Vancouver elementary teachers endorse BC NDP candidates running in Vancouver ridings

    VANCOUVER, April 22 /CNW/ - "I am pleased to announce that at the VESTA
General Meeting on April 21, our membership decided to endorse the BC New
Democratic Party candidates running in Vancouver in the upcoming provincial
election," says Glen Hansman, President of the Vancouver Elementary School
Teachers' Association.
    "Our membership has committed to working to elect the NDP because their
platform promises improvements for schools and students, and because we must
work towards ending the Liberal undermining and underfunding of public
services in this province," Glen Hansman continues.
    "The BC Liberal platform raises many concerns," he continues. "Teachers'
input on education issues over the last 8 years has fallen on deaf ears. If
re-elected the Liberals plan to continue with their program of undermining
public education. Gordon Campbell and Minister of Education Shirley Bond claim
that they are spending more now on education than ever before, but every day
teachers see the cuts that have been made to school services and programs.
Education funding has not kept pace with inflation or with the real costs of
running a school district - even with declining enrolment taken into
consideration. The Liberals say they have increased funding for education over
the last 8 years and that there's more education funding than ever before -
yet, the Vancouver school district alone has lost $44 million since 2001."
    "Furthermore," Glen Hansman says, "the Liberals' record of contract
stripping, intensification of testing and inaction on child poverty will not
be forgotten by teachers."
    "Likewise, the Green Party leader's responses to questions at the recent
all-candidates meeting on education were very problematic," Glen Hansman adds.
    "The NDP, on the other hand, has committed to keeping schools open, to
the seismic upgrading of schools, to ensuring that class size and composition
limits are met and funded, and to adding special education teachers and
assistants to meet the needs of all children," Glen Hansman continues. "These
are just some of the reasons we've decided to endorse the NDP."
    VESTA will be encouraging its membership and the public to be out at
campaign offices, phoning friends and families, going door-to-door, making
donations, and making sure public education is a vote-determining issue.
    "There is too much to lose in this election if we don't," Glen Hansman
argues. "Let's talk to each other about what we can do for public education
and for the kids who deserve better!"

For further information:

For further information: Glen Hansman, President of the Vancouver
Elementary School Teachers' Association, at (604) 813-5318 or

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