HALIFAX (GNB) – Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Jody Carr and Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Martine Coulombe joined provincial and territorial ministers of education in Halifax this week for the 100th meeting of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada.

The ministers celebrated provincial and territorial co-operation in education and discussed current challenges and opportunities related to the delivery of high quality education in the 21st century.

Innovation and 21st-century learning were the themes of the meeting, with topics including:

●    Bullying: Safe, Inclusive Schools and a Culture of Respect and Care
●    Education in the 21st century: Challenges and Opportunities
●    International Education: Representing Canada and Hosting the World
●    Aboriginal Education: Moving forward
●    Early Childhood Learning and Development: Beginning the Journey of Lifelong Learning
“We are working collaboratively to deliver all levels of education in a way that best meets the different needs of diverse student populations in inclusive environments,” said Carr. “This meeting provided an opportunity to discuss, among other topics, the importance of innovation so we can adapt quickly and effectively to the needs of the diverse classroom of the 21st century.”

The ministers recognized the value of the meetings and agreed to use existing council networks to ensure that Canada's jurisdictions remain connected to global trends, innovative policies and best practices.

“Our government has been addressing each of the topics discussed at the meeting, and by participating in a national forum such as this we can see how closely aligned our priorities and action plans are with what is happening nationally,” said Carr. “For example, we are early adopters of a legislative approach to address bullying, and our investments in inclusion are significant and progressive. But it is not about comparing provinces; it is about learning from each other.”

The ministers believe that exclusive jurisdiction of the provinces and territories over education has favoured, and continues to favour, both high achievement and high equity of outcomes among Canadian students.

“New Brunswick enjoys the proud distinction of incorporating the first university in Canada,” said Coulombe. “We have always been a province that values innovation and higher education, and our job as a government is to continue to foster that spirit. Meeting with stakeholders and partners from other jurisdictions helps us find better ways to navigate through the challenges and embrace the opportunities.”

“My discussions with my counterparts have reinforced my belief that education and post-secondary systems must adapt to a rapidly changing environment,” said Coulombe, “That is why our government is committed to equipping students, at all levels and from all backgrounds, with the skills required to succeed in an increasingly demanding labour market. In doing so, we are building a stronger economy and a brighter future for our people.”

Founded in 1967, the council is the collective voice of Canada's ministers of education. It provides leadership in education at the national and international levels and contributes to the exercise of the exclusive jurisdiction of provinces and territories over education.


●    Council of Ministers of Education, Canada