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Is Flaherty Smarter than a 5th Grader?
Posted By Senator Elaine McCoy Mar 15 2010 02:02PM

If you have not yet tuned in to Portable Radio, I suggest you do!  It may very well be some of the most sobering commentary available on current issues of the day.  And no, you will not find any big names here.  What you will find instead is promise of a great future for Canada filled with thinkers and leaders.  Curious?  You should be, given that the sage advice comes from none other than fifth and sixth graders in the Ottawa area.

Last week they reported on a budget line item that would see us converting Canadian currency from paper to plastic in 2011.  Let me tell you, I can only hope the finance department laid out the pros and cons as well as these folks, because I was impressed.  Interestingly, searching through their archives I found that in 2008 they shared their views of “what makes a good Prime Minister”.   I couldn't help smiling as I heard them share their desires for a person who was truthful, caring and honest….


Be sure to add it to your news repertoire!

Posted On Mar 22 02:31PM   

Thank you for your kind words about I will share this with my grade 5 students. Nathan Toft  (my grade 5 colleague) and I are always telling our students that they have a voice and that what they say matters. Your post will reinforce that idea for them. The students have become very adept at looking at issues and supporting their opinions. Keep listening.

I am a grade 5 teacher. My colleague Nathan Toft and I both run classroom blogs ( and and we maintain a student podcast called

Posted On Mar 15 02:12PM   

From my 3-year old who was playing with my purse the other day.  When I tried to tell him the difference between dollar bills, he said: 'I know already.  The blue one is for timbits and the purple one is for hamburgers.'


Moral of the story: kids know the value of things.  Sometimes more clearly than we do.



Into all things politics, policy and parliamentary.

Posted On Mar 15 02:09PM   

I remember in our Grade 5 class we had a mock federal election based on ideology (not specific people or personalities)  after studying the major differences between each political party.  Then we voted.  About 90% voted NDP.  Interesting, our fabulously engaged teacher said.  And he wondered aloud if our generation would be the first to vote in an NDP Prime Minister when we became old enough to vote.  He'd said he'd wait and see. He's still waiting...

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