Editor, The News:
Re: Placing blame (News Views, April 22).
Marc Dalton is “concerned” about the cuts to bus transportation for over 300 students in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows?
If he was truly concerned, he would be in support of increased funding for public education, period.
He would be standing up in Victoria, demanding increased funding for his constituents’ children.
He would stand alongside parents and children, showing support and backing, not attempting the appease the public with these mindless letters where he simply deflects responsibility.
He would be fighting the government’s underfunding with parents together.
If he was actually concerned, he would be listening to and acting on the concerns of those involved with all aspects of education in Maple Ridge.
His actions over your time in office do not show concern at all.
Actually, quite the opposite.
He crossed the teachers’ picket line back in 2005, turning his back not only on your colleagues, but all those involved in public education.
He put his own agenda ahead of others during this time, and this has clearly been his goal while in office.
He has shown no support to parents and teachers over nearly eight years in office.
Instead, he continues to make excuses, pass blame and toe the line.
Where is the concern and advocacy there?
Despite meeting with numerous concerned parents and residents of Maple Ridge, he continues to toe the party line, make excuses and take no responsibility or accountability for the sad state of education in this province.
He states that busing is a “vital service,” and I agree with him on that point.
However, if the service is vital, why isn’t the funding reflecting that? Kids need to get to school.
When his government chooses not to fund education properly, cuts have to be made. Yes, the school board is making the budgeting decisions, but the trustees can only work with the money that is provided to them. And that money continues to be reduced and clawed back.
Premier Christy Clark imposed a $54-million cut to education across this entire province. How is that okay?
And now we are at the point where busing and transportation are being cut in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
This cut could prevent students and families from accessing public education.
How insane is that?
If the government made public education a priority, we wouldn’t be in this predicament.
Families wouldn’t be scrambling trying to arrange pick-up and drop-offs for their kids come September.
Families wouldn’t be forced to pay extra for before-school and after-school care.
Mr. Dalton is not advocating for anything, except maybe himself in trying to save face with his letter.
If he was truly advocating for improvements to public education, he would be questioning his party’s motives, working alongside school communities, working with trustees, standing with parents fighting for more education funding.
He would be inviting people to talk and engage in professional dialogue around education. He would be questioning the Minister of Education and Minister of Finance on their budgeting decisions.
He wouldn’t just be writing a senseless letter to the editor in the hopes of appeasing voters.