Education Minister Peter Fassbender has got to be kidding with his comment about being ready to negotiate 24/7, as reported Monday.
He has no idea what the word â€œnegotiateâ€ means, and for a former local civic official [Langley City school trustee, councillor, and mayor], I find it hard to believe!
Iâ€™m sure he has negiotiated with Langley workers in his time as mayor. Whatâ€™s so different this time??
Iâ€™m convinced he doesnâ€™t want to negotiate; he simply wants to get his version of a contract.
As much as he keeps arguing that teachers are asking for too much, that it goes beyond â€œaffordabilityâ€ in achieving a balanced budget, how is his government paying to fight forest fires when many of them do not endanger people? The media is reporting that his government has already outspent its budget, so stop wasting our money.
What about the money it must be spending because of the tailings pond spill in the Cariboo? Did the government have a line item in the budget for that? What happens when the mining company runs out of money? How is the government going to pay for the clean-up?
It all comes down to political will: if he really wanted to reach an agreement with the BCTF, he would be sitting at the same table as BCTF president Jim Iker, working on solutions to get kids back to school.
Maybe his government could spare a little extra cash from its legislative building gardening budget to do some weeding at some Langley school properties. I canâ€™t remember the last time I saw a nicely landscaped garden around our schools.
Paul Milette, Langley