When does a ‘hobby’ become a ‘real’ issue?

The courts of Canada have ruled that teachers are teachers 24/7 and that we do not take off our teacher hats when we are off-duty and in our private time. Like it or not, teachers are held to a higher standard than other members of the public, because they are role models and deemed to be transmitters of Canadian values. Under la, we are required to be role models for our students and to adhere to the standards of the profession. … a teacher holds a position of trust, confidence and responsibility. If a teacher acts in an improper way on or off the job, there may be a loss of public confidence in the teacher and in the school system.

From: TC: The Official Magazine of The BC College of Teachers. summer/fall 2009 (pages 13-14).

For teachers it is clear: an inappropriate hobby and the public display of behaviour that is contrary to “Canadian values” is a violation of professional standards and, as the published record in the TC shows can result in the loss of a teacher’s certificate and their capacity to teach. But is there the same sanctions for a politician? Long time parent activist and public education advocate, Dawn Steele, has this to say about the hobby versus issue debate:

Sharon has been a great trustee and a great voice for kids, no two ways about it, which leaves those of us who have problems with her position on firearms feeling really conflicted. Bill Tieleman argues that we should be able to separate the two issues, but I find that impossible. I have friends & family in Toronto’s West Indian community, where underprivileged youth & gangs & guns have proved to be such an explosive and tragic mix. While Sharon has never in any way suggested guns belong in the hands of young people, I nevertheless worry about the “guns & glamour” adult role model that she projects and how that plays on insecure &/or impressionable youth.

Canadian society has historically distinguished itself from our cousins to the south by a more restrained approach to gun ownership and control. Sport and aboriginal use use of guns for hunting is a part of our history and, one might suggest, a very real part of our cultural fabric. Many of us who have grown up in the interior and coast of this province understand and accept the use of rifles and other firearms for the hunting of food. But what we don’t understand is the use of concealed handguns. As Dawn comments it contributes to a sense of worry and concern.

In Texas one school district has decided that the safety of their students means arming the teachers. Hard to imagine; at least I find it hard to imagine as a Canadian that arming teachers is the best way to quell fears over school violence.

Bill Tieleman’s advice is that we need to keep the issue of NRA-style gun rights separate from the discussion of who is best suited to be our public school trustees? But is it really possible to separate the issue?

The opening quote from the teachers’ college highlights the fact that teachers must live to a higher set of standards than the rest of us. I think that it is only fair that the politicians who make policy decisions about the education of our children should be held to the same high standards.

Vision Makes Their Choice [Updated 22/09/08 08:00]

Vision School Board candidates are: Gregson, Lombardi, and Bacchus.

Kenneth Clement and Stepan Vdovine, separated by only 8 votes. A recount will take place within the next 72 hours to determine the fourth school board candidate.

Vote Counts:

  • 2969 Sharon Gregson
  • 2177 Mike Lombardi
  • 2053 Patti Bacchus
  • 1962 Ken Clement
  • 1954 Stepan Vdovine
  • 1881 Narinder Chhina
  • 1846 Helesia Luke
  • 1574 Anastasia Mirras

News and Blog Items

Vision Vancouver nomination battle goes to recount after high turnout :: The Hook

Vision Vancouver’s seemingly never-ending nomination race has still not ended. Recounts will be required to determine the final seats on the centre-left party’s council and school board slates.

More than 4,500 Visionites turned out in the rain to cast ballots at Charles Tupper Secondary school on Saturday. That’s more than ten times the number who voted at last week’s low-key Non-Partisan Association meeting.

Frances Bula — vancouver city life and politics

I’ll sign off here, even though there’s a crowd around kissing, hugging, commiserating and all the rest.

One thing to note: If Kenneth Clement stays on, he will be, as far as I know, the first aboriginal school-board candidate. Clement became a candidate because local aboriginal leaders decided they should get involved in politics. He was part of a slate with Sharon Gregson and Narinder Chhina. Interestingly, Gregson won by a landslide, even though she wasn’t part of the Vision education group.

The Gazetteer: September 2008

Originally this was going to be a well thought-out, organized, bullet-pointed version of my impressions of Vision Vancouver’s big nomination vote celebration at Science World last night.

But then things went haywire and the count came in three hours late.

And, because I was riding my bike, I didn’t get home ’till about 1:00am.

And before I even had a chance to write much of anything I noticed that my sitemeter was going completely bonkers.

irwinloy.com Vancouver – Blog – Vision will need recounts for council, school board

School board will also see a recount. Nominated for sure are:

Patti Bacchus (2053 votes)
Sharon Gregson (2969)
Mike Lombardi (2177)

There will be a recount between fourth place finisher Ken Clement (1962) and fifth-placer Stepan Vdovine (1954).

Bill Tieleman

Lastly, I especially am pleased to see that Sharon Gregson has been nominated to run for Vision on the Vancouver School Board, where she was the party’s only incumbent trustee. It shows that her hard work, dedication to kids and parents and expertise in both education and child care issues were more important to Vision members than unfortunate controversy about her personal hobby.

