Category Archives: BC Politics

Reforming BC’s Scholarship Program?

The BC government recently stopped accepting online submissions to its review of the BC scholarship program, but I had a chance to reply before it closed. The rationale for the review was well stocked with the 21st century jargon that Ministry of Education apparatchiks so adore: British Columbia has one of the best education systems in the world. […]

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The Phoniness of BC’s Teacher “Surplus” [Updated]

By 2008, an anticipated shortage of teachers in BC had disappeared. In a National Post article, the change seemed almost inexplicable: “My sense is that there are more teachers than we need in a couple of subject areas,” said Marie Crowther, registrar for the B.C. College of Teachers. “Overall the anticipated shortage hasn’t materialized and from my […]

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When is debt not debt? When it belongs to your friends.

Though Vaughn Palmer is not as obnoxious or snide as others in BC’s Senate-track press corp, his refusal to be honest about our debt is maddening. The central problem is that the BC Liberals have gone on a spending binge since 2005, but most of it is not counted as debt. The Liberals have been […]

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The False Argument of Equivalence

Mike Smyth’s Sunday editorial [Ed. The link is no longer available.] is a classic example of BC’s mainstream corporate media once again spinning the narrative of equivalence with regard to BC’s education system. We’ve seen it for years from mainstream commentators like Keith Baldrey, Jon Ferry and Tom Fletcher. [Les Leyne of the Times-Colonist is a recent […]

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An elected Canadian Senate is, by itself, a democratic disaster

Update (Dec. 6, 2015): It now appears, in the face of Justin Trudeau’s modest Senate reform efforts, that Christy Clark is aware of the same issues I discuss below. Good lord: Christy and I agree! _____________________________ The title seem paradoxical. How could electing the Canadian Senate – arguably a den of patronage and corruption – be […]

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A Review of Tom Bennett’s Teacher Proof

[D]on’t let the fashions crush you. And so many of them are so, so very bad. The thrill of innovation, the desire for simple answers, and the mistaken belief that educational research will shine a guiding light to a smarter, more efficient system, has proven the undoing of us, and will undermine us further if […]

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It’s the economy, stupid

It’s the economy, stupid. Although the #bcliberals are terrible economic managers, #bcndp silence on economy concedes issue to opponents. — Colin W. (@grapemanca) May 15, 2013 Probably the only positive outcome after the stunning BC election of May 14 was a petty sense of “I told you so”. Though I had predicted (like most people) […]

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Union support for the BC NDP is not the same as corporate support for the BC Liberals

A sore point for supporters of the right-wing BC Liberals is that their party seems so financially beholden to corporations. An immediate retort is that the NDP is equally beholden to unions. The NDP, in other words, is just as bad, so let’s move on.  The problem with this response is that, in British Columbia, […]

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Reflections on a 21st Century School

I recently had the opportunity to spend a day at Thomas Haney Secondary School in Maple Ridge, BC. The school is known for its commitment to flexible, personalized, learn-at-your-own-pace education, and is touted by many as an exemplar of progressive pedagogy. As a teacher curious about the phenomenon of “21st century learning”, but also a little […]

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The Port Mann Mess

Pete McMartin has offered another masterfully lopsided argument! It would be hypocritical of us “southsiders” to complain about the Port Mann toll if we had asked for a toll bridge earlier. But we hadn’t. We wanted the same deal everyone else was receiving, including the drivers of the new Sea-to-Sky highway, Pitt River bridge and Park […]

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