Leading by committee

The Campbell administration has created a new early childhood education innovations cabinet committee amidst expectations that education will be one of the major issues highlighted during the premier's televised state-of-the-province speech. The MLAs belonging to it include former school board chairs Mary Polak and Jane Thornthwaite, as well as former teachers Marc Dalton and Don McRae. It's chair is Regional Economic and Skills Development Minister Moira Stilwell, rather than Education Minister George Abbott. Also serving on the committee are Gordon Hogg, Kevin Krueger, Terry Lake and Mary McNeil. It creation was announced on Monday, as part of a cabinet realignment. Gordon Campbell will delivered his televised address tonight on Global TV.


Oh great...!

Mary Polak, whose claim to fame in education was wasting millions trying to unsuccessfully ban books in Surrey. And who as minister cancelled all the province's early intensive intervention programs for autism, while underfunding the critical supported child development program, with the result that most preschoolers with special needs in BC are barred from attending preschools, daycare and other early learning programs.

And Jane Thornthwaite, whose claim to fame has been a DUI for partying and driving during the Olympics and for reversing her position that public schools need more funding as soon as she was part of the BC Liberal team responsible for the underfunding of education.

And a bunch of other politicians who wouldn't know an early childhood education innovation if it jumped up and hit them in the face.

Premier Campbell has already seen the result of developing major education reforms in secret political backrooms in Victoria - a yet-to-be announced plan that is already being widely booed & doomed to failure as all the excluded education partners refuse to buy into somethign they have no stake in.

So why not use the same template to create another disaster by getting your clueless political friends to do more busy work while pretending they're early childhood education innovators!

If the Premier had the slightest interest in actual innovation in early childhood education, he would have created a committee of experts in the field, not another partisan showpiece. The make-up of the group tells you exactly what this is about -- partisan politics, not kids!

Agreed, Dawn.


These appointments really show how dry the "talent" well is in the BC Liberal party. What I find quite interesting is that MLA Linda Reid, who was only the Minister of State for Childcare from June 16, 2005 to June 9, 2009 (4 years!) wasn't appointed to this "committee." I can see how her knowledge and experience would be unhelpful.

Perhaps this "team" of rocket scientists might learn something by examining the plan the province's real experts in the early care & learning sector have come up with. BTW, the entire sector has been shut out of consultation and planning, which is how the BC Liberal government rolls on the most important issues of good government and what's best for BC's children.

Our Emerging Plan for an Integrated System of Early Care and Learning in BC
Created by the BC Coalition of Child Care Advocates &
Early Childhood Educators of BC

For more info: http://www.cccabc.bc.ca/cccabcdocs/integrated/emerging_plan.html

Order copies of the Briefing Note at info@cccabc.bc.ca

The creation of this so-called Committee borders on the ridiculous. A bunch of Liberal hacks sitting around a table with their scissors in hand collectively deciding where to cut, slash and burn the educations system. There is safety in numbers I guess.

The idea of tying Kevin Kreuger to anything with education in it, is simply laughable. The guy is such a yes man for Gordo I rather doubt he has a solid thought in is head.

The comment above is right on - Linda Reid is probably the most knowledgeable member of the caucus on ECD and the fact that she's nowhere on this committee speaks volumes. The fact that she's nowhere in Cabinet says even more. And the fact that she was the only BC Liberal MLA at the annual First Call Child & Youth Coalition dinner the night after the Premier's announcement (Carole James and 6 or 7 NDP MLAs were out in force) speaks further volumes about the seriousness of the party's commitment to children and their development.

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