Teachers in New Westminster

Ontario teachers pledge $1.5 million to help striking B.C. educators

Thousands attended a rally in Vancouver on Friday, one day after Education Minister Peter Fassbender said both sides were still far apart.

Thousands attended a pro-teachers rally in downtown Vancouver on Friday, where Ontario’s teachers promised to donate $1.5 million to striking B.C. educators’ depleted piggy bank.

The province’s teachers have been on a full-scale strike since Tuesday and the pledge from the east comes 15 days after the BCTF said its strike fund had run out of money, leaving the union unable to cover the cost of an escalating strike. Teachers were paid for three days of their rotating strikes in past weeks, $50 a day.

“We have committed now as of today 1.5 million in donations,” said Paul Elliott, the president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation, on Friday (via CBC). “That number will grow because Christy Clark needs to know you are not alone in this. 60,000, 100,000 in Ontario alone are with you now.”

Friday’s rally – held near Canada Place, with supporters carrying signs saying “Teachers matter Kids care” – comes a day after Mark Brown, an independent facilitator who had spent the past year trying to help both the BCTF and Victoria come to a new deal, resigned from his post.

The union had called for a mediator on Thursday, which the Canadian Press reported pushed Brown to resign, also saying he felt he had lost the union’s confidence.

Also on Thursday, B.C. Education Minister Peter Fassbender told the public that the two sides were far from a deal, adding that the teachers’ union’s latest proposal was “unaffordable for taxpayers”.

“… Instead of moving us closer, (the BCTF’s) latest demands moved them further away from the affordability zone for public sector settlements,” Fassbender said, in an official government release.

“I’m disappointed. We are now further away from an agreement than we were a week ago. We want to give teachers a raise but the BCTF leadership is making that virtually impossible.

“We appreciate that brings with it the possibility that this strike could go on for quite a while. How long it will last is entirely up to the BCTF – but any hope of timely resolution will require the BCTF executive to be realistic.”

Just Posted

Northern California man charged with aiding fugitive Brandon Teixeira

Sam Koh, 40, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to harbouring Teixeira

South Surrey couple donates $1M to hospital’s children’s centre campaign

Donation brings hospital foundation’s fundraising goal within $1 million

The Surrey Hospice Society’s Toolbox thrift store reopens in Cloverdale

Before she fell ill, Janet Child revamped second-hand tool store

Prolific offender nabbed at Surrey SkyTrain after police say he skipped paying fare

Officers arrested Reginald Simon at Scott Road SkyTrain after discovering he had 11 outstanding warrants

Cloverdale hospital could take pressure off Langley Memorial

Fraser Health says about 20 per cent of patients at LMH are from Surrey

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

Snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla Highway

Up to 25 cm of snow is expected to fall in the region by Thursday

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Most Read