Trustees, teachers dismayed by provincial budget

Chilliwack school trustees and Chilliwack teachers were united in their reactions following this week’s provincial budget.


Chilliwack school trustees and Chilliwack teachers were united in their reactions following this week’s provincial budget.


The 2014 Budget showed no new funding over the next three years for K-12 education.

Chilliwack school board chair Walt Krahn was alarmed by the decision.

“It certainly puts us in an awkward position,” Krahn said. “We want to do the very, very best for our students,” but “the board is having to bear a number of rising costs, which we have no control over.”

Chilliwack school district has faced several unexpected cost pressures this year.

A $44,000 byelection last November; a $700,000 CUPE salary increase; a 15.6 per cent BC Hydro rate hike. The premiums for the Medical Services Plan (MSP) have also increased. And it’s been suggested that any increase that may come out of teacher bargaining will be paid out of school district coffers.

As well, there will be another election in November.

“We had anticipated additional funding to deal with some of those pressure points,” said Krahn.

Chilliwack Teachers’ Association (CTA) president Clint Johnston was also disappointed, but not surprised.

“We are $1,000-per-student behind the national average; only one other province (Prince Edward Island) is lower,” said Johnston.

“For a government that continues to talk about supporting education, and especially now with their big kick on the importance of trades education and how they need to improve that and train more trades students – well, I think anyone realizes to do that you’re going to need more money.”

Johnston was especially concerned there was nothing allotted in the budget for the B.C. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in favour of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) that ordered the government to pay $2 million to the BCTF and restore class sizes prior to the 2002.

The B.C. government has requested a stay in that ruling until its appeal is heard. (That decision is expected Friday).

“You would hope that they would at least begin to address it with a little bit of money to show that they’re aware that things may not go their way,” said Johnston.

“To respond with absolutely no funding … I don’t think that’s fiscally responsible.”

Education was not the only sector to receive no new funding. In fact, most had the purse strings tightened in the name of balancing the budget.

Health care, social services and liquefied natural gas development were the few areas that saw additional funding.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The annual Make a Difference Sale in Abbotsford is moving online for 2021. (File photo)
Make a Difference Sale in Abbotsford goes virtual for 2021

Annual auction raises money for world hunger through Canadian Foodgrains Bank

The Bug Girl, written by seven-year-old Sophia Spencer, is being given to 500 B.C. classrooms as part of Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month. (Submitted photos)
Reading challenges part of Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month

Abbotsford-based BC Agriculture in the Classroom participates in 10th annual event

Two teens were sent to hospital after being stabbed Saturday evening. (Shane MacKichan photo)
Two teens stabbed in Abbotsford

20-year-old man has been detained

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Inez Louis, who is strategic operations planner with the health department in the Sto:lo Service Agency, talks about infection control in the latest YouTube video about COVID-19 created in partnership with the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice and the Chilliwack Economic Recovery Network. (YouTube)
VIDEO: Nurse Inez Louis explains how infection control is not social control

The difference is important for Indigenous people to hear in the context of Canada’s colonial past

Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

Most Read