We're lucky to have them

Whatever you may think of teachers going on strike, you have to hand it to them: they are making their voices heard and framing the issues well.

This current provincial government (in Canada, the provinces are responsible for education) came to power in a Trumpian sway of bombast, lies, exaggerations, misinformation and general BS. They had no opposition (the incumbent Liberal government was led by a woman so disliked that almost anyone could have run against her and won) and had the perfect storm of opportunity to get a strong majority: tabula rasa and vox populi, &c.

Anyway, the "we'll make no cuts because blubberbutt Ford is so smart" campaign soon turned into what most people suspected all along, i.e. "we never said we'd make no cuts, we're obviously going to have to make some 'rationalizations'." Trust a Tory at your peril.

Anyway, bearing the brunt of this are the teachers. Increased class sizes, reduced teaching assistants for special needs kids, mandatory on-line courses (WTF, what is this, prison?), these are just a few of the ideas brought to the table by the government. They have already had to backtrack on their ideas for autistic children, and hopefully the continued pressure brought by teachers in the form of rotating strikes will bring enough pressure to bear on Minister Lecce that he will see sense. However, this is the same party that unilaterally cut Grade 13 (equivalent to the Upper 6th when I was at school) to save money, so I am not that hopeful.

In the mean time, instead of teaching Ottawacker Jr how to be one of the leaders of the next generation, teachers are having to stand outside shopping malls in -25 temperatures to get their message across. Essentially, the message is this: 

If you believe education is important and children deserve quality education, give the teachers with the wherewithal to provide that education. Do not increase class sizes. Do not punish special needs kids (and by extension the other members of class) by cutting teacher aide positions and paying these teacher aides a pittance (a salary of some $26K per year is not enough to live on). Do not reduce the importance of teachers by having kids take on-line courses (the whole point of schools is to provide kids with access to caring, talented mentors). And above all, don't elect governments that can't stop behaving like a bunch of petulant douche bags. (That last bit might be my interpretation.)

Anyway, while Mrs Ottawacker worked from home, I took Ottawacker Jr out for breakfast (Allô mon coco), went shopping for a birthday present for Mrs Ottawacker, and used the opportunity to explain to him why he was lucky to have teachers that stood up for his rights in front of a swingeing populist government.

The extra photo is of Ottawacker Jr climbing a snow mountain in the Billings Bridge car park. It really did snow a lot...

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