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(Published in the Abbotsford News week of Mar.  7, 2005)

More Lessons for the Teachers

John Pifer

Last week’s column about the BC Teachers’ Federation and the anti-Liberal militants that run it prompted some heated replies to my e-mail Inbox, as well as some letters to the editors of the publications where it ran. Some rank-and-file BCTF members cheered the fact that their tale-wags-the-dog organization was actually being criticized, while others saw this writer as the Spawn of several Devils for daring to question the almighty Federation.

Always delighted to hit a vulnerable spot, or one that other news media avoid, your humble scribe revisits the subject this week. First of all, let us clear up the fact that the column, which also included references to killers and rapists receiving light treatment in our courts and by parole boards, was not lumping teachers in with those bad guys. All were merely examples of assorted injustices that have run rampant in our country for far too long.

Although a couple of teachers denounced me as a Liberal lackey, few disputed the fact that the BCTF adopts its anti-Liberal brainwashing techniques to inflict upon their students and members at every available opportunity.

I am especially grateful to one teacher who wrote to say that no-one, and especially not the BCTF, “will bully me into being ‘tolerant’ of everything under the sun, especially if it goes against my moral beliefs.  I am a member of the BCTF and a teacher in the Kamloops District.  I'm actually writing to thank you for your article, because you put into words what I probably could not.

“You are right that the BCTF is run by what appears to be radical militants, and the BCTF spends hundreds of thousands of our (teachers') money any way they like, and they continue to gouge us.  But you are wrong in saying that ‘members let this happen’. I frankly feel that I have no choice in the matter, because it is mandatory that I pay my dues to the BCTF and BCCT if I wish to continue to teach in British Columbia.

“The day that my own children are faced with a militant homosexual teacher intent on teaching them about his orientation is the day that they will see me fighting them, even to the courts; but at the moment I can do little but be dismayed that the BCTF claims to speak for all teachers and anyone who should oppose them is seen as ‘intolerant’ or ‘homophobic’.

“Frankly, I am sick of the way this country is run, the way violent criminals are seen as having any ‘rights’; the way pot is being pushed to being legalized; and marriage is being redefined by a spineless Prime Minster. (I don't bash the Liberals -- but how can anyone support a party that has no moral standards but bows to any minority party that will give them votes?)

“My husband and I are seriously considering quitting this country.  So I want to thank you for your article. We just wanted you to know that there are teachers who hate what the BCTF is pushing for; but really, will anything change around here?”

The writer signed her e-mail, but I have chosen to withhold her name, because I know how the BCTF brass would abuse the information

Several others wrote to encourage me to look even more closely at the BCTF, and one of its busiest apologists – who demanded that her letter not be used – even dared to suggest the Federation was non-partisan. In the next sentence, she labelled me ignorant, and said that she was proud to work for the NDP and would campaign against the Liberals, as she and her teaching friends had done before. I rest my case.

So, dear parents, I encourage you to talk with your kids about what political direction, information, guidance and advice they receive from these far-from-unbiased influences in their daily life.

Veteran B.C. journalist/broadcaster John Pifer may be reached at


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