On September 29, the interns met with Victoria Hunt of the Ontario English Catholic Teacher’s Association (OECTA). As head of the Government Relations department at OECTA, Victoria is responsible for liaisons with Queen’s Park, local MPPs, Catholic and external stakeholders, as well as with OTF, other affiliates, and local OECTA Presidents and political action officers. OECTA’s Government Relations department also follows political developments and ensures the provincial executive, staff and units promptly receive relevant material and information. OECTA represents 36,000 teachers in the Ontario Catholic school system. Victoria provided the interns with an informative package on all things OECTA, including their monthly newsletter entitled “OECTA Speaks on…” Also included in the package is a How-To-Guide for education advocacy, an informative and thorough booklet outlining the step-by-step methodology to become and effective advocate.
Most recently, the organization has been working with the province to fund full-day Kindergarten for 4- and-5-year-olds. Additional issues that OECTA has written about include the controversial School Information Finder website, school safety, the implications of EQAO testing, and workplace violence. Victoria also informed the interns of OECTA’s sole billboard in Toronto, placed strategically at Bay and Gerrard. Messages concerning all citizens, not just Catholic teachers and students, are displayed plainly for all to see.
Victoria mentioned that she can often be found at Queen’s Park, and so far has proven that statement correct! We’ve already spotted her at the Oktoberfest reception last week with some OECTA colleagues and look forward to running into her again!