If Christy Clark wins the provincial election on Tuesday, what shall I tell my students? When corruption and callous disregard for the marginalized can be so richly rewarded, what incentive do my students have for being good? When cheating does not preclude you from occupying the highest office in the province, why should they listen to my warnings about plagiarism?
What happens to our society when what we teach about ethics and citizenship inside our schools is not reflected in the reality outside our classrooms?
We’re all familiar with the adage that children learn what they live, that they don’t pay as much attention to what we say but they’re always watching what we do.
What are we doing, British Columbia?
Are we really going to reward 16 years of malgovernance on Tuesday?
My students will be graduating soon in a province that has the “worst-performing economy” for young people and some of the highest tuition fees in Canada. They’re more than likely to join the increasing numbers of post-secondary students using food banks. They’re also unlikely to be able to afford a home and will have to seriously consider whether they can afford to have a family, daycare costs being what they are.
And while they’re dealing with all that, they’ll also soon be responsible for the massive debt that the BC Liberals have accrued over the past 16 years to say nothing about the huge contractual obligations they’ll be saddled with, courtesy of Christy Clark’s pay-for-play politics.
Are we collectively going to say that that’s all okay on Tuesday 9th May?
The BC Liberals inherited a surplus when they won the election in 2001. A surplus. This may be shocking to learn given the massive amount of disinformation about the NDP’s governance last century.
When the NDP were last in power, we did not have young people leaving the province in mass numbers for a better life somewhere else. We did not wait 6 hours in emergency rooms. We did not pay tolls to cross bridges. And we did not have 3-year waits for psychometric assessments for students with special needs.
Schools had libraries and librarians. People with disabilities had bus passes. Frail seniors in nursing homes did not wait hours to go to the toilet. No one died after waiting for help in a hospital emergency room.
This does not have to be so. We can be so much better.
For the sake of my students, please vote for a future they can believe in, one that gives them hope for a better B.C.