I look forward to hearing back from Trustees with their answer to the following question. Trustee candidates are invited to respond using the comment feature or by sending me an email directly cmenzies[at]interchange.ubc.ca. This issue and the apparent lack of action that has been demonstrated over almost ten year is one of the central reasons that has led me to run for the position of Director on the Metro Vancouver Board for Electoral Area A. Community members living outside of Vancouver proper on the UBC/UNA/UEL areas receive various levels of service and have different levels of access to real political processes. The school issue has reflected the problem inherent in many dealings that residents have with agencies, institutions, and government offices; that is, we don’t have the real power to affect control over critical issues and furthermore, that people outside of our community seem to have more control over what happens in our community then we do. From Park issues to Schools, it would seem that non-resident interests take priority.
So to our Vancouver Board of Education trustee hopefuls please share your answer to the following question:
You have obviously been following the need for schools west of Blanca and the plan that the VSB put together to try and solve the problem. Almost five or six years ago U Hill Secondary was approved for a renovation that would have had the current building expanded by a couple hundred students and able to accommodate them now. Yet here we sit with schools still years away and many parents doubting that we will in fact really see a school.
Aside from lobbying the provincial government, what will you do (or have you done) to make certain that our children living west of Blanca have the same access to community-based public schools that other children in the VSD have?
This is a joint statement in response to the question, on behalf of the Vision Vancouver candidates for the Vancouver Board of Education: Patti Bacchus, Ken Clement, Sharon Gregson and Mike Lombardi.
Vision Vancouver trustees will use every means possible to ensure the current construction schedule for the NRC site is adhered to and that there are no further delays to getting UBC’s long-overdue schools completed. We will also seek meaningful parent and community involvement in the planning and prioritizing process for construction projects.
We will also review current and future needs, particularly regarding the need for a third elementary school in the UBC area.
Vision Vancouver candidates believe that in addition to ongoing advocacy for provincial funding for UBC-area schools, it is important to review educational facilities district wide, to ensure we’re allocating resources most effectively.
Vision Vancouver is strongly committed to neighbourhood schools and environmental sustainability (being able to walk to school will reduce the numbers of students being driven to schools outside the UBC area) and we will work with the community to provide UBC-area students with the same opportunities to attend schools in their neighbourhoods as students in other parts of the district have.
My sense is that what is required now is to ensure that the project is moving ahead on schedule and in a timely manner. If feasible, I would like to see what options are available, if any, to shorten the timeline for the project.
Trustee & Vice-chair of the Board (SD #39)
This is a group statement in response to your question from COPE’s candidates for the Vancouver Board of Education: Bill Bargeman, Al Blakey, Jane Bouey, Alvin Singh, and Allan Wong.
COPE’s first priority with respect to making sure students in the UEL and UBC areas have access to strong, community-based public schools will be to ensure genuine consultation with the parents and students of UBC on all planning for their local schools.
Specifically COPE members will ensure that:
– the current plans in place for the NRC site will be honoured without any additional delays.
– an immediate, community driven, consultation process begins for all current and future facilities needs for UBC parents and students.
– all new facilities are environmentally sustainable
– schools at UBC work in concert with the rest of the Vancouver school system in order to make sure the divide between UEL and UBC area students and the rest of the district is eliminated.
– the leadership at UBC and in the UEL is made aware of the importance of schools to healthy communities and that every effort is made to assist the development of the campus plan in such a way that public education is a strong part of current and future UBC communities.
COPE is committed to strong, district-wide, public education that includes the parents and students of the UEL and UBC areas.