Literacy guide uses partisan example for verb 'to elect'

A literacy lesson plan from a group partly funded by the Government of Canada uses a partisan example to teach people how to conjugate the verb "to vote."

Reading lesson plan uses Conservatives as example in guide

Literacy program promoting Harper government

10 years ago
Duration 3:54
CBC has obtained exclusive documents that show a federally funded literacy program is promoting the Conservative government in its language and grammar lessons

A literacy lesson plan from a group partly funded by the Government of Canada uses a partisan example to teach people how to conjugate the verb "to vote."

The lesson plan, written by Saskatchewan charity Read Saskatoon, is meant to teach people with low literacy skills about different verb tenses.

One of the examples uses the federal Conservatives in a question where students are meant to conjugate "to vote" and "to elect," the CBC's Hannah Thibedeau reported.

"The majority of voters [blank] conservative and as a result they [blank] a Harper government," the example says.

The Conservative Party won the last federal election on May 2, 2011, with 39.6 per cent of the vote, the most votes of any party.

The majority of voters cast ballots for other parties. The NDP received 30.6 per cent of the vote, the Liberals 18.9 per cent, the Bloc Québécois 6.1 per cent and the Green Party 3.9 per cent. 

Read Saskatoon is a volunteer-run organization that provides free literacy lessons. About 21 per cent of its funding comes from the federal government, with 33 per cent coming from the Saskatchewan government.

Worrying about grammar, not politics

Luke Muller, chair of Read Saskatoon, says the organization will review the document but won't arbitrarily pull it off the group's website.

"This has been identified to us as being a potential issue for some," he said in an interview with CBC News.

The lesson plan was created to help Read Saskatoon's tutors teach literacy skills, he added.

"We were worrying less about political sensitivities and more about grammatical concepts."

The lesson plan is included in the National Adult Literacy Database as a learning tool. A spokesman for the NALD said the organization will pull the guide from its website until it has been reviewed.

With files from Hannah Thibedeau