“Drop the appeal so children can go to school.” ~ Dan Brooks, leader of the BC Conservatives.

Although I have many conservative friends, it’s a rare day when I agree with any of them… 🙂

However, Dan Brooks has a solution so commonsense that it really puts Christy Clark and the Liberal government right on the spot in a big way.

From his press release:

September 2, 2014, Kamloops, BC –  The largest obstacle to resolving the government-teachers’ dispute is Premier Christy Clark’s determination to appeal a decision from January by the Supreme Court of British Columbia that found her administration’s Bill 22 was ‘unconstitutional.’

Dan Brooks, Leader of the BC Conservative Party, made that observation today as he reiterated his call for Premier Clark to immediately drop her legal appeal of the Bill 22 decision and instead begin ‘good faith’ negotiations with the province’s public-school teachers.

“Premier Clark, Education minister Peter Fassbender and other members of this government believe it is better to spend taxpayers’ dollars in courtrooms, instead of in our classrooms,” said Brooks.

The fact is that Ms. Clark and her BC Liberals have a dismal litigation record, having lost twice on their ‘unconstitutional’ legislation that unlawfully stripped bargaining rights from teachers.

It is long past time for Premier Clark to move on, accept the fact that her government lost two expensive court cases, and get back to negotiating a collective agreement that is fair both to taxpayers and teachers,” he said.

Brooks pointed out that B.C. taxpayers already were on the hook to pay $2 million in damages to the BCTF because of the Clark government’s refusal to negotiate in ‘good faith’ with public-school teachers.

How much more taxpayers’ money is going to be mis-spent under Premier Clark if she continues her appeal?” Brooks asked.

The Leader of the BC Conservative Party also noted that the Clark government – instead of using in-house lawyers with the Ministry of Attorney General to fight the appeal – had retained an outside litigation attorney at exorbitant corporate rates.

It has been said that if your case is weak, you should get the most expensive lawyer you can,” said Brooks.

Premier Clark, rather than utilizing government lawyers already on the public payroll, has acknowledged that her appeal argument is so anaemic that she had to hire a legal ‘superstar’. This madness must come to an end – and the sooner the better to get B.C. children back in school.

And with that, Dan Brooks firmly puts the ball in the government court.

For a premier who was so concerned in Wednesdays press conference to get to the issues of class size and composition, this is the perfect opportunity to put action to power and drop the appeal.

Anything less is lip service.


20 Comments on ““Drop the appeal so children can go to school.” ~ Dan Brooks, leader of the BC Conservatives.

  1. The more serious issue here is: Do we want these courts effectively engaging in legislating and deciding expenditures and thus tax levels? Isn’t this properly the role of an elected government? Fortunately, I think this government, for all it’s faults, is at least prepared to address this problem.

    • It is not prepared to deal with this. They have repeatedly refused to go to binding arbitration to solve the dispute.

  2. One of the better suggestions. I’d like to know exactly what the government has spent on their appeals through this process trying to protect Crusty’s stupid decisions when she was Education Minister.

  3. I’ve been waiting to hear something like this from the ‘official opposition’. Is there a reason they’re staying mum on this dispute? Perhaps, because the BC Liberals are always whining about their close relationship with Unions, they feel the Libs would find any comment from them would just be more grist for the mill.

  4. As one of your conservative friends, Laila, I also find this proposal to be good old fashioned common sense.
    The nub for much of this conflict is about individual personalities and more to the point, felt insults and hurts.
    This happens in all walks of life and to individuals you and I would expect more of.
    The government of BC has let taxpayers down without a doubt.
    The BCTF has bastardized its membership from the high minded professionals we hoped they were to a bunch of raving sycophants.
    What to do…….

    • DO NOT insult teachers with your ignorant ranting. We are highly educated, extremely dedicated to our profession and our students, are well within reason during this and other negotiations. What we have asked for, in terms of salary and benefit improvements, is FAR less than the average public sector (2.4% in 2013/14, StatsCan) and private sector (2.8%) settlements. What this government hates is that we are challenging their abuse of power and that we have won TWICE in the courts.
      If we rave, it is because of the disinformation that has been disseminated by the Liberals and the numb of people who blindly believe it.

  5. have to agree….drop the e80 clause and the attempt to be “three time losers” at court, and get on with negotiations. Very glad my kids are out of public ed. now, but great sympathies for those who still are….

  6. Perhaps the BC Liberals are emboldened by the story of the BC hospital workers, who lost their appeals 3x before winning at the Supreme Court of Canada?

    Methinks she has other motivations, though.

  7. lip service? about all the liebeals know how to do is flap their gums. They haven’t done anything meaningful except drive the province deeper into debt.

    Yes, things are a little off, when we agree with the leader of the B.C. Conservative party. Obviously he is a true Conservative, and the B.C. lieberals just another bunch of teabagging B.C.ers.

  8. I too wish that Dan Brooks would send this in as an op ed. Since we now have Clark on the record saying how important Class size and composition are, dropping the appeal makes sense.

    Is someone doing a cost analysis on the court case expenditures. I’d venture to say its in the millions.

    Its worth remembering that the court case is about contract law. Insert different names and circumstances and it is pretty simple. X vs. Y.

    Let’s see, Joe Blow is suing John Doe because John Doe has arbitrarily decided to not honor their contract for 10 years of landscape work. The reason for breaking the contract rests only on John Doe’s assertion that he can’t afford to pay for 10 years of landscaping services.

    In the courts eyes, John Doe, not being able to afford his contracted service is moot. A contract and its consequences to the finances of John Doe should have been considered before both parties signed the contract in good faith.

    There is no difference here. The principal that applies to contract law does not change because the contract is, in John Doe’s eyes, unaffordable.

    Considering that the provincial Liberals have no problem playing past and loose with the truth, their ripping up a legal document poses no ethical problem at all.

  9. Until politicians are financially and criminally liable for the endless partisan decisions that they spew forth with not a care in the world as to the cost of their “agendas” .
    We , the taxpayers, will continue to suffer the consequences.
    I didnt vote for that idiot. But the majority did.
    How are you enjoying the school year so far voters?
    Did you think Christy was going to improve with age?