85th CMEC Meeting: Ministers of Education Move Ahead on National Issues


Toronto, March 4, 2004 -- At the recent meeting of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), ministers of education agreed to work together to enhance cooperation between provinces and territories in education.

Quebec Education Minister and current CMEC Chair Pierre Reid stated: “We intend to put education at the top of the national agenda, to create better conditions for student success, and to improve our education systems.”

Ministers intend to take on a pro-active, inclusive leadership role through a work plan of common priorities to be announced over the coming months.

Ministers also noted that the new Council of the Federation offers an additional opportunity to strengthen ties between provinces and territories, as evidenced by the Premiers' stated interest in education issues at their last meeting in Victoria.

Ministers also stated that the federal government's recently announced investment of $100 million in the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) would be more usefully allocated to priorities defined by provinces and territories. “We have asked our Executive Committee to request a meeting soon with the appropriate federal ministers to discuss the CCL and to examine other education and training issues that ministers of education have defined as priorities, such as aboriginal education and literacy,” said Minister Reid.

A major portion of the ministers' meeting was taken up by a special session on the inclusion of students with special needs. Ministers explored avenues for collaboration and agreed to share best practices in this area.

Decisions were also made on the implementation of national indicators programs such as the Pan-Canadian Assessment Program (PCAP).

Minister Reid described the meeting as “extremely positive. I believe that everyone will benefit from our efforts to cooperate in enhancing student success.”

CMEC is an intergovernmental body composed of the ministers responsible for elementary-secondary and advanced education from the provinces and territories. Through CMEC, ministers share information and undertake projects in areas of mutual interest and concern.

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Boyd Pelley
Tel.: (416) 962-8100, ext. 241
E-mail: b.pelley
Web site: www.cmec.ca