Time to refund taxpayers for school dispute

Taxpayers paid more than $200 million in taxes for educational services which were not delivered in June. Therefore, we should get a refund.

It’s happened to all of us at some point. You go to a store, pre-order something, pay for the purchase and wait for it to arrive. But what happens when the order never comes in? What if you don’t get what you paid for?

The remedy is simple: you demand a refund.

This summer, British Columbians have been put in that exact situation, thanks to the ongoing labour dispute between the provincial government and the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF).

Taxpayers paid more than $200 million in taxes for educational services which were not delivered in June. Therefore, we should get a refund.

The teachers’ dispute started with three weeks of rotating strikes, which saved government $18.5 million per week. When they went to a full strike, the savings grew to $80 million for each of the last two weeks of June. More has been saved with the cancellation of summer school.

Government has a responsibility to refund that money, at least $200 million, to the people who paid for the educational service but didn’t receive it. That works out to roughly $40 for every man, woman and child in B.C. For a family of four, that would be $160 – certainly a welcome amount for households who burned through vacation days or had to hire unexpected childcare during the strike.

When the Canadian Taxpayers Federation first suggested a refund, the BCTF’s social media horde lashed back, claiming that the money “belonged” to education. But tax dollars actually belong to taxpayers – not to government, not to “the system,” and certainly not to labour unions.

Refunding this money would be a great way to support local communities. Taxpayers would have a few extra dollars to put into their local economies, rather than seeing it languish in Victoria.

More importantly, it would also keep up the pressure on the provincial government that comes with fiscal restraint. The last thing taxpayers should want to see after this protracted labour disruption is the government buckling to the BCTF’s demands and rewarding teachers for striking by handing them the $200 million.

The BCTF believes itself to be a “social movement,” which makes it virtually impossible to negotiate a deal with. While each and every other government union has settled two or three reasonable contracts with the province over the past six years, the BCTF has engaged in bitter personal attacks and strayed far beyond a mandate to promote education, instead fighting every major economic development in the province.

For those who believe public education is underfunded in B.C., they could take their $40 refund cheque and donate it to a local school district foundation. Others could use the money how they see fit.

 

Premier Christy Clark and Education Minister Peter Fassbender have been suspiciously tightlipped about how the strike savings will be spent. If you believe that money should be refunded to taxpayers, please sign our petition at www.taxpayer.com.

 

– Jordan Bateman, CTF

Just Posted

Mellalieu running for Greens again in Central-Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Robert Mellalieu ran for federal Green Party in 2015 election and provincial Greens in 2017

Short notice for Keremeos residents for Highway 3 paving

The Village of Keremeos is advising residents today because of the short notice

Premier releases details on Keremeos affordable housing project

The proposed project will be designed to include one-, two- and three-bedroom units

Chance of showers and thunderstorm for Okanagan-Shuswap-Similkameen

Mostly cloudy day for the Okanagan-Shuswap and Similkameen regions

“Our community has had its heart broken”: Penticton celebrates life of David Kampe

Community and families members who knew Kampe give tearful addresses

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

Okanagan bylaw officer best in B.C.

Al Harrison of Vernon named Bylaw Officer of the Year at annual association conference

Man accused of assault at South Okanagan beach gets bail

Thomas Brayden Kruger-Allen was granted bail at the Penticton provincial courthouse on Monday

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Most Read