In light of the recent resignation of 17 year veteran Liberal MLA John van Dongen from the Liberal caucus and party citing a lack of integrity in leadership in the Liberal government, many of us are wondering if BC’s governments and ministers have intentionally mislead us.
BC’s governments and ministers:
– “Gave” our Premier a 53% front-end-loaded (all in one year) salary increase in 2007 and “Net-Zero” for the rest of us after that.
– “Gave” Deputy Minister of Education, James Gorman, a 40% raise in salary between 2006 and 2011 ($164,085 to $228,942); and, Education Ministry Superintendent, Rick Davis, a $432,234 Expense Allowance (that’s a lot of lunches) between 2006-2011.
– “Took” 275 million plus dollars a year from public education budgets for 10 years in a row.
– “Found” over 600 million dollars for the BC Place stadium roof.
– Profess to place “Families First” but can’t “find” any money for children. BC continues to remain #1 in child poverty in Canada for the 8th year in a row.
– Created “losing” school districts this year by changing education funding formulas and now have Boards scrambling to deal with growing budget shortfalls which mean further cuts in educational programs and services.
– Increased funding for private schools in BC by 2.6 times more than for public schools over a five year period (2006-11). Take one guess which Premier’s kid attends private school?
– Reduced funding of public education by 42.56% over the last two decades as a percentage of total provincial budget expenditures.
– Proudly introduced the “harshest” budget in over 30 years even though BC’s economy is growing.
– Trying to stop “leakage” to the BC Conservative Party by inadequately funding Health, Education and Social Services in the name of “ultra-fiscal restraint” but just announced $700,000,000 of new spending on new infrastructure.
– Continue to advance a pro-business and economic growth agenda but short-change the education budget and fail to see that investing in the education of our future business leaders, now, makes sound economic sense.
– Appear to have no respect for contracts, teachers, public education, workers’ rights, and court findings, the “Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms” or “The Rule of Law”.
– Profess to support business and economic growth but fail to comprehend that failure to respect Contract Law and “The Rule of Law” could cause economic chaos and is a hallmark of tyrannical and un-democratic societies.
– Continue to advance a “Neo-liberal” agenda of contract-stripping and union-busting by passing Bill 22 despite having the Supreme Court of Canada characterize similar attempts in Bills 27 and 28 in 2002 as “draconian”. Now they want to fine teachers up to $20,000,000 per day for standing up against Bill 22.
Is it possible that we have been intentionally misled by BC’s governments and its ministers? You be the judge!
On behalf of our deeply concerned members and families,
Andrew M. Davidoff, President
Kootenay Columbia Teachers’ Union