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Posted: January 31, 2017

Understanding Christy Clark

Letter to the Editor

Gordon Campbell’s Liberals came to power in 2001 with a promise of fair treatment of public sector unions. With Christy Clark as his Minister of Education, in January 2002 the government stripped provisions from public sector unions.

In 2004 the BC Supreme Court found: “By passing this legislation without consulting with the BC Teachers Federation (BCTF), the government did not preserve the essential underpinning of collective bargaining, namely good faith negotiation and consultation.”

The judge gave the government a year to rectify. The Clark government imposed another contract, which the BC Supreme Court ruled on in 2014: “The Liberals had no more bargained in good faith with the BCTF than in the first case.”

The Christy Clark government decided to appeal to the BC Court of Appeals, which overturned the two lower court decisions. The case went to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2016, where it took 20 minutes for the court to restore the finding of bargaining in bad faith.

Christy Clark says on the Supreme Court ruling:

“The government anticipated the ruling.” (Nov. 11 Vancouver Sun)

“If it costs more money, that’s a good thing in lots of ways because it’s a good investment to put money into classrooms and our kids.” (Nov. 11 Vancouver Sun)

Christy Clark says teachers’ win is opportunity to invest in kids. (Nov. 13 CBC)

“Kids are only going to do better when we put more resources in.” (Nov. 13 CBC)

Those who believe in collective bargaining and democracy can thank the teachers’ union. Why did it take four courts over 15 years for Clark to do what’s right?

We have had terrible government, but they are blessed with a dysfunctional opposition who, by structure and operations, are poised to steel defeat from the jaws of victory. The NDP leader says education will be the number one issue in the May election. Horgan will first face the self-inflicted hurdles of gender equity and grizzly bears.

The continuing problems of union money and parachute campaign managers appear insoluble. Locals win elections when Soviet Central Planning gets out of the way. How long does the party elite think they can continue running losing campaigns before an alternative overtakes them?

William G. Hills


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