For two solid days in dozens of cities and towns across British Columbia, tens of thousands of students, parents, faculty members, peer unions, and the BC Federation of Labour turned out in support of the BCTF and teachers. For the rally in Victoria yesterday, the President of the Canadian Federation of teachers flew across the country to be there, as did peer teaching union presidents and representatives from as far as Nova Scotia. This is bigger than the BCTF BC Fed President Jim Sinclair announced over the last two days. For the BC Fed and everyone showing their solidarity, this is about standing up for the province, for what is right and just, for rights, for workers, for people young and old struggling from day to day as citizens. This is about democratic rule and the BCTF and BC Fed are in this for the long haul. BCTF President Susan Lambert rallied today in Vancouver, promising the BC Liberals’ as they move on oppressive, debilitating legislation, that this governing party’s chance of re-election is that of a “proverbial snowflake, hellbound!”
That’s powerful and resonates with the vast system of public support that is turning out for the rallies across the province. To try and govern workers– to try and suppress a labour movement that is ascendent and increasingly unified– with this might of legislation, Bill 22, is foolish. The opposition party, the NDP in BC, is doing all it can to undermine and debate this anti-democratic legislation that is Bill 22. Adrian Dix, Leader of the NDP, guaranteed the labour movement yesterday in Victoria that his party was not resting and would do everything in its power to give teachers the fair right to bargain– a right that every public or private sector union or professional association deserves.