Letters: Premier exploited birthday

Letter writers weigh in on Premier Christy Clark's visit to Maple Ridge on Wednesday.

Editor, The News:

Re: Angry teachers greet premier in Maple Ridge (mapleridgenews.com)

The entire debacle at the ACT on Wednesday morning was ugly.

One of my colleagues (who was interviewed by CTV and took pictures) witnessed one of Premier Christy Clark’s personal security officers push and forcefully close a metal door on a parent who was trying to enter the ACT.

This while her child looked on.

I understood the ACT was a public building – I am certainly paying taxes to look after it.

The ACT was not locked, nor were there any signs posted that there was a private event taking place.

Furthermore, the media is stating that Premier Clark and Education Minister Peter Fassbender were here as “part of the Maple Ridge’s 140th birthday celebration.”

Seriously? I live in this community and both of my children are involved in the celebration that is taking place at Memorial Peace Park on Saturday. As such, we have all been paying very close attention to the planned activities surrounding this milestone for our community.

How many readers were invited to this ‘birthday event’ featuring the premier and education minister?

Maple Ridge parents and their children were certainly not welcome. No, they were cordoned off and security attempted to keep them locked out entirely. So who was invited?

I suggest this was very much a ‘by invitation only’ public relations event for Liberal insiders, not a community anything.

I resent this woman and her minister using our city’s birthday, and inauguration as a city, as a PR opportunity for a Liberal closed-door session, right in the lap of a pre-planned (and everyone welcome) parent and student rally in support of public education.

Bet her handlers didn’t see that coming. What a gong show.

The whole thing has cast a pall upon the entire birthday celebration.

I feel as though Ms. Clark and Mr. Fassbender came out here thinking that we were some backward, backwoods Liberal enclave that wouldn’t know how to use social media.

I am very proud of our articulate and well informed parents, students and teachers who gave them an earful.

I do not think they will underestimate the intelligence or the political awareness of our city again.

Shelley Evans

Maple Ridge


Not oranges

Editor, The News:

Interesting comments of late by Premier Christy Clark about the cost of an agreement with the teachers.

Is she assuming that her government’s case is so weak that the government would likely lose a decision by neutral arbitration?

No wonder that the teachers feel the same about the government’s case at the bargaining table.

The government has stated four ways that it could pay for a “total loss” agreement. Perhaps rather than pick one, it could divide a quarter from each.

Plus, the government never stated if it could change or trim some of its other projects, which they somehow find the money for.

Hasn’t the government spent millions on millions of taxpayers’ money fighting in court over its illegal tearing up of a contract with the teachers over class size and composition?

Furthermore, how come we didn’t hear about raising taxes when the Liberal government voted for a 29 per cent increase for their MLAs in 2009 or 18 per cent for ministerial assistants in 2012?

The Liberal government keeps on saying that educating our young is an essential service. Really?

Regarding the comment that other unions will want whatever the teachers get: if other unions can prove to an arbitrator that they lost wages over the last 12 years fighting for such things as class size and composition, then they had the government tear up the contract and replace it with their own conditions, using their own legislation to do so, then I say go for it.

Apples are not oranges.

Brian Koven

Pitt Meadows


Be generous

Editor, The News:

If teachers’ wages are not an issue in this strike, why not take them off the bargaining table and see if the parties are close enough to settle or at least close enough so Vince Reddy can step in?

Or, given the huge disparity between the lowest paid teachers and the highest paid ones, why don’t the top 40 per cent of  wage-earners in the BCTF voluntarily take a five per cent wage cut and give the money to the others?

Bill McGuire

Maple Ridge

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