The provincial government was discussing giving parents payment during the teachersâ€™ strike as early as June, a freedom of information response released Friday shows.
The FOI request asked for any and all records related to the plan announced by Finance Minister De Jong on July 31, 2014 to give parents $40 per day per child if the teachers strike continues into the upcoming school year.
Much of the 45-page response is redacted with entire pages left blank, for reasons including cabinet confidence, policy advice or recommendations, legal advice, disclosure harmful to the financial or economic interests of a public body and disclosure harmful to personal privacy.
Because of the redactions, itâ€™s not clear exactly who was discussing what or why during the discussions, but what is revealed is that the idea was in process for months before de Jong announced it.
Many of the emails deal with procedure and the administration of how the payments would be made or whether an existing payment system could be used.
One email, sent August 1, says the payments will likely be made weekly because â€œthe parents will not want to be out of pocket for any longer period.â€
In the end, parents received a lump-sum payment of more than $500 for each public school child under the age of 13.
One of the earliest emails, from June 11, is almost entirely redacted, because it contains policy advice or recommendations or legal advice.
Another email from May 30 asks how many kids are in public school age 12 and under, which may mean the idea was being considered even in May.
– Tracy Sherlock of a Vancouver Sun reporter.
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