LETTER: What is your definition of ‘realistic,’ Mr. Fassbender?

The Editor,

Re: "Peter Fassbender addresses Surrey constituents over teacher dispute," The Now online.

In his interview with the Now on Wednesday, Education Minister Peter Fassbender demonstrated a disconnection from reality so large, one wonders if he thinks he can reshape it with his words.

Mr. Fassbender claims to act "on behalf of every… taxpayer in this province." I am one of those taxpayers, and I am running for Surrey school board in large part to oppose the actions of this government and all its education ministers, including Mr. Fassbender.

In addition, had Mr. Fassbender actually taken a look at the rally outside his office, he would have seen many more taxpayers lined up two and three deep along the street voicing the same opposition, as he would if he looked to things like polling numbers rather than the Liberals’ wealthy and corporate backers for an impression of public opinion.

Mr. Fassbender further stated that the BCTF executive did not tell its members what his proposal was, as though had they known they would not have turned out in force at his office the way they did. Given that the details were rather widely reported in the media, it appears Mr. Fassbender thinks that teachers retreat to live under rocks when not walking the picket lines, a perception easily proven false by a leisurely stroll through Twitter, where many teachers have voiced their extreme displeasure with the government. Were I less charitable, I might suspect this as a tactic meant to divide the BCTF, or at least provide the illusion of a divided BCTF.

Mr. Fassbender then goes on to repeat the demand that the BCTF "come to a realistic approach on wages and benefits." What he does not include, likely in hopes that voters will not realize it, is the part where he sets the definition of "realistic" (likely based on marching orders from the Premier’s office).

To Mr. Fassbender, "realistic" apparently means that we cannot afford proper learning conditions for students or working conditions for teachers; meanwhile, we can afford billions in tax breaks for the wealthy and large corporations, billions for the Olympics, millions for convention centres and BC Place and, of course gigantic raises for the Premier’s staff. "Realistic" also apparently means spending more millions appealing court orders telling this government that upholding human rights is more than just "realistic," it’s the law, rather than just ending this charade and providing the necessary funding so we can move forward.

Nicole Joliet


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The volume of visitors to White Rock’s Marine Drive over the weekend has led council to consider special measures this week. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock council rejects resident-only parking for waterfront

Other health and safety measures to be considered in a special meeting Wednesday

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Vehicles line up for the Greater Vancouver Drive-Thru Food Truck Festival at the Chilliwack Coliseum parking lot on March 27. The touring event comes to Cloverdale this weekend, April 24-25 (Photo: Jenna Hauck/Chilliwack Progress)
Here are the food trucks coming to Cloverdale for a drive-thru festival this weekend

Nine trucks will be parked Saturday, nine Sunday during event at fairgrounds

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Parts of Surrey, North Delta to get AstraZeneca vaccines for people ages 40+

A total of seven communities in Surrey and Delta will be targeted

The Braidwood Band performs for the seniors at Zion Park Manor in Surrey, as part of a music program planned by Rick’s Heart Foundation. (submitted photo)
VIDEO: Surrey charity brings distanced concerts to care homes, with prop pink firetruck

Familiar tunes performed for seniors during pandemic-era ‘Heart for Music’ program

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
B.C. health authority seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

Chakalaka Bar and Grill plans to continue serving customers without public health compliance

The Abbotsford Centre has the ability to host AHL level games if the Vancouver Canucks or any other NHL team chose to move its affiliate to the arena. (File photo)
Abbotsford Centre ready for AHL if right opportunity presents itself

Building recently upgraded glass and boards, schedule would allow for AHL tenant

A defeat Sunday in Kamloops tied up the Giants and Blazers for the most wins this season. Each team has notched seven victories in the B.C. division play unfolding this season on ice in Kamloops and Kelowna. (Allen Douglas/Special to Black Press Media)
VIDEO: Giants record fifth shutout of the season

Vancouver G-Men take down Kamloops Blazers on home ice Sunday, 4-0

Most Read