The government’s mess in BC education: How it affects negotiations

Tim Lavery:

Succinct overview of the legal elephant in the room and the importance for the BCLibs to negotiate in good faith… Even if it is solely for risk mitigation

Originally posted on The Coal Mine:

Make no mistake. The BC Liberals have got the province into a terrible mess. It’s not unlike their BC Hydro fiasco in which years of lack of oversight of the crown corporation have led to retroactive costs that will need to be funded by sudden massive increases in citizens’ Hydro fees. In education, the problem is similar. Bad policy has led to a huge burden on taxpayers years later.

The trouble started on January 26, 2002, when Education Minister Christy Clark stood up in the BC Legislature and proudly announced the new Bill 28, which removed class size and composition limits from the teacher contract and enshrined them in law.

In effect, what Christy Clark was announcing was that the government was reneging on its part in a contractual agreement, and creating a law that prevented the teachers from ever even asking for such an agreement again.

Naturally, the teachers’ union took the government…

View original 1,034 more words

Yes Indeed – We All Need Reminding


All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.

These are the things I learned:

  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don’t hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  • Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  • Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup—they all die. So do we.
  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned—the biggest word of all—LOOK.

Up and Coming on Aim High


- The start of Local Government election stories

- Political challenges and challengers for this fall

- The good things that Salmon Arm council has accomplished

- Some commentary on what I think is one of the more important documents that the city has published – and that’s a good thing

- More on political accountability and transparency regionally and locally

- the changing of the federal political guard for the North Okanagan – Shuswap riding

- and more … Stay tuned over the next short while as Aim High climbs back in the Summer 2014 Saddle


Salmon Arm Bike for Your Life Century Ride Saturday, September 13, 2014

Calling all Cyclists! You are invited to join in the fun of a 10K community bike ride on the scenic back roads of the Shuswap – North Okanagan on Saturday, September 13 starting at 9:00 a.m. from Blackburn Park in Salmon Arm.

BFYL 2014

Over 600 cyclists have registered for this year’s community bicycle ride. Many cyclists registered on-line on the June 2 opening date. The majority of cyclists have registered for the 100K, 75K and 35K distances. About 10 Registration spaces are left for these three distances as of August 24/14. There is no limit on the number of cyclists registering for the 10K so please, join in the fun activities for children and families!

The Bike for Your Life Bicycle Tour started in 1998 with the aim of promoting a healthy lifestyle, family solidarity, and community involvement through a fun cycling event in which all ages and abilities could participate. This is the 17th year the community bicycle ride has been held in Salmon Arm.

The Ride’s four bike routes are designed to be safe and fun. Whether you have never ridden a bike before, or you are an endurance cyclist, join in. Everyone is welcome!

This is not a racing event. The emphasis is on participation, rather than time, to make it fun for an individual or family. Enjoy the company of fellow cyclists. Ride with your friends. Continue reading

A strategy to improve Shuswap food security by Jim Cooperman

Check out Jim’s latest post A strategy to improve Shuswap food security over at his Shuswap Passion blog.

The Shuswap is blessed with some of the best farmland in the province, but too much of the land is underused or lies fallow, while farming continues to represent a minor part of the local economy. Despite the growing interest in farmers markets and local produce in some stores, the vast majority of produce comes from massive farms hundreds, if not thousands of kilometres away. At least now, there is an excellent strategy designed to promote change.

Last Dog Days of Summer – Some Random Thoughts



- The Downtown has looked and been great all summer – Congrats to business owners and city staff for their efforts.

- Increasingly terrible place for bad driving in SA- the new parking lot at Askews uptown. The parking lot changes are good but the fast driving and zooming past other vehicles – especially of those backing out from stalls – certainly seems to be getting worse to my eye. A little more asphalt space seems to be leading to less care and increased speeds. A bit of caution there folks!

- Major takeaway from our recent Rockies travels – butts galore: Walking on the Icefields – a great experience marred by cigarette butts flicked on the ice. Biking in Banff – butts ground into geological displays of rocks. Emerald Lake – butts flicked into the lake.  Amazingly thoughtless and disgusting

- and one more downtown tribute – numerous comments about the friendliness all around


Shuswap rail trail initiative needs support by Jim Cooperman

Up until recently, the Shuswap has missed out on the tourism and recreational opportunities that arise from the development of long distance corridor trails constructed on former railway right-of-ways. However, the prospect now exists for a scenic, nearly level cycling and hiking trail along the west side of Mara Lake from Sicamous to Armstrong, which could then connect via side roads farther south. The route is the former Shuswap and Okanagan Railway, built as a spur line to the C.P.R. in 1892, used until 2009 and now undergoing salvage operations.

