Is anyone getting a sense of deja vu here? We're part way through a B.C. Liberal term in office, the teachers are in open revolt against the government, and Christy Clark is promoting her brand new anti-bullying program.
It's 2012 now, but it seems our Premier is fighting last decade's battles and the scars they left her and her government.
This brings us to the ERASE strategy the premier announced last month in Surrey, as her new remedy against bullying and the fulfillment of her promise to the queer community. The policy includes an assortment of non-descript ideas that are designed to sound as unobjectionable as possible, while providing the illusion of actually accomplishing anything novel on the subject.
What's more interesting here is that there truly isn't anything new; the material's been done before either by the BCTF, or by Premier Clark herself. The new ERASE strategy promises "new online resources for parents" and the old Safe Schools Strategy promised a "list of resources related to school safety." Both strategies also include clear demands for uniform changes to each district's code of conduct, new means of reporting bullying anonymously and a generic policy to create provincial advisory committees.
The premier is stuck in a time warp. She had a chance to present a genuine change in policy that would seriously address the concerns of students, particularly those in the queer community and other minority groups. Instead it's another Christy Moment; rounds of applause for announcing the past as new again.
Trevor Ritchie, Burnaby