It's been a heady week of attacking BC teachers. Whether it be the college supposedly failing to keep bad teachers out of schools, or the demands of teachers in bargaining, it seems just about every CanWest paper and CKNW station is out to demonize teachers.
I'm not surprised.
They can't attack our primary demand - improved classroom conditions. They know that parents are onside when it comes to improving funding for schools and making classes smaller and more manageable. The recent court decision only makes this harder as a third party - a Supreme court judge, no less - found that we were correct and the government acted unconstitutionally.
So instead? Focus on the tiny number of "bad apples" (which, of course, every profession has). The most blatent was the Province's distasteful cartoon using a Hitler image in the role of substitute teacher. It's hard to express in words how disrespectful this is, but I loved the humourous comeback of one blogster: "Province's Nazi Cartoon all in good fun"
However these diversion tactics are really for another purpose - they want to paint teachers as the enemy (for wanting decent wages and working conditions) so that we don't notice the massive theft taking place of ordinary families by government, the banks and corporate Canada.
I'm no fan of the Fraser Institute, and I don't agree with the conclusion they reach, but this article was interesting to show how taxation has shifted to average Canadians (http://www.fraserinstitute.org/research-news/news/display.aspx?id=17445). Corporations and the wealthy used to pay *closer* to their fair share to support public services. As corporate taxes declined, governments relied on debt to finance these services. Now that the debt bubble has burst in so many places, it is the services themselves and the people who work as public servants that are under threat.
The answer is very simple. Don't cut services. Don't increase taxes for ordinary working families. Don't demonize public sector workers. Don't decimate the middle class. Tax those who can afford to pay.