Wicked Ideas

We owe every child an equal chance to succeed

James K. Irving received The Learning Partnership’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Saint John N.B. on Sept. 13, 2013. He got there with his PALS, the Partners Assisting Local Schools initiative he started in 2000 with Bev MacDonald, Director of Education with School District 8 in Saint John, New Brunswick. The project helps young inner-city students realize their full potential by combining a focus on academic achievement with a positive school environment. Check out more here. True to form, J.K. Irving isn’t resting on his laurels.


The Learning Partnership is a national charitable organization that champions a strong public education system in Canada, through programs that encourage entrepreneurship, technology development, early childhood education and the popular Take Your Kid to Work Day. Find out more and how you can get involved here.

Lisa Hrabluk

Writer. Social Thinker. Founder, Wicked Ideas. Find me hanging out where culture, people and ideas collide. wickedideas.ca


  • So true Jon. We, as journalists have to get out of our post-Internet slump and get back to telling original stories, not just reiterating the facts. The story doesn’t lie in the ‘what’ anymore; it lies in asking ‘why’ and then asking ‘how do we fix that’. Now, that is hard to do when you’re filing multiple stories a day, but the staffing of newsrooms is best left for another day.

    We can’t change those numbers if we don’t know why people are leaving and, I think more importantly, why there are staying away. On the flip side, we also need to understand what it is about the Maritimes that, despite its natural beauty and relaxed way of life, too few people from away don’t settle here. I am the exception, not the rule.

    I look forward to hearing about your focus group.

  • Hey Jon – here’s another statistical story that doesn’t delve into the reasons this is happening. Nonetheless, it does starkly illustrate the uneven nature of growth right now. It’s kind of the Canadian way isn’t? In the 1800s, the Maritimes did okay thanks to British protectionist tariffs and trade into Boston and West Indies, the 1900s belonged to Ontario and Quebec and their manufacturing might and now the West and energy are driving the economy. So while we struggle with diversifying the Maritimes’ economy, in actual fact, I’m unconvinced Canada, at a macro level, has done such as stellar job either – which is part of the problem down here. Our national policies are strangely region-specific. Thoughts>

September 2018
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