Education of ‘great importance’ in the Comox Valley, says visiting Dix

BC NDP leader Adrian Dix announced education spending promises during his stop in the Comox Valley on Thursday.

NDP leader Adrian Dix met with Comox Valley Liberal MLA Don McRae following Dix's press conference in Comox Thursday morning.

BC NDP leader Adrian Dix announced education spending promises during his stop in the Comox Valley on Thursday.

Education is a big election issue for the NDP, one he said is of “great importance” in the Comox Valley.

“Issues of public education are very much top-of-mind,” said Dix. “If you think of the Comox Valley and the whole region, over time, we know that young people today, much more than ever before, need a high-quality public education, and that the jobs of future require post secondary education — and K-12 education is of course the platform for that.”

Dix announced Thursday an NDP government would invest $100 million to improve public school classroom learning conditions, plus $60 million to allow more spaces and lower the cost of day care, something he claims would save families with children in licensed care an average of $2,000 per year.

As well, an NDP government would create an Early Years Innovation Fund by reallocating funds from the Liberals’ education savings plan.

The Comox Valley’s Charlene Gray, a director with the Early Childhood Educators of B.C., said the NDP’s announcement was exciting in terms of the organization’s proposed Community Plan, which it has been pushing for over the past three years.

“What we found when the NDP made their announcement today was that it actually is Step One of our plan in their own form, which is amazing,” she said. “It makes reference to many of the things that are in the $10-a-day-child-care plan that families and educators need.”

Dix announced Wednesday an NDP government would invest at the post secondary level as well — $40 million in skills training and $100 million toward a needs-based student grants program annually.

According to the NDP, both education funding announcements are fully costed in the NDP’s fiscal plan released last week.

Ensuring young people have access to skills needed for future jobs is the NDP’s key issue in the election.

“The key issue, really, in our economy, is ensuring that people have the skills they need for the jobs of the future,” said Dix, adding 80 per cent of future jobs are expected to require post-secondary education. “There’s significant barriers to getting access to that education, some are financial, and some are problems in the system.

“Everywhere I go I talk about this issue. This is the issue and it means we’re not going to be able to invest in some other things right now because this is the priority.”

Meanwhile, Dix said incumbent Liberal MLA Don McRae’s impromptu appearance at the media-filled NDP education announcement in Comox Thursday shows how the Liberals plan to approach the election.

“My approach is really different from the Liberal approach,” he said, noting the Liberals’ aggressive attack ads on television as an example.

“We haven’t run one single personal attack ad. We’re going to respect our opponents everywhere, and I respect Don (McRae), I respect Premier Clark, but it’s time for a change.”

Just Posted

Comox Legion celebrates Robbie Burns day

The Comox Valley Pipe Band Society is celebrating Robbie Burns on Jan.… Continue reading

VIDEO: École Puntledge Park Elementary celebrates winter solstice

The event was a part of the school’s Indigenous education curriculum

Valley company reaching out to women near and far

Three Comox Valley business women know firsthand what good menstrual products can… Continue reading

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Miniature horses visit Glacier View residents

Glacier View Lodge residents had a couple of special visitors on Wednesday… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

B.C. minister fears money laundering involves billions of dollars, cites reports

The government had estimated that it was a $200-million a year operation, instead estimates now peg the problem at $1 billion annually

BC Hydro scammers bilked customers out of nearly $45,000 in 2018

Nearly 2,000 people reported scams to the utility, as they continue to be more common

Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

Tentative deal with province includes ‘working short premium’ to encourage hiring

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Most Read