Students losing out

Aspiring MLAs must restore public confidence in Canada’s institutions of government

I avoid writing letters to the editor. Like Churchill, I avoid debates with those who buy ink by the barrel and paper by the ton. Like Barillaro, (Letter “Disputes display similarities” in the Nov. 21 Western News) I have 39 years experience in education. (I hope not 39 first year experiences.) There the similarities end. Which is my point.

Ron Barillaro’s comparison of the hockey lock-out to the government/BCTF impasse is not a useful comparison. Hockey reflects big business, big salaries and bloody entertainment for the masses more similar to Rome’s coliseum than public education in a civil society. Public education is not and should not be similar to pro hockey. Ron’s 39-year insight conceals important issues, and fails to provide insights that will help B.C. get past this harmful government/BCTF deadlock. It is the children and parents who are losing out. Forget the faulty analogies.

On the other hand, kudos to Tom Fletcher for shining light on the risks of politically shallow and incomplete solutions to bullying, just one of the unacceptable forms of aggression we see in our society. E-bullying is just one example showing that we have not adapted to the dangers posed by our new electronic toys.

And kudos to Ms. Turpel-Lafonde for once again pointedly stating that we are failing our vulnerable children including children living in poverty.

With an election just six months away, it is alarming to think that increasingly we can only depend on the independent officers of the legislature (auditor-general, ethics commissioner, privacy commissioner, the representative for children and youth, etc.) to address social challenges in a balanced, forthright fashion.

The challenge to take to our aspiring MLAs-in-waiting: Restore public confidence in Canada’s institutions of government.

Dave Stigant