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Government Experience 2 - December 2016


Our second experience is all about Responsible Government and finding out how Government makes a difference in our lives.


john tory 2.jpg


Students started with a pre test to identify what they know about government and from there we took a look at the different levels and power of government.




Students were then asked to choose an area from the list of government powers that interested them with the question being


Why do we need government for.... (Transportation, Citizenship and Immigration, National Security, Social Assistance, etc)


Our unit has started and we're hoping that students will be enthused about why government matters in their lives. As always, we want them to be passionate about the topic they take on because it will make the learning that much more relevant.


Stay tuned....


Nov 27


Here's a sample of what we're asking all students to have done before our trip to Queen's Park  on Dec 5.



Mr. Fernandes' Beyond the Classroom Government Issue


 Step 1 - Choose the government  issue I'm learning about (topic).    Why do we need the government for postal service?
Step 2 - Find an issue that the government needs to get involved with around your topic
Canada Post Service Changes
Step 3 - Find an online article to learn more about my topic
I googled Canada  post changes in service and a number of articles showed up.
I read this one to start
Step 4 - Find out 3-5 interesting points about my article
A few things I found out  were
1.       Home mail delivery is being phased out by 2019
2.       6000-8000 mail person jobs will be cut but 15 000 are retiring  so there won’t be any people losing their jobs. A possible problem though is that Canada post is saying  pensions are going to be reduced.
3.       Canada post is losing  money every year because people aren’t using the mail as much anymore
4.       Stamps will be going up
5.       Parcels will still get delivery to your door but that’s it.
Step 5 Analysis - What do you think about the facts that you just learned? What do you wonder about the facts you just learned?
I think it’s tough to get upset with Canada post for not delivering to  your door anymore when  far less people are using the  mail. It’s  good that no one will lose their job but for those who are retiring,  they might not have a pension. Should the government find ways to provide this for them? Interesting that Canada  post says they should not cost tax payers more money. Most tax payers would probably agree. I wonder how Canada post could increase its revenue? I also wonder if this means that schools will have to access their  mail from a super mail box as well.
Step 6  - Your blurb to the Government representative you  will be meeting (who you're writing to; who you are; what your topic and issue is; one comment or interesting point about your issue; one question you want to ask about the issue.)
MP Chan, my name is Roy Fernandes and I’m researching  why government is needed for postal service. One interesting thing I’ve found is that Canada post is going to be losing over one billion dollars a year by 2020. A question I have for you is whether  Canada post is something that is debated in the house of commons. Do you agree with the changes being made?
Step 7 - is there a person you would like to talk to about your issue (primary source)?
A person to talk to  - I’m going to see if our school mail man would be willing  to talk to us for 5 minutes.
Step 8 - Next steps
My next steps will be to research a bit more about the history of the post office and when things started to go south for them.


 Step 9


Students should also add their topic choice and one question to the padlet below.



Dec 5


We've had our first experience at Queen's Park (lots to share about that) and were able to talk with Soo Wong about our issues.


Wednesday is our day to meet with Jim Karygiannis and we're starting to work on our presentations.


Please READ the attachment below to get more info on what we've discussed and what you still need to do.


Government final presentation.pdfGovernment final presentation.pdf


Dec 9


I'd like to be able to explain the sideways pictures but I can't so please just tilt your head!



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Photo 2016-12-07, 9 30 49 AM.jpg


Every student has now been able to ask their question to either Jim Karygiannis (City Councillor and former MP) or Soo Wong (MPP). Students have begun to work on their final presentations and we're really focusing on perspective and analysis.


We spent some time learing about budget today since we've come to realize that money determines so much in Government.





Here are some key lessons we shared with the class on budget from the Municipal side


1.       City gets money from province and federal and property tax


2.       Operating budget covers day-to-day spending on services such as recreation programs, parks maintenance, public health, city roads, garbage collection, delivery of safe drinking water, transit, police and other emergency services. Property taxes, province and federal money cover operating budget
3.       The capital budget funds the City’s assets that support service delivery. It pays for the for the construction and repair of transit, roads, bridges, public buildings such as libraries, community centres and fire stations, water and sewer facilities, parks and other major infrastructure projects
4.       City has user fees for parking, water and waste – we pay for the total cost. It’s neat when you see that on graph


5.       Biggest costs in operating budget are  transit, social services, emergency services, parks


6.       City is not allowed to run a deficit. Budget MUST balance. We found this very interesting compared to the provincial and federal budget.




Provincial budget (we couldn't find a nice web link that was clear) but showed a few pie charts
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Funded from various taxes (income tax, sales tax,  and federal gov’t)


Health care – 38% of costs


Education – 19% of costs


Province has a current deficit of 5.7 billion
They are trying to balance the budget by 2017/2018


 Federal deficit of 34 billion
Our last beyond the classroom government visit will be on Dec 13 to Nathan Phillips Square. More info to follow after that visit is completed.
Dec 13
We had a good experience at Nathan  Phillips Square. In addition to having Mayor Tory come sit with us, we were also able to hear the debate about the proposed road toll tax. It passed 32-9 (we weren't able to actually stay for the vote.)
john tory.jpg


We were able to work in one of the boardrooms on our final presentations.

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Our City Councillor Jim Karygiannis recognized us formally in the chamber and he also met with us again to discuss our issues.





jim k edit.jpg

Next step is our final presentations which we are delivering on Monday, Dec 19.
Here are a few of the presentations for those so interested.