B.C. Education Minister Fires Vancouver School Board


Labour groups and parents have all gathered to protest against the firing of Vancouver school board by the B.C. Education Minister, Mike Bernier, as it causes further divide amid highly politicized environment. The board has been replaced by former Delta School District superintendent, Dianne Turner, as the official trustee. Although Bernier doesn’t expect Turner to rush any decisions, there are growing speculations about possible school closures or cuts before the provincial election next May.

The announcement to fire the board came on Monday as the education minister blamed it for failing to pass a balanced budget on Monday morning although the VSB was poised to approve the balanced budget that they refused to approve by the government’s June 30 deadline. In his remarks, Bernier stated that “I have no confidence in any of those announcements or decisions they were making,” adding that “what we’ve witnessed from the Vancouver school board is a misplaced focus on political tactics rather than responsible stewardship.” Bernier stressed that “the board failed to follow the law.”

Former VSB chairman and one of the four Vision trustees on the politically split board, Mike Lombardi, labeled the move to fire the democratically elected school board as an “outrageous political decision.” He highlighted that “the people of Vancouver elected trustees to stand up for public education, not to do the provincial government’s dirty work of closing schools, cutting programs and selling off public assets to address a budget shortfall of their own making. The Vancouver school board is now being run out of Premier Christy Clark’s office.”

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