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Sound Files Available

Friday, April 24, 2009

Coalition-sponsored all-candidates K-12 education debate, April 20, 2009

For those who were unable to attend the meeting, you can stream rough cuts of the audio recordings of the debate at the links below. The Moderator for the evning was Erica Johnson. Participants were: Rob Fleming, NDP; Jane Sterk, Green Party; Mike Brousseau, Conservative Party. The Liberal Party declined to send a representative, but an empty chair was left for them at the table.

http://www.cufa.bc.ca/files/k-12-intro-and-openings.mp3    (4.8 MB)
http://www.cufa.bc.ca/files/k-12-q-and-a-pt-1.mp3    (10.3 MB)
http://www.cufa.bc.ca/files/k-12-q-and-a-pt-2.mp3    (9.6 MB)
http://www.cufa.bc.ca/files/k-12-closings-and-end.mp3    (2.4 MB)



Tuesday, April 21 2009

BC Liberals' "no show" forces debate cancellation

VANCOUVER: Organizers for an all candidates debate on post-secondary education issues have been forced to cancel the event because the BC Liberals have declined to participate in the debate. The event was organized by the Coalition for Public Education and was scheduled for Wednesday April 22, at the University of Victoria.

“We are extremely frustrated that the BC Liberals are not prepared to show up for this all-candidates debate,” said Cindy Oliver, President of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators (FPSE). The Federation, along with the Canadian Federation of Students, was organizing the April 22nd event. “They have been in office for eight years. They've made major changes to the post-secondary education system. Voters want to question their policies, but by being no-shows at this debate, they are side-stepping that kind of scrutiny,” Oliver added.

“The other major parties were prepared to participate, but the BC Liberals declined. That says a lot about how the BC Liberals are prepared to defend their record. At the very least, they should be prepared to address voters’ questions in an open forum,” Oliver concluded.

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 Contact: Phillip Legg, cellular (604) 788-2877


Monday, April 20, 2009

BC Liberals dodge debate on public education

VANCOUVER: The BC Coalition for Public Education held an all-party forum on K-12 education in Vancouver, on Monday, April 20, but the BC Liberal Party could not find a single candidate out of 85 willing or able to participate.

Chad Pederson, BC Liberal Director of Communications and Membership Services, told Coalition representatives in an email, “in looking into our candidates' schedules and other debate requests received, we must unfortunately decline to participate”.

The three other major political parties in British Columbia all sent candidates to the forum to discuss their party’s platform on K-12 education.

The BC Conservatives sent Mike Brousseau, candidate in the northern riding of Skeena. Current BC NDP Advanced Education Critic, Rob Fleming, attended from the riding of Victoria-Swan Lake. The Green Party of BC sent their leader and Esquimalt-Royal Roads candidate, Jane Sterk.

The purposes of the coalition is to support and promote a universally accessible, quality public education system from kindergarten to post-secondary including vocational, career and university education. The coalition has called on the provincial government and election candidates to support adequate funding for public education and oppose initiatives that result in a reduction or privatization of educational services.

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Contact: Geoff Peters at 604-871-1872 or gpeters@bctf.ca


Download the poster


Thursday, April 15, 2009

Come to a debate on K12 Education

Featuring representatives of the four major parties:

BC Liberals, BC Conservatives, Green and BC NDP

Moderator: Erica Johnson, Host of CBC TV’s Marketplace

Monday, April 20, 2009 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Kitsilano Secondary Auditorium

2250 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC

Download the poster


Monday, March 9, 2009

Education advocates host forum on public education

VICTORIA—Come and find out why B.C. education advocates are worried about our public education system – from K-12 through to university – at a free public forum for residents of Greater Victoria. The forum is sponsored by the BC Coalition for Public Education.

Join us to hear Dr. Paul Shaker, former Dean and Professor at Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Education. Dr. Shaker will be joined by students, teachers and staff from the public school, college and university sectors.

Elsie McMurphy, trustee for the Saanich Board of Education (School District 63), Jerry Oetting, president of CUPE Local 2081 representing staff at Camosun Community College and Paul Waterlander, a teacher in the Sooke School District, and a representative of the UVic Students’ Society will offer brief comments on a range of education issues.

What: Free public education forum

When: March 10, 2009 7–9 pm

Where: Spectrum Community School Theatre

957 Burnside Road W. Victoria

The Coalition for Public Education supports and promotes universally accessible, quality public education and includes students, community organizations, and the people who teach and work in B.C.’s schools, colleges, institutes and universities.

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Contact: Ian McLean, CUPE National representative, (250) 686-2078

March 9 News Advisory (doc)

Download the poster - Public Forum on Public Education


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Investment in public education key
to economic stimulus, poll shows

An overwhelming majority (86 percent) of British Columbians believe investment in public education should be a key part of any economic stimulus plan in the upcoming provincial budget, said a poll released today by the BC Coalition for Public Education.

“British Columbians are saying loud and clear government needs to invest in our public education system—including students, workers, programs, services, technology, grounds and buildings—so that when we emerge from this economic mess, we’re well prepared to seize the opportunities of tomorrow,” said Coalition spokesperson Shamus Reid, who also chairs the BC division of the Canadian Federation of Students.

The coalition warned against any plans by the Campbell government to freeze or cut education funding, saying starving schools and post-secondary institutions will create a “false economy” that will seriously impact an already underfunded, beleaguered education system.

“Our poll shows the public is worried about the current state of our education system,” Reid said. “Since 2002, 177 schools have closed. Others need seismic upgrading. ESL and special needs programs are inadequate. Tuition fees have skyrocketed, massively increasing student debt. Cash-strapped colleges and universities have had to limit enrolment and cut programs. Trades, technology and apprenticeship programs lack funds to meet industry needs and to make BC a world-class centre for research and innovation.”

Along with its poll, the coalition released a five-point plan calling for new and renewed investment to improve the quality and accessibility of elementary, secondary and postsecondary education.

“We challenge the Campbell government to take immediate steps to implement this plan,” Reid said. “Government needs to ensure our citizens are educated and skilled if we are to come out of this economic crisis intact. Our economic future and prosperity depend on it.”

The telephone poll was conducted between January 14-21, 2009, by the Mustel Group on behalf of the Coalition for Public Education. A total of 500 randomly selected BC adults were interviewed.

The Coalition for Public Education supports and promotes universally accessible, quality public education and includes students, civil society organizations, and the people who teach and work in BC’s schools, colleges, institutes and universities.

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Contact: Phillip Legg, cellular (604) 788-2877

News Release (pdf)

BCCPE Poll Results (pdf)

A Better Tomorrow (pdf)

IT Republic