Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bill 22

Here I am with my son Kye - who is in
public school - and our dog, Jake.
Dear Saanich South,

Many of you have contacted me about the ongoing dispute between public school teachers and the government.

Ultimately the government holds all the power in these negotiations and it has shown repeatedly that it is willing to exercise that power to gets its way, rather than do the hard work to bargain out an agreement.

The government’s previous heavy-handed approach landed them in the Supreme Court – where their actions were ruled to be illegal.

Surely we can do better than this in BC. A creative and independent negotiator should be brought in to bring out the good-will on both sides of the conflict and find a way through this. Our children deserve no less.

Unfortunately the government’s response to the current impasse, Bill 22, will only make the problem worse. Worse for students, parents and teachers. It increases class size, weakens protections for special needs students and hurts the quality of the education our children receive.

I will be joining my Opposition colleagues to vote against Bill 22. We will be raising our concerns and holding the government to account for this debacle.

I’m distressed to see that it has come to this. The teachers will strike three days next week and then may be forced back to work with a crude piece of legislation that will only worsen the conditions and atmosphere in our schools. It’s just not good enough.

The government is playing politics: they are increasing the fears and anxieties of parents and students to distract from their mismanagement of education.

I will do my very best to work towards a government where teachers are treated fairly so we can get back to improving the quality of education in this province.

Sincerely, Lana

Lana Popham
MLA Saanich South