, including the number of students attending Catholic Schools.”

CCSTA President Paula Scott adds that these networking opportunities are an important part of CCSTA’s mission.

“The Lobby Day was very positive,” says CCSTA President Paula Scott. “It is important to ensure that we have federal support and understanding of the constitutional rights for Catholic Education. Making the connections and building relationships is a significant part of our role as trustees.”

The Directors met with:

• Rosemarie Falk, CPC MP for Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK
• Warren Steinley, CPC MP for Regina—Lewvan, SK
• Marie-France Lalonde, LPC MP for Orléans, ON
• Warren Steinley, CPC MP for Regina—Lewvan, SK
• Han Dong, LPC MP for Don Valley North, ON
• Tony Baldinelli, CPC MP for Niagara Falls, ON
• Tamara Jansen, CPC MP for Cloverdale--Langley City, BC and Nelly Shin, CPC MP for Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC
• Philip Lawrence, CPC MP for Northumberland--Peterborough South, ON
• Ryan Turnbull, LPC MP Whitby, ON
• Corey Tochor, CPC MP for Saskatoon—University, SK

While many of the pas CCSTA Lobby Days have included an evening gala, this year’s event included a Mass on Parliament Hill. Hosted by MP Garnett Genuis, MP of the Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan (Alberta) riding, the Mass was took place in the Sean O’Sullivan chapel in the East Block of The Hill. CCSTA’s Chaplain, Fr. Penna, was the celebrant.

Following the Mass, Lloyd Longfield, MP for Guelph (Ontario), joined the CCSTA Directors for lunch, and he and Mr. Genuis held a Q&A with the board.

Hanlon outlined that the CCSTA Board also let the MPs know what CCSTA does, and asked for their support, if ever required.

“If there is a challenge to publicly funding for Catholic Education, it could ultimately end up becoming a federal issue,” says Hanlon. “It’s important to share that message with our federal representatives.”

The Lobby Day has resulted in the CCSTA compiling a list of supporters at the federal level. And that advocacy will continue on a more targeted, provincial level, too.

“We have also asked all trustees to meet with their local MP and offer to provide any support required,” says Hanlon, adding that the provincial associations host provincial lobby days with their MPs or MLAs, with a similar goal to seek support for Catholic Education.

Hanlon says the Lobby Day feedback was extremely positive and the list of MPs who support public funding for Catholic Education continues to grow.

“These Lobby Days have been very successful and, as mentioned, we have an impressive list of supporters,” he explains. “Last year, we sent all those on the list a letter thanking them for their support and reminding them that CCSTA is the national voice for Catholic Education. We want to nurture these relationships and demonstrate our gratitude for their continued support.”


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