Stakeholders’ voices not being heard by the Board

A writer is disappointed that the Board of Education won't reconsider its decision about the Ashcroft school's name.

Dear Editor,

My thoughts today are on the word “community” and what that implies. On the smallest scale it may refer to family or a block in a neighbourhood. It may refer to a village, town, or city, on a lightly larger scale, and at times we refer to a global community , which implies the entire planet.

When people put aside their differences and unite in a common cause you have a sense of the word community. Such was the case when 648 people quickly joined together asking a small group elected to represent them to simply revisit a decision it had made. It transcended villages, cultural differences, religious differences, sexual differences, age differences, and ethnicity. For a moment in time they put aside all of their differences and came together, uniting for something they believed in.

I am certainly not the most eloquent speaker, but when asked to represent the 648 people who signed, I accepted the challenge, because I truly believed in our cause. Collectively, the hope of the petitioners was that perhaps a decision had been made too hastily, and that it might be resolved through a cooperative effort involving the greater community and those elected to represent them. To date this has not been forthcoming, and the Board of Education of School District No. 74 has adamantly refused to reconsider its position.

I have spoken, or will speak, with each of the stakeholder groups that I am aware of, to be sure that each may have a voice, should they desire to do so. To date I have spoken with our local MLA, had had a phone call from the Minister of Education, and have filed a request with the Ombudsperson for the province of B.C. on behalf of the petitioners. Each has been helpful, providing guidance as to the directions for whatever steps might be taken in an effort to resolve this matter, and I wish to thank them for their direction.

I have asked to speak with three of our four First Nations bands, and the villages of Cache Creek and Spencer Bridge. I will also be including Walhachin, Loon Lake, and the fourth First Nations band. People from each of these areas may have their names on the petition, and may send children to the school in Ashcroft. This is simply an update, in order to apprise those involved in this matter of where we are at this time in the process.

I am deeply saddened by the refusal of the Board of Education to hear the voice of so many stakeholders. I have recently been made aware of a petition by the students at the school in Ashcroft, close to the beginning of the school year, in which they expressed their disagreement with the name chosen.

No matter what the outcome, we are all losers because we were unable to work cooperatively in finding a solution to this problem. I will continue defending our cause until we have exhausted every avenue available to the electorate and students, because I strongly believe in the righteousness of it.

I believe that at some point, the voice of the people will be heard, and our plea for reconsideration in the naming will take place.

Mike Baldwin

Ashcroft

Just Posted

Ashcroft hospital emergency closed sign, 2016. Photo credit: Barbara Roden
Ashcroft Hospital emergency department closed this weekend

Closure due to unexpected limited physician availabiliy, says Interior Health

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Heidi Roy of the Cariboo Jade Shop in Cache Creek with the 3,000 jade boulder, which is now on secure display inside the shop. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Massive jade boulder returns to Cache Creek store six months after daring heist

The 3,000-pound boulder was stolen on Dec. 19, 2020 and found abandoned in the bush a week later

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Child sex crimes charges against Interior’s top doc won’t impact pandemic response: Dix

Dr. Albert de Villiers is charged with sexual assault and sexual interference

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read