Leading by example

What does a 2.3 per cent voter turnout in the Chilliwack school board byelection teach our kids?

There are roughly 14,000 students in the Chilliwack public school system. Assuming each has at least one parent or guardian, that’s about 14,000 people with a vested interest in the Chilliwack school district.

There are approximately 1,800 teachers and support staff who work for the district. And while not all live in Chilliwack, those who do (and their partners) have a stake in an effectively run school board.

Overall, there are about 64,000 eligible voters in Chilliwack. And while not all have school aged children, they all pay taxes and contribute something to the school district’s $123.5 million annual operating budget.

Further, our society and our economy are shaped by the schools in which our students learn. The ability to succeed in work and flourish in life is influenced significantly by the experiences gained by those students at school.

And yet, on Saturday, during the 12-hour window allotted for the Chilliwack school board byelection, only 1,453 people found the time to vote.

Rough math puts the voter turnout at about a 2.3 per cent.

To Dan Coulter goes well-earned congratulations. He ran an effective and polished campaign that delivered a 181-vote margin over his nearest rival, Harold Schmidt.

There’s no doubt he’ll bring fresh insights to the board, and that his passion for skills training, aboriginal enrichment and academic excellence will be welcomed.

However it is impossible to ignore the larger lesson Chilliwack voters delivered to the 14,000 students in the Chilliwack school system. Just two weeks earlier we stood in silence as we honoured the sacrifices made by others in the defence of democracy. We teach our children about the importance of social responsibility, of community involvement, and personal accountability.

And what do we show them?

A voter turnout of 2.3 per cent.

Just Posted

Chilliwack couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released statement saying they’re still focused on finding the two-seater plane

Father of teen who died in government care to run for Chilliwack school board

Peter Lang, who is Métis, also wants to see more Indigenous representation in the district

Chilliwack RCMP use bucket truck to nab distracted drivers

Police used the ‘eye in the sky’ on Sept. 20 near the Evans Roundabout

VIDEO: Chilliwack dairy farmer says Trump doesn’t understand the industry

‘They need supply management just as bad as we need to keep it’: sixth generation farmer Devan Toop

Around the BCHL: Merritt’s Matthew Kopperud nets Sun Devil scholarship

Around the BCHL is a look at the BCHL and goings-on throughout the junior A world.

VIDEO: More cameras, police coming after Marissa Shen killed in Burnaby park

B.C. privacy watchdog worries that the cameras are a ‘slow creep’ to a surveillance state

Arborist killed by fallen tree at Maple Ridge Golf Course

Was working near the 9th tee box of the golf course.

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

Abbotsford raccoon dies from injuries suffered in a trap

Wildlife protection group offering $1,000 reward for information about incident

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

Most Read