Vision still without official team – 12th and Cambie

Good morning, he said scratching the sleep goo from his eyes. For those of you looking for results of Vision Vancouver’s nomination meeting yesterday, final spots for council and school board are still being sorted out. At midnight last night, Vision’s co-chair Mike Magee told the crowd of supporters at Science World that two recounts were required for council and school board. That’s because council hopeful Kashmir Dhaliwal (2240 votes) only finished 17 votes ahead of David Eby (2223). Magee promised to make the results official within 72 hours. Same goes for the school board race where Kenneth Clement (1962 votes) finished eight votes ahead of Stepan Vdovine (1954).

Vision Vancouver has diversity, but few women on council slate | Straight.com

In addition, Vision members did not nominate Narinder Chhina, the only candidate of South Asian descent who sought a position on the school-board slate. He placed sixth. [Charlie Smith, is this all you can say about School Board?. ED]

Vision Vancouver nominees decided

The selection of school board nominees required a recount as well, but Sharon Gregson, Patti Bacchus, Mike Lombardi and Kenneth Clement will represent Vision.

Stepan Vdovine placed fifth, eight votes shy of Clement.

Vision fills park-board and school-board slates minus Ian Waddell | Straight.com

For school board, one handbill endorsed district parent activist Patti Bacchus, former teacher and British Columbia Teachers’ Federation staffer Mike Lombardi, Helesia Luke, and Stepan Vdovine, a 23-year-old West End resident who was elected to the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school board in 2005.

This one came quite close. Lombardi placed second and Bacchus third whereas Vdovine placed fifth, only eight votes behind Ken Clement, an urban aboriginal man who attended a residential school.

Under the Vision-COPE-Green deal, Vision was permitted to nominate four candidates to run for the nine-member school board.

There will be a recount to confirm the fourth slot.

Incumbent school trustee Sharon Gregson, who moved from COPE to Vision, topped the slate. Gregson, a strong advocate of child care, attained some notoriety when she told CBC during her first term that she is a gun owner.

Vancouver Sun blogs

Sharon Gregson was by far the most popular choice as Vision Vancouver members selected their school board candidates for the November election. She garnered almost 800 votes more than second-place finisher Mike Lombardi. Patti Bacchus and Ken Clement followed in third and fourth place — although a recount is planned because Clement was only a few votes ahead of Stepan Vdovine.
Gregson is best known for her childcare advocacy, but nothing got her as much publicity as her support for the right of people to carry concealed weapons. That story broke in 2006 after she posed for a picture on the cover of the Canadian Firearms Journal. She was carrying a .45-calibre Colt and said she had recently applied for a U.S. permit to carry a concealed weapon when visiting the U.S.

Local News Story

Vision vancouver has decided its candidates for the next municipal elections.

But the results won’t be official for a few days.

Party spokesperson Ian Baillie says recounts will be done for the final spots on school board and park board, “We always knew this race was going to be competitive. We saw that the candidates were working incredibly hard and tonight it shows their hard turned out very tight results.”

Just 17 votes seperated Kashmir Dhaliwal and David Eby for the eighth spot on council and for school board, a mere eight votes seperated Ken Clement in fourth spot and Stepan Vdovine in fifth.

For city council the party’s eight candidates are George Chow, Heather Deal, Raymond Louie, Ted Stevenson, Kerry Jang, Geoff Meggs, Andrea Reimer, and Kashmir Dhaliwal.

On park board the candidates are Constance Barnes, Aaron Jasper, Sarah Blyth, and Raj Hundal.

The school board slate is Sharon Gregson, Patti Bacchus, Kenneth Clement, and Mike Lombardi.

Vision Vancouver blocks nomination of David Eby Left eye on Vancouver: A critical look at municipal politics

More on the Vision Vancouver nomination coming soon, including a look at the inexplicable selection of Sharon “shotgun” Gregson for school board.

The Vancouver Observer: Articles

Here are the voting results from yesterday’s candidate selection vote, from Vision Vancouver. More than 4000 people came out to vote. An estimated 400 or so voters came out for the NPA selection process, but insiders worry that this could result in Vision Vancouver assuming victory, instead of fighting hard. “The NPA is going to raise a lot of money and I expect a difficult race,” a source said last night at the Vision Vancouver celebration party at Science World. “They will come on strong.”

Metro – Vision picks sliced slate

Vision Vancouver members sliced their political roster in half, announcing yesterday the selection of 16 of 37 hopefuls to run with mayoral candidate Gregor Robertson in the Nov. 15 election.

Over the next three days recounts will be held in a pair of tight races separated by only a handful of votes.

“It was an exciting race that was very competitive,” said Coun. Raymond Louie, who received the highest number of votes with 3,746.

“We’re happy to see that we’ve got a very diverse and strong list of people running for us.”
Vision is running a co-operative slate with COPE, whose members select candidates Sunday.

Four incumbent Vision councillors, Louie, Heather Deal, Tim Stevenson and George Chow received the most votes. Meanwhile, incumbent school trustee and childcare advocate Sharon Gregson beat her closest rival by almost 800 votes.

In two races, Kashmir Dhaliwal squeezed past David Eby by 17 votes. For school board, Kenneth Clement beat Stepan Vdovine by eight votes. Vision spokesman Ian Baillie said recounts would be conducted in those races.

Less than one-third of Vision’s 16,000 members voted. Baillie said the turnout was 10 times larger than the Non-Partisan Association’s nomination meeting a week before.