What they said
vs. What really happened
Broken Promises on Record
Steele's Snide Statement to Teachersprev nextThat's what we call... A Broken Promise
What they said...The Dexter government is attacking public education in Nova Scotia.
Since taking office, Dexter and company cut $65 million from public education – that means fewer teachers, fewer TAs and fewer supports.
Our children are suffering because of Dexter’s decisions.
The meagre defense offered by this government is that they are investing in public education and that they are cutting funding because of declining enrollment – they argue fewer students means fewer dollars.
At least, that’s what they argue now.
What really happened...In opposition, now deputy premier Frank Corbett wrote an op-ed addressing per student funding.
Corbett wrote, “In a time of economic transition, our survival will depend on vision, knowledge and skill. It will require an educational system that will equip the next generation with these tools, not a crude per capita-based funding formula that will lead us to educational discrimination.”
These are the words used by the deputy premier to describe his government’s approach to funding public education – an approach they continue to use despite the opposition’s call for a change.
Teachers, some of the front-line education workers, decided to protest the Dexter government’s decision to attack our students.
They took to the streets and targeted the NDP MLA’s offices. Some offices closed to avoid the embarrassment.
Finance minister Graham Steele responded to teachers’ requests for a meeting via email.
While you can read the full email below, here are a few of Steele’s snide statements:
“The NSTU has a very odd way of setting up meetings.”
“Is the NSTU genuinely interested in a meeting? If so, wouldn't it be better just to call, or send an e-mail? Or come into the office when the door's open? That's what everyone else does, and so far it works pretty well.”
“The constituency office is not meant to be a “back door” to government to discuss province-wide issues. I'm happy to set up a meeting in my constituency office about the schools in my constituency (Chebucto Heights, Burton Ettinger, Fairview Heights and Fairview Junior High), but if it's about issues broader than just Halifax Fairview, then it's probably more appropriate for the discussion to stay elsewhere.”
“The other thing I should mention is that I don't think it's very helpful for the NSTU to frame a discussion as being about “the devastating effects” of “cuts” to education, which is what the cover notice says. (I note that the same language was used last year, and the year before that.)”
He adds: “I don't think anyone has yet cornered the market on caring about kids or the future.”
At least we know it’s a market the Dexter government isn’t interested in cornering.
He eloquently closes, “If the NSTU is only interested in a spectacle, as last Friday's event appeared to be, then perhaps a meeting in my constituency office wasn't the right way to go anyway.”
© 2012 NS Liberal Party