EDITORIAL: Expressing frustration

Parksville Qualicum Beach residents are showing their anger toward, and directing pointed questions to, both sides in labour dispute

The frustration level is being ramped up in B.C. as this teachers’ strike drags on, and for good reason.

We have mostly avoided comment on the situation in this space because, well, we couldn’t think of anything constructive to add without an undue level of anger.

We may not have anything constructive to add now, but we would like to get into print some of the things we are hearing from people in the community about the dispute that is keeping children out of school in Parksville Qualicum Beach.

To the government:

Taxpayers would like some money back. Every year, homeowners and businesses pay school taxes, collected by the municipality. It’s difficult enough for some who haven’t had children in a school system for a very long time to pay this tax, but now everyone has to pay it regardless of the fact the service is not being provided. Frankly, that seems fraudulent.

Oh, and the $40/day plan might have seemed like a good PR idea, but we’d suggest it has backfired miserably. Is the government saying it’s OK to leave 12 year-olds at home all week without supervision? Some 12 yearolds are mature enough, sure, but really?

To the teachers:

The class composition concerns are about the kids. So too are the class-size arguments. A $5,000 signing bonus and raises better than what the rest of the taxpayer-paid workers in this province have received are not, so stop trying to insult us.

Oh, and where, exactly, do you suppose the government is going to come up with the extra $100-$300 million/year you are demanding? Do you have a suggestion? Health care? Raise taxes across the board? The B.C. Liberals have been elected, time and time again, being very clear about their stance on lower or decreased taxes. It is proud of its low-tax regime (relative to other provinces) and didn’t hide it during any election.

We ask both sides to go in front of the cameras and talk about how they are trying to make things better for youngsters on the Ballenas football team that’s supposed to be in full schedule mode right now? Better yet, perhaps  Peter Fassbenber and Jim Iker should put some pads on and join a practice with the Whalers. Don’t worry Iker, the teacher-coach of Ballenas won’t be there to watch or help the kids, you’ve make sure of that.

— Editorial by John Harding

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