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Tom Baker, CUPE job evaluation specialist, is a candidate for trustee of Halton District School Board Wards 2 and 4 on election day, October 25, 2010.

Tom Baker is uniquely qualified to represent the residents of Wards 2 and 4 as trustee of the Halton District School Board in Mississauga, Ontario.

A life long resident of Burlington, Baker is agraduate of Burlington Central High School. He continued his education at McMaster University, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Master of Arts degree.

A long career working with equity-seeking groups led to his current position as a job evaluation specialist with the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

As a researcher, he has published a number of articles, papers and commentaries on the educational system.

Baker has extensive experience in working with the community, having helped pioneer recycling in Burlington with the Citizens’ Committee for Pollution Control. He has also worked as an executive assistant at the Toronto Board of Education, treasurer of Foodshare, and participated on the executive of the Ontario Health Coalition.

One of the main issues I will address is protecting public education,” Baker said. “We must stop creeping commercialization in Halton schools. Our children’s health and academic success is not for sale.”

In 2008-2009, the People for Education organization [a parent-led organization that works to improve public education in Ontario’s schools] said your board depends on more than $20 million in funding from fees, vending machines and business largess. Obviously this is a serious funding problem,” Baker explained.

Baker believes that our community must reduce the amount of unhealthy food in our schools and end our children’s addiction to vending machine junk food. It has been proven time and again that without proper nutrition children can’t learn. They are easier to distract, and violence becomes a bigger threat.

Approximately, 10,000 Halton children face food insecurity, according to Statistics Canada. 

It’s time to promote healthy eating in our schools and expand Halton’s Food For Thought school nutrition programs so that all students have an equal chance to learn,” said Baker. “Kids who get proper nutrition do better at school. As school trustee I will champion better nutrition standards at the Halton District School Board.”

There are severe problems in out school system. Many students come to school hungry and many are frightened at school - they do not do well,” Baker said.

According to the Halton District School Board’s 2008/09 School Effectiveness Study many kids do not feel safe at school.

In addition, results of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test show that literacy skills are stagnating. Incredibly one-fifth of our grade ten students are not on track to graduate from high school.

Baker currently lives in Ward 4 with his wife of 31 years, Eva Guzewski. Their two children, who graduated from Lord Elgin and Nelson High Schools, continue to work and study in the area.

How you can help

Without a supporting team a successful election likely won’t happen. Any offer of help to a candidate you support is welcome, so volunteer to work on a candidate’s campaign. That can include door-to-door campaigning; phone bank assistance; talking to your work colleagues about supporting the candidate; reminding your colleagues, family and friends to cast their ballot on election day; or having a sign on your lawn or window. Finally, any financial contribution (from an individual union member) to a candidate’s campaign is appreciated.

Make sure you vote on October 25!

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