Fight back by backing budget, school board urges
After months of debate, the Cowichan Valley School Board has sealed its sentence and presented an illegal deficit budget to the B.C. government.
Board Chair Eden Haythornthwaite isn't giving up yet, she told SunFM News that support from the community has come forward, which she believes may sway the government.
“Cowichan Tribes has passed a resolution supporting both our restoration budget and supporting our board, maintaining our elected representatives, and they are also seeking the same support from the Assembly of First Nations. And I am hoping that this is the sort of thing that will allow the government to review their engagement and to wish to sit with us.”
Haythornthwaite said despite Education Minister George Abbott stating they would be fired if they sent in a deficit budget, she still thinks they can talk this out.
“It is not that I believe they are being untruthful, but I do think that, very often when governments are speaking to the press or sort of making public pronouncements, they may take a somewhat more, not exactly bellicose, but certainly assertive stance, then they may be actually prepared to take in the long run.”
She said they are hopeful the provincial government will recognize that what they call a "restoration budget" was their only response to the "bleak learning conditions created by underfunding."
The board is showing a $3.8 million deficit; Minister Abbott has said that all other districts in the province are showing him a balanced budget.
Hathornthwaite believes if the community comes together and supports the board’s budget, the government will have to listen and come to the negotiation table.
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