These past three months have been an exercise in spinning plates, deciding what bills must be paid now and which can sit for a month; making those excruciatingly embarrassing phone calls to utility companies to ask for extensions, explaining our circumstances and hoping for an understanding and lenient person on the other end of the phone. I can't help but shake my head, because shouldn't teachers with their professional training be able to make ends meet better than this?
There are many other policy implications that come with the spread of slower, safer city bikes -- here in B.C., a big one is around mandatory helmet laws. Many such laws were passed at a time when fast, forward-leaning cycling was the norm, and safe bike infrastructure was virtually non-existent. When drifting along at a walking pace, in an upright position, on a dedicated cycle track, the notion of legally requiring head protection certainly changes.
Certainly women are driven to ask about genetic testing given a strong fear of breast cancer and a strong belief that early testing saves lives, but USPSTF feared many of the new customers lining up for the test would be classified as the "worried well" who would be unlikely to carry the rare genetic mutation and hence would receive no benefit from being screened.
Despite what I know was a Herculean effort on the part of our bargaining team, I very much hope that B.C. teachers will vote no to the tentative agreement. After five weeks of strike, and 12 years of legal battles, this is not the deal that will restore sanity to public education and it is not a fair deal for teachers and students.
Now, do I feel as though both sides compromised equally on this contract? No. I do feel like the teachers gave up more. But as much as I'd like a salary increase that actually kept up with the rate of inflation, and the budget to fund some firm way of handling class size and composition, this whole strike wasn't about economics.
Local elections for mayor and council are around the corner in British Columbia. The more I learn and read about elections and government, the more I feel the political process needs to radically change.
Then there is the issue of school supplies. I have watched the list steadily lengthen over the years. This year alone, I have spent $300 just so my children can have adequate supplies for school. Not to mention that their supply lists include ridiculous items like Kleenex, photocopy paper and Ziploc bags. If our schools don't even have the funding to supply children with something to wipe their noses with, then like one parent said to me, "What's next, toilet paper?"
Millions of years ago, a triceratops and a Tyrannosaurus rex fought it out as the Cretaceous period came to a end. Neither realized their struggle was futile since they were both about to become extinct. The B.C. teachers' strike is another epic struggle of dinosaurs as the Ministry of Education and teachers' union are locked in bitter dispute over issues that have little significance since the market for education has fundamentally changed.
Should our children's health should be protected from environmental harm? Although most people would answer yes, in Canada this concept is not guaranteed as a basic human right. A small group of thoughtful, committed citizens is working to change this in New Brunswick, and perhaps in all of Canada.
If you can't afford the monthly mortgage payment (and property taxes, and repairs and maintenance) your mortgage is too big. The "equity" answer is that if you have less than 10 per cent equity in your house, you are at higher risk of financial problems.
This morning I sent an email to our HuffPost team, sharing the news of a major milestone for our company -- one that really struck a chord with me. And you, the members of the HuffPost community, are the heart and soul of this milestone. Whether you have blogged on HuffPost, commented on, shared or talked about a story or just made us a regular part of your media diet, you have been a key part of the conversation we set out to start a little over nine years ago. Indeed, without you, there would be no HuffPost. So thank you for being part of this remarkable journey -- a journey that is still very much in progress. Here is the email I sent to our team.
Everybody watching the B.C. public teachers' strike has heard of E80, and nobody understands it. Even the negotiating teams can't agree on what it means -- a pretty good sign that it should be deep-sixed pronto. The bottom line is that the parties' positions on E80 is fatally poisoned by distrust. Many fault the union, but it's the government who wrote the script.
I sacrificed myself, along with my army buddies, to help children in other countries to attend school, but what can I do in my own country to get children back in school in B.C. Madam Premier, this is our province. Not just mine and definitely not just yours. This province is not just yours to destroy the rights and freedoms of the people.
According to Environment Canada, there are more than 525 plant and animal species -- including the woodland caribou, greater sage-grouse, and piping plover -- at risk of disappearing from the country.
The current teachers' federation vs. government struggle is more than a labour dispute. For those who look closely, what's revealed is a style of government that appears to disregard facts, deceive the public, tarnish the reputation of teachers, all in a move to pit the people against teachers and their legal right to due process under the law. Government's disdain for trained professionals in order to gain a political advantage is deplorable.