EDITORIAL: Trustees play for martyrdom

The Cowichan Valley school board has stated for public consumption it hopes its deficit budget will open eyes and change minds

The Cowichan Valley school board has stated for public consumption it hopes its deficit budget will open eyes and change minds at the provincial level, and result in more funding for Cowichan schools.

But don’t kid yourself. The school board made this move – deficit budgets are illegal – with eyes open wide. It fully expects to be fired at the end of the month. On a certain level, it wants to be.

The goal of this political play by the five trustees who hold the balance of power is to sacrifice themselves as a way to gather support for the cause.

It is their hope their dismissal will be met by the general public with anger, that the people will rally to the cause of the underdog, and the government will be perceived by the public-at-large as bullies in need of a good smackdown.

It is a calculated move for martyrdom.

Three weeks into the campaign, the question remains: will that martyrdom have its desired effect?

There has been some public reaction in the form of a rally and an orchestrated letters-to-the-editor campaign, but the majority is from expected corners – district employees and disgruntled trustees and union leaders from across B.C.

But the hammer has yet to drop and there is good reason to suspect that when it does, other voices will awaken.

There is no shortage of people who are fed up with this government on many different levels. This may be the straw that tips their rage.

We’ve heard mixed reaction from the community. There are those who oppose the trustees simply because they are breaking the law. There are those who oppose the government simply because they see it as business-first, people-second, and are offended.

But it’s unclear whether the community sees the trustees as fighting for district kids or for district employees. Where that falls will ultimately decide their sainthood.

– Cowichan NewsLeader

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