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There is ideological opposition to any kind of private sector investment in power generation and it's completely entrenched, they're fear-mongering and twisting facts. I believe that those groups are in fact exaggerating the situation.
We're having successful projects and we're moving forward and we're trying to educate the public about the real facts as we go.
Pique: Local governments throughout the riding are increasing property taxes above inflation this year, and are partially blaming downloading from the province for shifting the tax burden. Is there another solution?
JM: I think that we have had unprecedented co-operation in this province in the last short while among the federal government, provincial government and municipal government. We've had a number of grants that have been supporting... municipal objectives. Our government has been doubling the community grants, we've been returning 100 per cent of traffic fines to municipalities, we've had these Green City grants, there's Towns for Tomorrow and the LocalMotion grants, so there's a whole range of grants that the province has been providing to municipalities. And we've also been the leader in Canada in getting some of the programs like the fuel tax rebate. I agree there's always more work to be done but we're also in an economic downturn. I think that we're all in a situation where we're having to tighten our belts. There's only one taxpayer. We're trying to meet their needs on one level. I think everybody has to lower their expectations until we're out the other side of this.
Pique: Many teachers and parents are opposed to standardized testing in schools. What is your view on standardized testing?
JM: I think the FSA's have an important role in objectively measuring our progress and the successes we're having, and I think the quarrel is how they're used. I think we can quite rightly have a public debate about that. It's the law that those tests are to be administered and the BCTF standing up and counseling teachers not to administer them is not a healthy situation. Right now they're a requirement.
Pique: Whistler just had a daycare close. One of the reasons given is the difficulty in finding staff that meet provincial qualification requirements, as well as daycare funding cuts at the federal level that were then matched at the provincial level. What would you do to save daycare?