Letters to the Editor

Fassbender, government don’t appear ready to negotiate

Editor: Education Minister Peter Fassbender has to be kidding, with his comment about being ready to negotiate 24/7 with the B.C. Teachers Federation.

I say to him, you have no idea what the word “negotiate” means.

As he is a former local civic official, I find this hard to believe. I’m sure he has negotiated with Langley City workers in his time as mayor. What’s so different this time?

I’m convinced he and the government don’t want to negotiate, they simply want to get their version of a contract. As much as he keeps arguing that teachers are asking for too much, that it goes beyond “affordability” in achieving a balanced budget, how is the government paying to fight forest fires when many of them do not endanger people?

The media is reporting that the government has already outspent its budget on forest fires, so stop wasting our money.

What about the money it must be spending because of the tailings pond spill in the Cariboo?

Did it have a line item in the budget for that? What happens when the mining company runs out of money in order to finish the cleanup? How will the  government pay for that?

It all comes down to political will. If the government really wanted to reach an agreement with the BCTF, Fassbender would be sitting at the same table as Jim Iker, working on solutions to get kids back to school.

Maybe the government could spare a little extra cash from its legislative building gardening budget to do some weeding at some Langley school properties.

I can’t remember the last time I saw a nicely landscaped garden around our schools.

The minister should earn his money and get back to real bargaining. That’s the least B.C.’s kids and parents deserve.

Paul Milette,

Langley teacher

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