Humorous Homonym Typo = Sign of the Times

From a BCTF tweet (soon corrected) late this afternoon:

“Mediator Vince Ready will beet with both bced bargaining teams tomorrow.”

Meet with and beat on I’m thinking.

Shuswap Trails celebrate new Mt Baldy Trail

News Release

August 23, 2014

Raising a toast at the new Mount Baldy trail opening

The Shuswap, British Columbia – Partners gathered from around the Shuswap Thursday to celebrate the official opening of the new Mount Baldy hiking trail just west of Sorrento. And they did it in style!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACrannog Ales, whose award winning organic farm brewery is just next door to the new trail, hosted a reception following the official ribbon cutting. “Trails like this help people learn about the natural places they live and why it’s important to take care of it,” said Rebecca Kneen, co-owner of the brewery.

The Mt Baldy trail is the latest addition to the South Shuswap’s impressive parks and trails system Continue reading

Climate Change March and Rally 2:00 pm Saturday, Sept. 20th 2014

On September 2oth, individuals and organizations around the world are planning on holding what will (hopefully) be the biggest public march event ever related to global warming.

I and an expanding group of other local citizens are planning a march and rally in Salmon Arm, for people from this community and all around the Shuswap. Please join us!!

The march and rally will take place Sunday, September 2oth, at 2:00 pm.

An initial organizing meeting will take place at the CASSSA office, across the street from the Post Office, next the lane that passes by the west side of the Post Office building (and across the street). There will be a sign on the CASSSA office door.

We will not be alone in undertaking this action..

So far, at least 750 organizations around the world are committed to stage marches and rallies Continue reading

Kids & Their Parents’ Tweets

Making my kids watch old-school episodes of Knight Rider and my daughter said, “So, it’s pretty much just a car with Siri built in?”

* From the Huffington Post’s Best Parenting Tweets of the Week

Unclutter Your Life at a Trunk Sale – CSRD



August 28, 2014


Looking to sell, trade or give away some of your unwanted or previously-loved stuff but can’t hold your own garage sale? Then you’ll want to take part in the first ever Trunk Sale being held at the Salmon Arm Okanagan College campus on Saturday September 13th. Continue reading

Call Minister Fassbender 1-800-663-7867

callthe MOE

… about your expectations for public education … political will = support for our under-funded schools and a fair deal for teachers


Terry Fox Run Salmon Arm 2014

Date: Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014

Blackburn Park (Playground)

Registration: 8:00am, Run Start: 10am, Event Close: 1pm

10km, 4km, 2km; Suitable for bikes, wheelchairs/strollers and rollerblades. Dogs on leash welcome.

from the Terry Fox Foundation site.


17 Days Christy Clark

17 cc_2

Money vs. Wealth

Louise’s latest post is  The Age of Extraction (August 6 2014).

Money vs. Wealth – Taxpayer vs. Community Member It’s all in the lenses that we apply.

This column first appeared in the August 2014 All Month Edition of the Friday AM in Salmon Arm, BC

In the last decade, Canada has spent most of its time focussed on fixing its economy rather than strengthening its society. 
As a result, in my view, we now stare down the barrel of  income disparity like it’s a new danger.

Continue reading


27 Days …

27 cc_2

… Have a Code that You Can Live by

It’s been a while since posting any Playing for Change

Playing For Change is a multimedia movement created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music.

Here’s a great take on CSN&Y’s   Teach Your Children Well

Hello everyone, today we are proud to share a powerful live performance of “Teach your children” from Adelaide, Australia featuring Tula, Roberto Luti and the PFC Band. Years ago when we started recording songs around the world together such as “One Love” and “Chanda Mama” we never imagined we would be growing a global movement supporting music education across the globe but this is the power of music. Today’s live performance embodies all that we believe in, soulful music with an inspiring message helping us to move forward as a human race one heart and one song at a time.
Turn it up!!
One Love

I’m away from my desktop right now. Click on link above to get the version right on Vimeo.

It’s worth it!

CSRD Expenses Brouhaha – Time to Get with the Accountability Times

expensesIt’s indeed a head-scratcher these days that elected officials publicly balk at proposed intiatives that introduce transparency into their expense claims. A few of the CSRD directors appear to be dragging their feet (they are portraying this otherwise) on senior staff proposals to introduce modern policies on expenses accountablity and on handing out grants prior to elections. Two thoughts in particular … Continue reading

City Council Hikes Remuneration for Mayor and Councillors …

remun… starting January 2015 with annual increases at the beginning of each year as of 2016 – based on the BC CPI . This was supported by all the politicos with Councillor Kentel unsuccessfully proposing a multi-year phase-in of the increases. Here’s the skinny including some adjustments that I’d suggest as well. Continue reading