Tony Cable Weighs in on Vancouver School Board’s Dismissal
Prince George, B.C. – Prince George School Board Chair Tony Cable has reacted to Education Minister Mike Bernier’s decision to fire the entire Vancouver School Board today.
The board was shown the door for failing to adopt a balanced budget by June 30, 2016 and for fostering a “toxic” work environment for district staff which included allegations of bullying.
“Well first of all, like a lot of people in the province, there’s always a concern with democracy and when you fire a duly elected board, there’s a lot of concerns,” says Cable.
“Now we in our district have had the same concerns as the Vancouver School Board – we’ve had a real concern with the chronic underfunding crisis in the province and like all districts we want predictable and sustainable funding. And this is something the Vancouver School Board has been crying loud and clear about.”
However, he says where the Prince George School Board differs is when it comes to following the policies and guidelines of the provincial government – namely submitting a budget on time. Unlike the Vancouver School Board who were just going to look at a balanced budget tonight.
“So there’s a real concern about an elected board being replaced and the concern about democracy, but on the flip side there’s ways and means to expressing your concerns about funding by following the rules and regulations of the province.”
He says that includes things his board has employed when they’ve been unhappy with the Province – like sending letters and lobbying MLAs or even getting the community involved.
Cable also finds it hard to sympathize with the Vancouver School Board when they complain about having to close schools in order to save money.
“Why did we have to close 22 schools (since 2002) and Vancouver feels that they don’t have to close any? There needs to be fairness in the province and we can’t have one district taking a bigger proportional piece of the budget.”