Chudnovsky reads letters of support into the record in Victoria.

You can find letters of support read into the record by David Chudnovsky in the Hansard record. I’ve copied a brief extract from his speech earlier today in the extended entry that follows: D. Chudnovsky: A letter from some parents, which was copied to me but was addressed to the Minister of Education and the Minister of Labour. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]
We are parents at Britannia Secondary School, Vancouver, and we’re very concerned about the recent teacher labour dispute and the possible government action of imposing a contract on the teachers causing the teachers to walk out, thus disrupting the education of our children. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]
As parents we have seen class size increases, fewer school counsellors, diminished support of our special needs and ESL students, smaller school budgets for supplies and learning resources, old textbooks and higher school fees in Britannia Secondary School. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]
They say, in closing: “We strongly urge you as government officials to consider the real needs of our children and the important role of our teachers in their development. Please try to do your very best to do everything to bring a satisfactory outcome to all parties.” Instructing us and suggesting to us and counselling us, once again, that the amendment before us should be passed, so that we can respond to the kind of point of view that is expressed in this letter. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]
My colleague from Vancouver-Hastings, an hour ago or three hours ago or whenever it was that he was speaking, began to read a letter from an organization called the New Proposals Publishing Society and the Inner-city School Supporters, and unfortunately because I thought he was doing a wonderful job, but time marches on he wasn’t able to finish reading that letter. I’d like to do that, if I may. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]
Again, giving us advice on how we as a House should respond to the kind of situation that we face. They say:
We are parents, students and community members who share a strong sense of respect and admiration for the hard work and dedication that our teachers in the public school system demonstrate on a daily basis. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]
We’re writing to you to express our disappointment in the actions of your government with respect to teachers. We appreciate that you believe you’re putting children first in education, but as parents and others concerned about the welfare of our children, who’ve seen the direct effects of your actions in our public school, we would respectfully disagree. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]
Under your administration the situation in schools has gotten worse, not better. Class sizes have increased, support for learning disabilities has declined, and many schools have inadequate resources. Parent advisory councils have been compelled to pay for funding gaps, while teachers spend more and more of their personal income on needed school resources. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]
Your government has placed the burden of these problems on the backs of our teachers. Not surprisingly they have voted overwhelmingly to say: “No more.” We’re writing to express our support of the actions being taken by our public school teachers. We also ask that Bill 12 be withdrawn and the government enter into direct talks to reach a fair, free and democratic collective agreement with the teachers of B.C. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]
It’s signed by dozens and dozens and dozens of people who live in the province and who, once again, provide advice to this House as to how we should go about resolving this situation.

2 thoughts on “Chudnovsky reads letters of support into the record in Victoria.

  1. Extract from Hansard. C. James speaking on Bill 12, Thursday Oct. 6, 2005.

    “Teaching is a passion and a commitment for students and the community. It’s a culture of passion and commitment that must be nurtured, not trampled. We can do that in many ways. But there’s one simple way, and it has been mentioned over and over again in the debate on this bill over the last few days, and I’m sure you’ll hear it again tonight. A way to resolve this issue is to show some respect for our teachers. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]
    The bill before us does anything but show respect. The lack of respect inherent in this proposed legislation is a direct attack on the culture that has helped encourage the wonderful success stories that I have referred to today. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]
    I rise to speak to this amendment because I know from personal experience in my own life, in my children’s lives, in the lives of the foster children I looked after the difference that teachers have made. I know how important it is to nurture the relationship of everyone in the education system. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]
    As I’ve mentioned in this House before, I served for 11 years on school board. I know the importance of supporting a team of people to make the education system work. This bill, Bill 12, does nothing to help build that relationship. It does nothing to improve the relationships that are necessary for the success of an education system that, as I talked about at the start of my talk tonight, is critical to the success of us as a society, critical to positive social change and critical to our economic success. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]”


    NDP votes against teachers’ legislation at conclusion of all-night

    VICTORIA — At the conclusion of a debate that lasted through the night, the BC NDP Opposition today voted against legislation imposing a contract on BC teachers.

    NDP Leader Carole James said that Premier Gordon Campbell chose conflict and confrontation instead of working with teachers to find lasting
    solutions to this impasse. She said that by deliberately escalating the conflict with teachers, the government is hurting education and contributing to a climate of anger and frustration.

    “Rather than working with teachers to find solutions for the benefit of our children, Gordon Campbell is treating teachers as if they don’t matter,” said James. “It’s time for the Premier to change his attitude, sit down with teachers and work on reducing class sizes and improving learning conditions for young people.”

    James said that the issues in this dispute are important to all British Columbians. She said the Campbell government’s cuts to education and
    the downloading of costs onto school boards have resulted in overcrowded classrooms, demoralized educators and fewer resources for students.

    “Education is simply not a priority for this government,” said James. “If the government was serious about putting students first, we wouldn’t be where we are today — with frustrated teachers backed into a corner by the government.”

    NDP Education Critic John Horgan said that for four years the Campbell government has deliberately provoked conflicts with teachers.

    “Time and again, Gordon Campbell has used teachers for political purposes,” said Horgan. “He tore up their contract in 2002. He stripped teachers of their self-governing body in 2003. He overruled a BC Supreme Court decision on classroom composition in 2004. And he refused to meet with teachers when he had a chance to make progress.”

    “Responsibility for the escalation of this dispute lies squarely with Premier Gordon Campbell and his government,” said Horgan. “The BC Liberal government always chooses conflict and confrontation as its first option. And, this time parents, students and teachers are the ones paying the price.”

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