Letters: Moving away from democracy

Tom Fletcher once again attempts to vilify unions as the cause of all his woes.

Editor, The News:

Re: What to do with school boards? (B.C. Views, Nov. 19).

Tom Fletcher once again attempts to vilify unions as the cause of all his woes and suggests that the role of local school trustees be taken out with the trash.

He refers to the recent municipal elections as the saddest manifestation of British Columbia’s modern democracy.

To make his argument, Mr. Fletcher reverts to his inaccurate reasoning that the problem stems from special interest groups, specifically teacher unions and support worker unions, sticking their noses into the democratic process of elections.

Mr. Fletcher conveniently fails to remind his readers that most people work the electoral system to their benefit in a democracy.

For example, here in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, several of our local trustees are regularly seen shaking hands in local Liberal MLA photo ops, attending Liberal fund-raisers, and volunteering with those Liberal MLA’s during provincial election season.

Is he willing to call this a conflict of interest as well, when those trustees have affiliated themselves with a party that provides $1,000 less per student in funding than the Canadian average?

In his rant on the demise of democracy due to union involvement, Mr. Fletcher also attempts to make the case for an appointed trustee in each district rather than elected boards of education.

This modest proposal is a move away from democracy.

A change of this nature would remove the local voice from the equation and allow the talking heads in the ministry to dictate what happens in our communities.

I, for one, am not prepared to give away what little remains of our limited local control of education to a government that is more interested in corporate handouts and user fees than they are in our children.

Todd Patrick

Vice-President

Maple Ridge

Teachers’ Association