MLA 100 per cent behind province’s teachers

Norm Macdonald, the MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke supports teachers 100 per cent.

As a former teacher and principal, the first week of September has always involved going back to school. As your MLA, I have often chosen my first September MLA report to talk about the value of public education because I believe strongly that an accessible, fully-funded public education system is one of the most important things a government must provide for its citizens. It is the most valuable gift we can give to all of our children.

But this September, we are not celebrating a return to the classroom, and I believe that Premier Christy Clark is 100 per cent to blame.

I want to declare my unequivocal support of our teachers. There is a right side to this dispute, and a wrong side. Teachers and parents are on the right side. The BC Liberals clearly do not believe in public education, and they are doing everything they can to harm our system.

Public education offers opportunities to all and creates social cohesion. Private schools are by their very nature exclusive, and that exclusivity is not based on talent or ability. It is exclusion based on family wealth, religion and/or gender.

Premier Clark’s support for private schools over public schools is demonstrated very clearly by the fact that she uses taxpayers’ money to pay BC Liberal MLA Marc Dalton $15,000 a year to promote private schools. The BC Liberals also use taxpayers’ money to fund private schools to the tune of $250 million a year.

Premier Clark’s assault on the public education system began in 2002 when she was the Minister of Education under Gordon Campbell. Under her watch, the BC Liberals tore up the teachers’ contract. Clark got rid of the provisions that protected your children’s learning conditions, class size and composition.

BC’s Supreme Court has twice declared that the BC Liberals’ removal of class size and composition from the teachers’ contract was unconstitutional. The courts said that what Clark and the BC Liberals did to teachers was illegal.

Now Premier Clark wants teachers to agree at the bargaining table on an escape clause that will allow the government to ignore the ruling of the courts. This demand is what is keeping your children out of school.

In order to return to the classroom, teachers will have to sanction the government’s illegal action against them. They will have to sign away their rights that have been confirmed twice by the Supreme Court. And your children would lose any possibility of having the government reinvest in properly supported learning conditions in their classroom.

Teachers are fighting for the survival of properly funded public education. For me, there is no grey area. I am 100% in support of BC’s teachers. I support quality public education for all of BC’s children.

 

Just Posted

Revelstoke’s parks department proposes maintenance and inspection policy

The policy formally lays out inspection and response timelines

Three wayfinding signage options presented to Revelstoke Committee of the Whole

The decision will be referred to a future council meeting

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for July 17

Items from Revelstoke newspapers, as gleaned and edited by Cathy English, curator… Continue reading

Revelstoke Community Calendar for July 17

Macpherson Orienteering July 20, 9 a.m. Join us for the third orienteering… Continue reading

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

Arrest made in vandalism of the former home of man charged with South Okanagan murders

RCMP confirmed one person has been arrested in relation to the alleged vandalism

Respected wildlife artist in the Okanagan dies

According to a post by his family, Terry Isaac died on July 16

Two Okanagan robbers have been court charged

Paul Davis Houle and Tyler Brice Rathbone face break and enter charges

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Most Read