EDITORIAL: Fassbender’s flub

Did the B.C. Minister of Education really say this? Really?

Every once in a while, a politician spouts a beauty quote that is hard for us wags to ignore.

They are human, of course, and they are players in a very competitive game. Players who have a microphone and notebook in front of them more than almost anyone else too, it should be noted.

That all stated, B.C. Education Minister Peter Fassbender needs to shake his head.

School board trustees around the province are now in full scramble mode trying to come up with hundreds of thousands of dollars each to cover the costs of the 3.5 per cent raise CUPE employees just earned in their negotiations with the provincial government.

Here in Parksville Qualicum Beach, our school trustees are already trying to figure out how to deal with a $1.3 million deficit for this year. Now they need to add more than $200,000 to the red ink because of the CUPE deal.

Fassbender says school boards protesting this extra cost should have known it was coming. He also said he believes some school boards wanted to wait and hope the NDP was going to win the May 14 provincial election.

Huh?

We believe it’s fair to assume an NDP government would have settled a deal with their union friends in CUPE for at least the same amount the Liberals managed. Is Fassbender suggesting an NDP government would have found some other pot of funding to cover the increased costs to local districts? Is he also saying that’s what local school boards were banking on?

Perhaps Fassbender is smarter than we give him credit for. Maybe he purposely offered the slight against the school boards and raised the May 14 election as a way to deflect people from the real issue: the flawed funding formula for K-12 education.

Remember, entire school boards, the people you elected, can be fired if they don’t submit a balanced budget. It’s happened in the past, right here on the Island (Cowichan, 2012).

Our local school board is heading in that direction too. Perhaps it is buying some time with some open-house info sessions, but we hope they can come up with $1.5 million dollars in savings before the minister feels he has to step in and remove duly-elected local officials.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Golden anniversary for G.P. Vanier Thursday

It was a day of celebration for students, educators and administrators past… Continue reading

Comox Valley RCMP seeking witnesses of attempted sexual assault

The Comox Valley RCMP is looking for witnesses after an attempted sexual… Continue reading

UPDATE: Vehicle rams boat into Courtenay home

Driver failed sobriety test, issued roadside prohibition and released; no charges to be laid

Jangula denounces Culture Guard endorsement

Has asked to be removed from list

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

San Group announces plans to build new sawmill in Port Alberni

San Group has purchased 25 acres of Catalyst Paper land for expansion

Shots fired at Vancouver Island house during fight

Shots were fired at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday in 500 block of Kennedy Street, say Nanaimo RCMP

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

Most Read