Letters: Teacher rally not spontaneous

The truth is, “An angry mob of about 120 placard-waving teachers crashed Maple Ridge’s 140th birthday party.”

Editor, the News:

Re: Premier exploited birthday (Letters, Sept. 12).

Shelley Evans claimed the premier and her education minister crashed a scheduled parent and student rally, attended and supported by teachers, taking place in Memorial Peace Park.

The truth, as reported by Neil Corbett in the lead story on Sept. 12, is the inverse: “An angry mob of about 120 placard-waving teachers crashed Maple Ridge’s 140th birthday party.”

The rally was not, as Ms. Evans pretended, a spontaneous, grass-roots “parent and student rally in support of public education.”

Both the president and first vice-president of the Maple Ridge Teachers’ Association admitted they organized the rally to exploit the already-scheduled civic anniversary event in the ACT.

Besides turning the truth on its head, Ms. Evans failed to divulge the crucial fact that she is a teacher. This omission mislead readers into believing she attended the rally solely as a concerned parent, whereas she is a BCTF member and a party to the ongoing labour dispute with a direct financial stake in its outcome.

I understand Ms. Evans teaches drama. I hope she doesn’t teach ethics.

Kirk Brown

Maple Ridge


Editor, the News:

Re: Bistro window smashed (The News, Sept. 12).

I was standing about 50 feet away when the Big Feast Bistro owner arrived at the back entrance of the ACT to deliver lunch for Premier Christy Clark and her group.

I heard no noise or commotion, nor harsh words from anywhere as he drove up, neither from our group nor from another group at the underground parking lot exit more than 100 feet away.

During the brief time he was unloading into the back entrance, the only words from any protestor he would have heard would have been from a women in our group, greeting and waving to his son, whom she told us was a friend of one of her children.

His son smiled and waved back.  During the delivery, I observed no chanting, yelling or gesticulating from any protestor within sight or earshot.

In fact, it was unnaturally quiet at that time, as people were talking in low voices, speculating on how long the premier would stay inside, and where she might exit the building.

I did notice that the bistro owner kept his head down, and did not look around, and I remarked quietly to my companion that he looked uncomfortable. But from my clear vantage point, it was not because of any unwelcome actions from any protestor, because there were none.

As one of the group of protestors near the delivery, I have unfairly suffered insults and accusations from people who read your story.

Steve Ranta

Maple Ridge


Not sympathetic

Editor, the News:

Re: Teachers hit hard by strike (The News, Sept. 10).

The way everyone is carrying on, one would think teachers are the only people with job and financial issues.

Six years ago, we lost 80 per cent of our income when my husband lost his 26-year career due to technology and an uncaring employer.  At 59, he found a warehouse job in Vancouver for $12.50 an hour. He has not had a raise in five years.

I am on a disability pension and we are barely surviving. We have sold clothes, jewelry and beloved childhood possessions and will continue to do so. We may have to sell our house.

So if I don’t seem too sympathetic, consider that a lot of people have been suffering longer than a couple of weeks.

E.L. Willmott

Maple Ridge


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