Actions and Commitments

Call to Action # 63: Education for Reconciliation (62-65)

Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Education Met in Ontario for the 112th CMEC Meeting

June 24, 2024

NationTalk: TORONTO – Provincial and territorial ministers of education and postsecondary education met for the 112th Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) meeting in King City, Ontario, on June 12, 2024, to discuss initiatives of common interest and challenges in education, including artificial intelligence (AI), Indigenous education, and skills that meet emerging labour-market dynamics.

The Ontario representative acknowledged that “We are meeting on the traditional territories of the Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, and the Anishinaabe peoples, and within the Treaty 13 Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.”

Ministers engaged with the representative from Skills Canada, who shared insights on trends in the skilled trades, highlighting the dynamic intersection of technology and education.

The ministers continued their ongoing discussion of AI and examined its potential in education. The dialogue focused on the actions taken in each province and territory to respond to the rapid rise of AI technologies and their implications for teaching and learning. Ministers discussed their respective challenges and opportunities for exchanging expertise in this area through CMEC, specifically to ensure that rapid advances in technology, such as AI, are harnessed to bring better learning outcomes for students.

A representative from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P) was invited to address the safety and protection of children and youth in digital spaces, specifically addressing emerging online risks and the importance of proactive, preventative measures.

Ministers of K–12 education emphasized the need for digital citizenship education to equip students with the skills needed to think critically and act responsibly with information and knowledge, be it online or in person. Ministers emphasized that digital citizenship education is aimed at promoting democratic values and civic engagement in an increasingly connected world.

Efforts to improve student achievement through enhanced literacy and numeracy skills were discussed, driven by the latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results and focusing on identifying effective practices to enhance foundational skills across provinces and territories.

As part of the CMEC Indigenous Education Plan, 2023–27, ministers shared information about initiatives being undertaken in their respective province or territory to advance the work of Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.

Postsecondary education ministers discussed the financial sustainability of the postsecondary education sector, as institutions grapple with increasing financial pressures in a shifting economy. Ministers shared information on strategic investments, funding, and accountability frameworks.

Postsecondary education ministers also discussed the impacts of the recent changes Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) made to the International Student Program without considering the concerns of provinces and territories. Ministers agreed that more collaboration is required to take into account provincial and territorial jurisdiction and responsibilities. Additionally, they call on the federal government to reconsider its approach to the Recognized Institutions Framework and commit to meaningful consultation with provinces and territories before implementing additional immigration policies that will directly impact education. Ministers discussed the reduction to the international student cap, and they expressed the hope that it would not further be reduced in 2025. Further, ministers underline the importance of provinces and territories taking the lead on discussions regarding their respective and unique labour-market needs. Ministers agreed that it will be essential for the federal government to provide regular, timely data on international student processing to allow for evidence-based decision-making.

About CMEC

Founded in 1967, CMEC is the collective voice of Canada’s ministers of education. It provides leadership in education at the pan-Canadian and international levels and contributes to the exercise of the exclusive jurisdiction of provinces and territories over education. For more information, visit us at www.cmec.ca.

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Information

Val Baravi
Manager, Communications
CMEC
Cell: 249-288-9240
Tel.: 416-962-8100, ext. 298
Email: v.baravi@cmec.ca
X: @CCMEC
www.cmec.ca