We are about two weeks away from the start of school and as our kids enjoy the last sunny days of summer, parents across B.C. are preparing for a school year like no other.
If you’ve read my last few columns, it may seem like I can’t keep the education plan off my mind and, well, you would be right! Ask anyone who works in our education system and they will tell you this summer hasn’t been much of a break for anyone as staff and school trustees across our province have worked tirelessly to organize school plans and prepare our classrooms for the new cohort model. As a father of two kids myself, I am sure many of you can relate when I say that I have anxiety over wondering what September will have in store for our family.
But most importantly, I wanted to take this week to remind everyone to tune into their school districts and news channels this week because school districts will be releasing their back-to-school plans to the public.
I know there will be a lot of challenges ahead, but I cannot thank parents, teachers and school districts enough for everything they have done to help support our children’s learning and for reaching out and engaging with my colleagues and me as much as they have these past few months — and I hope you will all continue to do so in the weeks and months ahead.
In an ideal world, the NDP would have taken a much more proactive and engaged role to release a plan to parents much sooner than only days before classes begin, but that is a tall order for a government that seems determined to create chaos and confusion at every opportunity they can.
Last week was a prime example of this chaos, when B.C’s Ombudsperson, a government watchdog, released a report that showed the NDP government knowingly misled the public after more than 18,000 final Grade 12 provincial exam marks were incorrectly tabulated and reported. The education minister went as far as to publicly release a statement saying his ministry had corrected the error and contacted all students and schools affected, a statement that’s now proven to be false.
Education isn’t the only file where the NDP is failing to plan. Six months have passed and we are still waiting on the NDP to announce an economic recovery plan.
The NDP’s mental health and addictions plan is another fail. The most tragic example of this incompetence is evidenced by how little this government has done to tackle the ongoing overdose crisis plaguing our province. This government has shown so little action that leading experts and advocates for drug users quit the provincial overdose crisis response committees over sheer dismay on how little this government has done to tackle the increasing overdose deaths in B.C.
I could go on about failed plans from housing to caribou, but I’ll save that for later.
Although we are done sitting in the legislature for the summer, the public outcry over these issues reminds my colleagues and me every day that our work is far from over. We will continue to work on behalf of our constituents to ensure this government shows the leadership and engagement that British Columbians need and deserve to overcome the challenges that we must face as a province.
Dan Davies is the MLA for Peace River North.