Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

ADAM OLSEN -- I decided to share her perspective here, because I felt it was a fair representation of much of the sentiment that people shared with me

For three weeks this Fall the focus in the Saanich schools was on the quality of public education in British Columbia.

I received a lot of feedback from my constituents during the labour disruption. One of those messages was from Judy Reimche, a grandmother and a former journalist on the Saanich Peninsula. 

I decided to share her perspective here, because I felt it was a fair representation of much of the sentiment that people shared with me.

Education is our society’s top priority. We hear that said all the time, but government doesn’t walk the talk.

For more than a decade, the school district budgets across the province have been cut, deeply, by government, beginning with Gordon Campbell Liberals in 2001. At the same time, demands on the education system have grown exponentially. That’s putting budgets first, and not necessarily the education budget.

Other countries have made a conscious decision to put education – kids — first. Those countries are making a real commitment to youth, and respecting the need for a well-educated population. Scandinavian countries are often held up as examples.

The example of which I am personally aware is in Taiwan, where my two grandchildren are living and being educated. Their education began in Canada, but the opportunities outside the classroom they have in Taiwan surpass what we offer. 

About five years ago the government decided it wanted all its citizens to be more aware of their own country’s traditions, history and its many-faceted educational opportunities, so they set up classes across the country -- accessible to all ages. These range from all aspects of the arts, to science, history, culture, sports skills training and more. Experts are brought in from around the world to share their knowledge, thereby expanding students’ horizons. All the classes are free.

Our grandson, then 16, took an 8-month machining course last year through which he earned certification, along with his Grade 11 certification. It was totally free of charge, unless you don’t finish the class; then you must pay for the course. 

Our son, an immigrant, upgraded his carpentry certificate, again for free. They even paid him a stipend, as the government believes families shouldn’t suffer when education is involved.

In BC, people pay for all courses, sometimes going into debt to do it.

Taiwan can do this as everyone pays a flat rate of income tax, no exceptions.

Their governors believe that a well-educated population means a dynamic economy. If we truly believe the same thing, education has to be funded appropriately.

We need to redefine education, and how to ensure students can succeed in today’s world.


Popular posts from this blog

It seems the call for blood donors is being responded to, however ... “This effort is a marathon, not a sprint” says Canadian Blood Services

A week and a half ago I wrote the commentary ... “ While the national inventory is currently strong, an increase in blood donor cancellations is a warning sign of potential challenges to maintaining a health inventory of blood ” It was written as a result of talk about a potential blood shortage that would occur if people stopped donating due to the COVID-19 virus. It seems the call to Canadians was responded to, however, as I was told this afternoon ... “ T his effort is a marathon, not a sprint ”. As it now stands now, donors are able to attend clinics which are held in Vancouver (2), Victoria, Surrey, and in Kelowna, so I asked if there any plans to re-establish traveling clinics to others communities - for example in Kamloops, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Revelstoke or Cranbrook, and perhaps further north at perhaps Ft. St. John? According to Communications Lead Regional Public Affairs Specialist Marcelo Dominguez, Canadian Blood Services is still on

FEDLSTED -- Rules will have to relax-- the question is how and when

The media has created a fervour over the mathematical models that allegedly help governments predict the future of Coronavirus infections in the general population. Mathematical modelling has limited use and value. We need to understand is that the data available on Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in Canada is far too small for statistical reliability. The data available for the whole world is useless due to variables in how nations responded to Coronavirus infections. There is no commonality in steps taken to combat virus spread and no similarity in the age demographics of world nations, so the numbers you see on the daily tracking of world infections are not useful in developing a model of infection rates that can be relied on. Mathematical models of the future spread of Coronavirus are better than nothing, but not a whole lot better.  Mathematical models must include assumptions on virus spreads, and various factors involved. As they are used in projections, a small erro

When necessary – and only when necessary – the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program can attach (garnish) wages

Alan Forseth ~~ Kamloops, BC ~~ May 15th Earlier this week (Monday May 13 th ) the BC government announced it would be establishing a new Crown agency to oversee the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP).   They indicated that on or before the end of October, the provision of family maintenance services would transition from a contracted service provider, to the newly created Crown agency. Apparently, this was to ensure that family maintenance enforcement services for vulnerable British Columbians continue uninterrupted. Seeing this story, reminded me of a woman ( we’ll call her Mary Brown ) who had email me some time b ack about this very thing, and questions she had about how maintenance enforcement was imposed and enforced. She said to me, “ I’m just curious if you can get any statistics of the homeless men and woman, that have children, that they are paying family maintenance in support of their children”.  “I am not about to sugg


Show more