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.
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?"
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.
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. No government should hide the truth of its past misconduct. No government should balance the budget at the expense of teachers and kids.
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.
When we have eight or more students in a class who have various levels of learning difficulties or special needs and there is only one education assistant to help, we are being asked in effect to either perform a miracle, or to play God and decide who gets the help and who does not. We cannot do this. We cannot perform those miracles.