Remembering Charles Pascal
B2C2 sends condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Charles Pascal who passed away last week. Charles was both an influencer and an instigator. Simply said he made things happen! You only need to review the many moving obituaries about him to realize how important he was in so many arenas.
From the point of view of early learning and child care, Charles was instrumental in so many projects. Some of the examples include setting up the Premier’s Council on Health which acknowledged that child care was a fundamental component of health and well-being. As a Deputy Minister of Education under the NDP Government, Charles worked tirelessly to get Cabinet to approve a full day of free early childhood education for children 3 to school age, following on from the recommendations of Ontario’s Royal Commission on Learning led by Dr. Monique Begin and Dr. Gerald Caplan.
In late 2007, Premier Dalton McGuinty appointed Charles as his Special Advisor on Early Learning. In June 2009, Charles released his seminal report, With Our Best Future in Mind: Implementing Early Learning in Ontario inspired the Ontario Government to move ahead with the rapid introduction of free full-day kindergarten for all four and five-year-olds in Ontario with early childhood educators as part of the teaching teams (the first such program in the country). Many parents are still eternally grateful for this achievement.
Charles also played an important role in the creation of b2c2. B2c2 was first conceived in the early 2000’s after Paul Martin had introduced the National Child Care Program. In his role as Executive Director of the Atkinson Foundation, Charles provided the initial funding to get b2c2 off the ground. Alas, the National Child Care Program was not to be, but we are grateful to Charles for taking this initiative, which sowed the seeds that enabled us to pursue this project under the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. Rest in power, Charles, you will always be much missed and well-remembered!