NPA School Trustees Urge VISION/COPE Colleagues To Stand Down On Personal Attacks Against Minister
Posted: Apr 8, 2010
Vancouver, BC - In response to the increasing political rhetoric regarding school budgeting challenges, Vancouver School Board trustees Ken Denike and Carol Gibson are urging their fellow trustees to end disparaging remarks about Minister of Education Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid, and to remain focused on constructive dialogue with the Province of B.C.
"The difficulties of dealing with our structural deficit require a positive dialogue with the Education Ministry, not political barbs and calls for the Minister's resignation," comments NPA Trustee Ken Denike. "I find the remarks of the Chair and her colleagues insulting, and in no way will they succeed in helping children's education in our city."
Since last weekend Chair Patti Bacchus, several of her Vision/COPE colleagues, as well as several leaders from the trade union movement have attacked Dr. MacDiarmid, suggesting that "she doesn't understand basic numbers" and is "deliberately trying to mislead the public." Last Sunday Ms. Bacchus used this as a premise for calling for the Minister's resignation.
"We are in sensitive deliberations with the Province," adds NPA Trustee Carol Gibson. "There is nothing we can do about the statements of labour union representatives, but we feel it is time to ask our Vision/COPE colleagues to consider the implications of their statements. It only hurts the prospects for children's education in Vancouver, and sets a very bad example for our youth. This is not about scoring political points."
The Vancouver School Board met on Wednesday evening to review a list of proposed reductions in staff and services in the face of declining enrollment and a budget shortfall. Public consultation will continue throughout the month of April and a final decision on the 2010/11 budget will be voted upon on April 29th.