Letter to the Editor

A letter from Vancouver Island North Teachers' Association's Shawn Gough

There should be great cause for concern locally regarding the government’s latest attack on the public education sys- tem. This time, Christy Clark is taking aim not only at teach- ers and students, but at the public in general.

Bill 11 proposes that boards of education, those trustees we democratically elect to represent us and administer our public education system, can be summarily dismissed if they do not tow the gov- ernment line on ‘education reform’.

This ‘reform’ seems to always come with a hit to the finances of the Board of Education, case in point, the recent demand to find $54 million over two years from district administration (what Christy calls low hanging fruit). Our trustees have always been conscious of finances, and have been good stewards of the system over the years. The reality is there is very little more that can be done to reduce costs without damaging our students’ educa- tion. There has already been enough damage done. So, if the board refuses to under- take the government’s dictates, they can be fired, as they were in Cowichan, and be replaced with someone not democrati- cally elected by North Island residents. This is unaccept- able! This should strike fear into anyone who claims to support democratic process. Trustees are not employees of the provincial government to be hired and fired at will, but OUR DEMOCRATICALLY- ELECTED representatives. The only people who should be able to fire them are the citizens who elect them.

Please stand up for public Education and the rights of cit- izens to democratically elect those we want to be trustees. Write to Christy Clark and tell her that Bill 11 is wrong.

Shawn Gough Vancouver Island North Teachers’ Association