The teachers who have taught us for five years -- coached our basketball teams, directed the plays, stayed after class, volunteered their time to help run events and fundraise for charity, believed in us when no one else did -- will not be able to be at our grad events to congratulate us and enjoy our last few moments of high school.
I take ingredients from my own family's pantry and fridge so we can bake, make playdough, create senses-stimulating art projects, and learn about nutrition in a hands-on way. I am not compensated for the money I spend educating B.C. students as a result of government underfunding.
Why won't a single member of Christy Clark's government stand up for the importance of public education? Were our current MLAs not once students themselves? Are they afraid they'll get kicked out of the cool kid club? Does she tell them what to wear? How to do their hair? Who to sit with at lunch? I know a high school clique when I see one.
You can still go on road trips. But instead of visiting China, why not visit those countries that are heavily investing in sustainable, renewable resources? You wouldn't have to go far. Just a quick trip to California. With "the world's eighth-largest economy in 2013," accepting that climate change is a reality -- it is quickly moving away from its dependency on fossil fuel. Certainly B.C. could follow suit.
When conflict of interest legislation is drafted to go out of its way to ensure that it won't actually find any conflicts of interest, it shouldn't come as a surprise if it rarely does. And that pretty well sums up the legislative reach of B.C.'s declawed Members' Conflict of Interest Act.
B.C.'s past legislated discrimination of "non-mainstream" aliens extended to far more than the Chinese, but also to Indo-Canadians and Japanese-Canadians. So why it is today the provincial government only wants to say sorry to the Chinese? Why is it focusing on advertising the apology among the Chinese, and lacking the courage to extend that effort to the entire province? By doing so, B.C. has failed to translate this apology as a political agenda for all citizens.
Canadians' politics are local, not national. The lack of confidence in governments to take on the country's big issues means Canadians trust their governments with smaller, achievable goals. Affordable, doable policy solutions trump vague, grand promises, programs, or visions.
What do a Conservative party senator from Ontario, the Toronto Blue Jays, an Ontario public sector union and a part-owner of the Calgary Flames all have in common? If their chequebook is any indication, they have a keen interest in B.C. politics.
With a federal decision on Northern Gateway imminent, this vote in Kitimat sets the tone. If the Canadian government supports the project, Premier Christy Clark will be facing a challenge to similar to the one Kitimat's leadership stared down on Monday night.
There is another reason why we cannot afford to take much longer to increase conservation and tighten the rules. One major logging company operating in the region is not a member of the Joint Solutions Project. Instead, TimberWest has a long history of opposing increases in conservation and undertaking extremely profit-driven logging operations in the southern-most portion of the Great Bear Rainforest with very little remaining old-growth.
Our beautiful landscape, outdoorsy way of life, and mild weather can only overcome a certain amount of taxes. People are already beginning to vote with their feet, leaving our province for greener pastures -- another spin that will continue to speed up if the BC Liberals do not reverse course.
One innovative plan that has been considered for about a decade, but has never been funded, is a system commonly used in Europe called "headway operations." This means buses depart at regular intervals keeping the headway (time between buses) even and avoiding bunching, instead of trying vainly to stay on a fixed schedule in widely varying conditions. This is how most rapid transit systems including SkyTrain operate.
Recent news stories detailing the number of teachers needed to be re-hired as a result of the finding of the legislative stripping of teachers' collective agreements as unconstitutional, is a stark picture of the duplicity and obfuscation characterizing this government's attitude toward public education since 2002. Their latest court appeal is not unexpected or even disappointing. After enduring the last dozen years, teachers have come to expect punitive attacks and deceit.
The best thing for B.C. is to join Saskatchewan and Manitoba and call for the abolition of the Senate. Premier Clark, deep down, knows this. In her 2011 leadership campaign, she was clear: "We don't really need a Senate." Since then, the Senate's reputation has only worsened, as new scandals and criminal charges tear away any credibility that once resided in the Upper Chamber.