To the B.C. government: you were elected by the people to serve the needs of the people.
In this country, in this province, there are two government services that outrank and override all others in terms of public service and public expectation. These are universal health care and universal education. Canadians and British Columbians have chosen to have these services provided by the government and that choice must be respected.
Let’s focus on education. It is not a discretionary budget item. It is an essential service to the quality of life we all deserve. Education is expensive. A world-class education system is very expensive. So be it; because a degraded, underfunded and deprived education system is far more expensive in the long run. If our current tax base can’t afford a world class education system then raise the taxes! It’s a bargain in the long run. Cutting taxes and cutting education funding is short term thinking and a step into the third world.
To the B.C. Teachers Federation: striking is an outmoded, ineffective, blunt tool. It has not worked for you previously and it’s not working for you now. Good teachers are worth everything they are paid, even more. But a system with no individual accountability breeds mediocrity and does not serve education well. A better approach is needed to ensure that great teachers are recruited, supported and rewarded. Teaching is a higher calling and deserves to be respected as such. Striking against students is not part of a good education.
Canada used to be recognized worldwide for having an excellent education system. I fear that we are losing ground. For the sake of the kids and for the sake of our country let’s get back to excellence.