If you pay attention to all the ruckus about massages, you may miss the fact that teachers are being asked to give up their Charter rights in exchange for a promise of better learning conditions for students. No amount of massaging a political message can detract from that fact.
Today I'm writing to you about what you've said in response to the breakdown in talks to end the teachers' strike. You said that you want a negotiated deal that taxpayers can afford. This has left me with a lot of questions.
B.C. Education Minister Peter Fassbender has asked the teachers to stop striking now, please. I hate to disappoint you, Mr. Fassbender, but it doesn't matter how nicely you ask. What matters is that you fund public education. Properly.
As a therapist, I specialize in assisting families through separation and divorce, and this entire impasse has reminded me of the dynamics that exist between high conflict parents when they are separating. In the case of a high conflict divorce, the collateral damage is always the children.
My son is in Grade 12 and my daughter is in Grade 2. With the current obscure fate of negotiations, I am anxious not only about my son's future but also about that of all other Grade 12 students in B.C. whose achievements are greatly indebted to the amazing work of their teachers.
What if we looked at the whole concept of benefits in a different way. Who actually benefits when we support students whose brains work differently? We are going to need out-of-the-box kinds of thinking that students with special needs do naturally, all the time. We need special solutions to the special challenges we all face.
The industry needs productive, safe, and enabling parameters to work within, and British Columbians deserve to rest assured that our business leaders and elected representatives are engineering those limits properly -- with a foundation much stronger than that of the Mount Polley tailings pond.
Nearly half of Imperial Metal's donations were made after Christy Clark was sworn in as premier, while $45,720 of Mount Polley's donations came via six separate cheques issued in one week alone in March 2013. Guess bank charges weren't an issue for the company.
Income disparity also means that working and living in the same place is a luxury few of us can afford -- not just in third world countries, but in small Canadian rural communities as well. Ironically, our stronger economy is also leading to a weaker society. We can't be there for one another as much as we once were. We're too busy making money.
Frankly, I don't care if the president would drink a glass of that water. I care if he would let his family drink that water. Wash in it. Use it to water livestock, or his garden. His statements did nothing but give fodder for a new meme: Almost Drinkable.
I'm not a politician but you may want to re-think your strategy with the teachers. Something happened when you locked them out of their classrooms in June. There was lots more conversation -- mostly about you and what your real agenda is when it comes to public education. Teachers shared information and experiences and built up relationships that had not existed before.
That's politics. The public gets irate over the small amounts because they can relate to them. But the funny thing is that politicians who get the small things right generally don't screw up the bigger ones.
That's what makes Ford Nation so extraordinary -- the incredible dichotomy that exists when it comes to criticism of most politicians and criticism of Rob Ford. Ford effectively gets what amounts to a jaw-dropping free pass from his base (in Toronto or in B.C.) nine times out of 10.
The intertwining of lobbyists with a political party's fundraising apparatus is worrisome, because ultimately both sides risk developing a dependency on keeping the other happy and the money flowing. It rarely ends well.
Whatever the final government deal is with the B.C. Teachers Federation (BCTF), and whenever it's settled, the BCTF must quit opposing economic growth if it ever hopes to accomplish its long-term salary and class size goals.
The next hurdle, should it come to that, is the escalation of protests and the use of peaceful civil disobedience to stop the pipeline. Already over 20,000 people have pledged to join with First Nations to do whatever it takes to stop the pipeline and prevent the destruction it would bring with it.