May 12, 2009
TORONTO - Jim Leech, President and CEO, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (Teachers') was honoured last week as a Champion of Public Education by The Learning Partnership, at their 11th annual Toronto tribute dinner.
Mr. Leech emphasized the importance of Canadian business leaders playing a bigger role in education during his remarks. "As this evening's business recipient, I am issuing a challenge to business people across the country to rise to the occasion. Get involved with the Learning Partnership and share the value of their work and importance of their insight into public education with your colleagues."
"I'm honoured and humbled to receive this award," said Mr. Leech. "The underlying principles of The Learning Partnership so readily resonate with me. As an employer and as a major investor in Canada, Teachers' is counting on Canada having the brightest and most talented citizens, across a broad spectrum of disciplines." He continued, "If you believe that, as I do, then it is clearly worth mobilizing all of our resources - business, education, labour and government - to make sure it happens."
Recipients of the award are honoured for their dedication to public education. Mr. Leech has been actively involved in education initiatives throughout his career. He serves on the board of Right to Play Canada, a humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to improve the lives of children in disadvantaged areas of the world. He also volunteers for Youth Without Shelter, and is involved with the Queen's Business School as an advisor and a mentor to MBA students. Dr. Peter George, President and Vice-Chancellor of McMaster University and Susan LaRosa, Director of Education, York Catholic District School Board were also honoured at the event.
The Learning Partnership (TLP) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing together education, government, labour, policy makers, employers and the community to develop partnerships that strengthen public education in Canada. TLP has reached over four million students and education leaders nationally since its inception in 1993. Its programs include Take Our Kids to Work™, Welcome to Kindergarten™, and the National Technology and Innovation Awards, Canada's Outstanding Principals™.
The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan is the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada, with $87.4 billion in assets as of December 31, 2008. An independent organization, it invests the pension fund's assets and administers the pensions of 284,000 active and retired teachers in Ontario. It manages one of the largest payrolls in the country, with $4.2 billion in annual pension payments.
Director, Communications and Media Relations
Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan