Saturday, September 13, 2014

Government serves insiders and elites

Plutocrats
It is clear that BC Liberal strategy is to reward insiders and elites. That's been shown in countless ways, particularly since Christy Clark took office as Premier in 2011. Shortly after her return to Victoria, a handful of senior civil servants departed with millions in severance rewards, paid even if the ex-employees crossed the street and immediately gained equally rewarding work elsewhere, as all did. More millions of dollars were paid as severance to senior Liberals following the 2013 election, including almost half a million to the manager who steered BC Place to a steady run of losses.

However, people outside the Liberal orbit do not get the same generous treatment. Beverley Maxwell had been director of certification for the B.C. College of Teachers and was terminated in 2012 when the province eliminated the College. Her contract required payment of severance but government chose not to pay. Ms. Maxwell went to Supreme Court and was awarded $312,545. Again, Government chose not to pay. Despite a very weak case, Government filed an appeal, which they lost earlier this month.

Beverley Maxwell was not a Liberal insider; she was a professional educator who had worked 16 years for the College of Teachers. Therefore, to get the payment she was due, Ms. Maxwell had to wait two years and spend tens of thousand of dollars on lawyers and court fees.

Of course, the main issue in recent days has been government's refusal to negotiate or arbitrate with public school teachers, people who are clearly not insiders or elites. A Premier who sends her own child to an upscale private school seems not bothered that hundreds of thousands of children are out of class. The government that has twice had its efforts to legislate teachers' working conditions declared unconstitutional is now threatening to try a third time, even though numerous legal opinions state they are offending the Canada Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The official Liberal position is that educators are greedy and government has no additional money for schools. However, during recent years, budgets for post secondary institutions have kept ahead of inflation while budgets for elementary and secondary public schools have fallen behind, despite a greater load of special needs and ESL students. Instead of providing funds to deal with unique challenges, this government withholds assessment resources and pretends special needs students exist in fewer numbers than they do.

However, the Premier and her ministers have not had the same tight-fisted messages for private schools. Those operations have benefited from increased public funding. Here is a comparison of funding changes, showing public schools and select private schools.



Obviously, the individual schools here are ones that serve the province's economic elites. Perhaps that explains the unequal treatment.



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14 comments:

  1. I am a BC teacher, and I'm therefore perfectly willing to be completely outraged by the information that you've presented here. But before I get too carried away with righteous indignation, could you please reveal the sources of your statistical information?

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  2. BC Public Accounts I/c schedule of detailed payments.

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  3. A good list of businesses to boycott. These are the ones joining the government to fight in October against your children:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/17q2b7tSyxkWYJYP8d3Hv3i10ZmQpCrodTsoOtLC5ung/mobilebasic?pli=1

    And then get this tidbit. Guess who is in charge of the Alliance of Beverage Licensees named in Intrevenor status, Exec. Dir. is Kim Haakstad? Same person? http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/03/01/Haakstad-Resigns.

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    Replies
    1. "The business coalition’s argument, filed with the B.C. Court of Appeal on June 30, says it has an interest in the case because collective bargaining issues spill over into the private sector, and that the decision will have a significant impact on the ability of the government and the Legislature to make decisions regarding spending public funds in the public interest."

      "The Coalition of B.C. Businesses represents 50,000 small and medium-size businesses in the province."

      Gee, I wonder how many of these business negotiate collective agreements with their employees? I work for one of the larger firms on the list and I don't belong to a union. So it's not going impact me one bit. Except when the bill comes due from all the Liberal legal stupidity.

      I hope the coalition loses a couple of hundred thousand in legal fees on this. But then, they'd just pass the loss along to their customers and clients.

      Sort of the same thing the Liberals are doing to BC taxpayers.

      Delete
  4. well isn't that a fine howdy do.

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  5. This wholesale corruption of government started under the NDP, then increased ten fold with the Gordon Campbell Liberal and now has increased another ten fold with Premier Photo-op! The sleaze from this government oozes everywhere like a sickening cancer and the Liberal base, the Neo-Conservatives; transplanted Tea- party types; and the tin-foil hat brigade are so filled with contempt and hate for everyone else, they overlook the gangsterization of the BC Liberal!

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  6. Funding changes might not be per student per capita graph

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  7. Gawd, this is good, Norm.

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  8. BC manufacturing consent?

    http://pacificgazette.blogspot.ca/2014/09/this-day-in-snooklandtheyre-on-to-us.html

    ReplyDelete
  9. Terrific column. The small mindedness of this government never ceases to amaze.

    ReplyDelete
  10. If Gordon and Christy hadn't dealt the HST card, the Province wouldn't be $3 billion in debt to the Feds....

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  11. This is the most immoral,corrupt, crony ridden government that I can remember. They're a government of the rich, for the rich and by the rich. And yet they consistently pull 40+ % of the vote no matter how corrupt or incompetent they are. I'm really hoping that with all this anger over public education that people will finally see Christy Clark for what she really is, an egotistical, shallow, superficial woman who has no interest in actually governing for the people of BC and is only interested in enriching herself and her crony second rate capitalist friends.

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  12. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/andes-to-the-amazon/2014/jun/29/peru-licence-to-kill-environmental-protestors

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  13. Foreign coal being exported thru BC - is that causing local coal mines to shut down ie terrace.?

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