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Teachers join protest in Victoria

Teachers from District 69 travelled to the provincial capital to make their voices heard

On Tuesday about 5,000 teachers and union supporters protested in Victoria, where Bill 22 was being debated and several teachers in District 69 (Qualicum) participated in the rally.

Mount Arrowsmith Teachers Association (MATA) president Deb Morran said it was an energizing process for her and members of MATA who went together on a bus for the trip to Victoria.

“When we travelled down Island we were passing teachers ... with their signs in Ladysmith and Chemainus and you gain momentum when you see your colleagues.  As we got closer to Victoria we saw HEU members and other unions joining in.  It was energizing and uplifting to see thousands of others out there supporting us.”

She said the rally had some excellent speakers who came from all over Canada including the president of the Canadian Teachers Federation and said it demonstrated solidarity among many labour groups.  She said backing from the public was also huge.

“There was a real groundswell of support as we walked down Government Street with parents and kids waving and saying thank you. It was a positive experience.”

Morran said it has been important for their members to visually see the support and the teachers in District 69 are grateful for the level of support they have received in the community.

“We want to give a big thank you for all the honks, waves and delivery of food and hot chocolate to our members.”

Springwood Middle School grade six teacher Linette Woods is one of the teachers who rallied at the legislature.  She said the whole family went and it brought her a feeling of unity.