This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Tackling child poverty essential to fixing broken school system

This week, Kathryn and I debated the education platforms of the BC Liberals and the BC NDP. ( would have been nice to debate all the platforms,but column space simply wouldn’t allow such a large overview- we have to choose a focus for each column)

Whose platform for education is more effective: the BC Liberals or BC NDP?

Nelson Mandela once said education is the most powerful weapon to change the world. It’s too bad that for the past 10 years in this province, education has taken a back seat thanks to the BC Liberals. Under this leadership, we’ve seen overcrowded schools, unmanageable classroom compositions, and even cuts to adult and skills training programs.

Quite frankly, when I read the BC Liberal platform on education, I found myself wondering how they expect voters can believe any of it, considering how little attention the “Families First” leadership of Christy Clark has given them. Through the years, they’ve cut funding to parent advisory councils and special needs programs. They repeatedly broke their own legislation on class sizes. In many urban locations, valuable outdoor space and school fields that are essential to physical education are disappearing under a sea of portable classrooms.

Read Kathryn Marshall’s column

Education and related initiatives, particular in the early years, pay solid dividends later on in our communities and our economy, so making education work for every student in the province must be a priority. On that front, the BC NDP have made firm commitments that tell me they have closely examined the issues that matter most.

What stands out for me in the NDP platform is the recognition that 30% of children entering kindergarten do not meet core, developmental benchmarks. In many cases, this is directly related to the appalling level of childhood poverty in what appears to the world to be a highly modernized and developed province. In my opinion, the current level of childhood poverty directly reflects the priorities of the current government…


Read the rest of this column,here

And while you are here, why not scroll down and check out the updated 100+ reasons the BC Liberals need to go, or scroll down further and learn about Christy Clarks auto accident settlement.. just weeks before the election.

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