An Integral Part



are as integral a part of Canadian Classroom/Salle de Classe Ferroviare as students, teachers and the transport network that is our infrastructure.

Our country was explored and developed by the trade impetus. Coastal peoples exchanged what came from the seas with neighbouring first nations inland; confederacies of tribes traded furs with agents of the Hudson’s Bay and Northwest Companies. From these exchanges, occasional and repeated, came the charting and development of the waterways and trails, and railways that followed and superseded them.

As settlers and cities followed the trade routes, new sources of revenue were needed to a built and maintain a transportation network that could handle large volumes of travelers and merchandise and deliver them on time. Keeping a passage open (Rogers Pass) year round took convoys of freight traveling between Europe and Asia over the Canadian Pacific Railway—and the labour and lives of immigrant section gangs who shoveled out the mountain passes between snowslides in the Selkirks.

Canada itself developed east-west as a part of a global trade route—a rail portage between oceans that brought seagoing explorers here in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. As the population grew, taxation began to fund some of the infrastructure earlier trading companies provided their workers in rudimentary form. A social network followed the transport one.

Canadian Classroom … is taking this full circle in operating independently of government funding. We may draw on programs such as translation services or hospitality grants available to other groups/undertakings but we will not allow ourselves to become dependent on decisions make in parliament each year at budget time or at the ballot box. To retain our integrity, our support must be broadly based in the private sector.

We’re looking at the same breadth of representation—by region, activity and outlook—in our sponsors as in our students and staff. We’re seeing a mix of individuals, small businesses, corporate and other organizations as stakeholders in an enterprise where we share a stake: the cohesion, culture, future leadership and well being of our country. We believe there are promising partnerships to be built here.