Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for the week of March 8th, 2012

Not a waster of tax dollars

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Page 5 of 7

Pina Belperio

Whistler

An open letter to Sea to Sky parents and guardians

As you are aware, Sea to Sky teachers joined with our colleagues in a province-wide full-scale withdrawal of service for March 5, 6, and 7. We wish you to know that we take this action reluctantly and only after careful consideration. Despite our efforts to keep the impact of our job action to a minimum, and reach a negotiated settlement through either independent mediation or binding arbitration, the provincial government has instead elected to use heavy-handed legislation.

We have decided that we can no longer stand by and allow more damage to public education. Bill 22, known as the "Education Improvement Act," goes well beyond the "net zero mandate" set by the government, and sets the stage for even worsening conditions in our classrooms. This bill:

• does not restore class size limits and guaranteed support services for students with special needs that the B.C. Supreme Court ruled were illegally legislated away in 2002

• Removes minimal class size limits that were contained in previous legislation known as Bill 33. Beginning next year, there are no firm class size limits for Grades 4-12

• Removes even the most minimal consideration for services to students with special needs.

• Attempts to silence teachers by imposing heavy fines and removing our job security.

• Removes our ability to choose the best way to plan and deliver lessons and assessments that are appropriate for each child.

• Will allow for a continuation of funding cuts. B.C. school districts will receive a $100 million cut for 2012-13.

We understand that this is a difficult time and we appreciate your understanding and support. Please visit us while we are outside of our schools to receive more information.

Beth Miller, SSTA president

Squamish

Buyer Beware

I received an insert in my Fortis bill advising me that I may be eligible for a $300 rebate if I upgraded my fireplace. When I went to apply for the rebate I noticed on the very last line of eligible homes that literally the only place not eligible was Whistler.

Included are the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Interior, Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. It would be interesting to know whether they sent these inserts to the "north."

It is also odd that a community that uses so much gas (it's cold here) would be denied the incentive to upgrade to a more efficient product. When I asked the Fortis manager why they would send a bill insert to an ineligible area she replied..."a third party sends our stuffers; we can't control where the stuffers go; and our customers need to make sure they are eligible." Buyer Beware!