The trustees of School District 79, Cowichan Valley were elected to fulfil a particular mandate — the education of our children. They had a responsibility to fulfil that mandate. They saw that they could not do that on the funding they were given and submitted a deficit budget.
They were then fired. The education system has suffered cutbacks in the last years at the same time as costs were increasing and more demands were being made on the education system. The public education system is inclusive and children with special needs have as much right as others to a good education.
The education of all children is essential to the future of this province, to the country, to all of us.
The fired trustees have been replaced by an appointed administrator who is able to change policies put in place by the board. Is this an interim position until a new board of trustees can be elected?
There does not seem to be any plans for a by-election to replace the fired trustees. All sorts of rumours are flying around here. One is that there is no point in having a by-election as the same people would be elected and the same thing would happen again. (What a chance for any majority government to do away with elections altogether!)
The field would be open for anyone to run for election. If you feel that way — afraid that the same people would be elected with the same outcome — run for a position on the board yourself!
Why the trustees were fired is irrelevant when it comes to the necessity of holding a by-electron. The situation is that there are no elected trustees at present. We need to have elected trustees. We need to have a by-election. What is the problem? If the same people are elected, the government and Ministry of Education should pay attention. There is a strong message from the community there.