--> Getting It Right: School Trustees Ready to Debate...Mining

Thursday, April 27, 2006

School Trustees Ready to Debate...Mining

Staring today the BC School Trustees Association is holding its 102nd Annual Meeting in Prince George and one of the motions facing delegates concerns the impact of the resource sector on northern BC.

You may ask yourself what does a meeting of elected school trustees have to do with our newly reinvigorated resource sector?

And it would be a good question, especially given all the challenges actually facing our education sector. But a group of trustees has decided that this sector is responsible for a whole series of social ills facing their towns.

Just to remind you, the industries under attack are characterized by high-paying jobs, good benefits and the potential to bring prosperity to struggling northern communities - communities that traditionally have the highest unemployment rates in the province and the lowest student scores.

AGM motion number 15, oddly filed under the category of “Student/Curriculum”, moves that the BCSTA lobby the provincial government to bring in heavier regulations in the resource sector. The trustees bringing this forward include those representing regions hit hard by the departure of resource companies in this province in the 1990s: Quesnel, Prince George, Peace River North and South, Fort Nelson, Stikine and Nechako Lakes.

What it boils down to is these trustees are afraid that the “boom” times accompanying new mills, mines and port operations expose the kids in the town to all sorts of negative influences.

These include, from their perspective: lack of child supervision, school truancy, increased student drop-out rates as students leave school to go to high paying jobs, increased incidents of suicide, increased transience rates, family violence, migration of disassociated youth to major centres, malnutrition, addiction and other health-related issues.

It seems to me that many of these very negative items could just as easily be attributed to poverty and isolation.

A call to the communications staff at the BCSTA suggested that this basket of accusations was developed from anecdotal experience, not hard research. Calls to the trustee behind the motion were not returned.

Most of all, this motion completely fails to address the important impact that socio-economic status has on student achievement in schools and poverty in general.
Both BCTF and the Fraser Institute studies have shown that students who come from families with good incomes tend to have higher rates of success in school completion, literacy, and numeracy.

If that is the case, and I believe it is, then it seems very strange that those in charge of our schools would prefer to discourage a strong northern economy by adding additional hoops to the bureaucracy a company must leap through before opening up operations.

Why blame the resource sector for this list of societal ills when, for many communities, these jobs will finally provide the economic strength so that the kids living there can succeed in school and in life?

Full disclosure: Erin Airton works with a mining company with no BC-based operations.


At 10:19 a.m., Anonymous Sean P, Vancouver-Quilchena said...


I happen to appreciate your comments, especially today......And thanks for the full disclosure at the end of the article! :-)

Yes, it's very typical...With the BCTF negotiating a new contract with the Ministry, and the age/safety of school buildings, class sizes, the curriculae, and other issues affecting our students, and what do the trustees do? Debate the issue of mining!

At 11:56 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leftists ideology finds a breeding ground in poverty, dependence on Government, and unemployment.

They risk their raison d'etre if society becomes prosperous.

So they always torpedo every poverty eradication move.

Union interest takes precedence over the interest of common people.

Bijan Basak
Apr 27, 2006

At 5:49 p.m., Blogger Walter Schultz said...

They should be focusing on more important issues. How about showing more attention to early childhood education. All our future generations of learners need to come to Kindergarten with the most basic skills, knowing their ABC's and counting to 10.

At 9:01 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...


A root cause of all the social ills
mentioned in your article
is the State imposed break-up
of the nuclear family with
the father as the head of the household.

This was done by ever greater amounts of State taxation and State regulation so that a father
could no longer support a family
on his own. In addition the
State is imposing a
matriarchal society on us by
becoming the provider for
broken homes ( read single-female
headed households ). After the
female has stolen HIS children
the new State Husband will support her.

The females give the children incorrect socialisation and
they are without the father
to give them correct socialisation.
This is where the social ills are
coming from. But try telling
School Trustees or any type
of State Paycheck collecter that.

All matriarchial societies
throughout history have failed.

See this:


At 9:07 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...


You'll have to type this link in manually
to get the correct article.
"The Garbage Generation"


At 7:32 a.m., Blogger Brian Lemon said...

Why not blame all the societal ills on spots on Pluto?
How can it be that educated, "good humanist", unionized teachers' associates can always find a link between problems and capitalism?
Maybe poverty causes poverty and it's ilk. And maybe stupidity causes stupid ideas.

At 5:56 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

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