First of all, let me congratulate you on winning the election last year to represent our riding. It’s a long way from hallways of Eagle River to the hallowed halls of the legislature.
However, as we talked about when you were doing your door to door visits last April, I am deeply troubled by the direction that education funding has taken. Over the last twelve years, because of the lack of adequate funding, boards have done nothing but cut programs and services to children I was beginning to see the results of inadequate funding when I retired eight years ago, but today, the cuts have gone much deeper. Just one example among many: a kindergarten child in this riding with speech problems goes on a waiting list for 12 months before seeing a speech pathologist, and depending on the severity of the problem, a child may never get the help required.
In addition, because of lack of funding, our board had to take the drastic step of cutting 1.8 million dollars from its budget. As a successful business person, you well know that this is a great deal of money that will not be filtered down to the businesses of Sicamous and Salmon Arm and Armstrong.
As well, in the two supreme court rulings, Christy Clark’s government has been found guilty of breaking the law by violating the collective bargaining rights of teachers, bargaining in bad faith, and provoking a teacher strike for political gain. At great expense to the taxpayers of BC, she continues to fight both of these rulings. However, the bad faith bargaining continues in the latest round and the issue is not, as Ms Clark would like people to believe, that legitimate collective bargaining doesn’t work: It does not work if there is a lack of willingness by one of the parties to come to the table honestly and sincerely seeking agreement. Ms Clark’s history shows quite clearly that she is not willing to participate in free collective bargaining.
I wish you and your family well. Please give my warmest regards to Scott and Todd and I hope that you can help resolve this toxic situation,