Education minister neglecting families and playing politics with education

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VICTORIA – The B.C. Liberals must focus on getting children back in school instead of making things worse by finger-pointing in media interviews, say B.C.’s New Democrats.

“Instead of developing a substantive proposal for addressing class size and composition levels, Liberal Education Minister Peter Fassbender is threatening even more chaos in our education system by pointing fingers at others,” said New Democrat education spokesperson Rob Fleming.

“What we need from the Liberals is leadership and solutions, not more confrontation and blame that could lead to our students being shut out of schools for even longer.”

With a Sept. 2 school start date looming, Fleming said the Liberals need to finally put families first, not politics.

“Just a week ago, the B.C. Liberals agreed to a media blackout over negotiations, and now the Minister of Education is violating it with inflammatory and damaging remarks,” said Fleming.

In media interviews Thursday, the Minister took no responsibility for the government’s lockout of teachers saying “it’s their strike” when asked about government’s plans to get kids back to school.  He said he wouldn’t talk about bargaining and then accused teachers of avoiding negotiations by attending a meeting in Kamloops.

“Minister Fassbender is wasting precious time and leaving thousands of kids and families in the cold by playing politics instead of negotiating a settlement,” said Fleming.

“We want to see kids back in classrooms on Sept. 2,” said Fleming. “It’s time for the B.C. Liberals to stop playing games and get back to bargaining so teachers, parents and students don’t have to pay the price for this government’s recklessness.”