the teachers’ work action dogging the BC Liberal government, does
anybody remember Christy Clark’s vitriolic remarks about the teacher’s
union when she was Minister of Education (2001-2005); how her thinly
veiled, and not so thinly veiled, remarks about how the out of control
greediness of school teachers was harming our children and how parents
were demanding immediate reforms to the school system?
under Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark our school system certainly got
reformed. Or deformed. But was it true even back then; were
parents demanding school closures; were parents yearning for more students
Was it true that parents felt librarians’ were
unnecessary? And that parents thought it didn’t matter how many
children with learning disabilities were in classrooms without adequate
Was it true that parents were against school
lunch programs in certain schools, and full funding for kids’ school
supplies? Was it true that parents thought music and art programs for
their children were absolutely frivolous even when studies of how these
activities help children learn proved otherwise (Premier Clark has no
university degrees in anything, much less in education.)
we know now, as then, that parents were really longing for smaller
class sizes, more teacher assistants to help increasing numbers of
children with learning disabilities, school librarians, music and arts
programs, and school funded school lunches where they are needed, good
physical education programs, and adequate school supplies among other
things. And contrary to Premier Clark’s spin, most parents want to
feel that their taxes pay their teachers on par with other Canadian
But Christy Clark’s government is pleading poverty.
if the province was and is so poor that it couldn’t, and can’t, provide
adequate schooling for its children, where did all those billions, $4.33
billion of them, (Vancouver Sun) for the Olympics come from? And how
is it that Christy Clark’s government can happily cough up $365 million
for BC Place Stadium for adult games and entertainments while children’s
education is cut to the bone and their teachers treated with contempt
by the same government?
And while two million dollars doesn’t sound like much in the face of
other spending priorities of the Gordon Campbell-Christy Clark
government, this sum bought guilty pleas from Basi and Virk in the BC
Rail scandal. Our (of course it was ours) two million went to these two
confessed crooks just as blithely as the other millions and billions
under BC Liberal priorities flew and fly to contractors and money
changers, which drain funds from education and health care.
the BC Rail trial, defense lawyer Michael Bolton said Christy Clark had
participated in the scandal by providing government information to
lobbyist Erik Bormann while she was acting as deputy minister of BC.
These accusations were not proven in court because Basi and Virk were
bought off before they could testify. But as these accusations are out
there, in the public domain, wouldn’t Premier Clark, if she is innocent
of any illegal wrong doing, want to clear up this shadow on her name?
that be a wonderful lesson in democracy for school kids if Premier
Clark said that she wanted to prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that
she was, and is, not guilty of criminal activity, and called for an
independent investigation into the BC Rail sale? Wouldn’t that be a
wonderful lesson, all over Canada, of how premiers should act when
accused of criminal activity? Instead of bad mouthing school teachers,
Premier Clark, how about acting as a teacher yourself, which is what
leaders are supposed to be?
And as you have no fall election to worry
about, you have lots of time to do this. Show this province what a real
leader and teacher looks like.