A Campbell River man is circulating an “Opposed Signing Alterative” sign-up sheet as part of his campaign to create a charter school system in B.C.
Bob Bray is the proponent of a province-wide petition titled “Initiative to Allow the Voluntary Formation of Twenty Charter Schools.” The Opposed Signing Alternative is a separate sheet for signatures from voters who are opposed to adding charter schools to the British Columbia school system.
Bray launched his petition in August to bring charter schools to B.C., registering it with Elections BC.
Bray wants to bring to the province up to 20 charter schools, which would receive government funding but operate outside the usual B.C. educational curriculum. They are not religiously affiliated.
Currently, the only province in Canada to have charter schools is Alberta.
Voters who are opposed can sign the Opposed sheet and these signatures will be counted and the totals published on the website of the Social Mavrik Federation.
Opposed sheets will not be sent to Elections BC because the Opposed Signing Alternative is an informal process offered by the proponent as an add-on to the formal initiative petition process.
When a registered volunteer canvasser talks with people who are considering whether or not to sign the petition, he or she may not know who supports or opposes Charter Schools among their relatives, co-workers, church members, club members or customers, Bray says in an email to reporters, trustees, supporters and “voters who are very concerned about our ‘one-size-fits-all’ school boards.” By having formal petition sheets and informal opposed sheets, a canvasser can collect signatures from the support faction as well as the opposed faction, Bray says.