Prime Time Crime


(Published in the Abbotsford News week of Mar. 21, 2005)

Letters say even more on Teachers

John Pifer

Your humble correspondent had intended to move onto other election issues this week, but the steady and supportive response regarding the BC Teachers’ Federation and its politicization seems to have struck a substantial chord.

Here are extracts from just two readers from among numerous letters and e-mails, which express that concern far better than could I:

1. “Thank you for your courageous stand against the BCTF and its policy of social engineering bullying.  I couldn't agree with you more.  Their policies have concerned me for years. I was sent the attached speech delivered to the UN in March of this year by a Dr. Kempling on the topic of religious freedom in Canada.  There are many facts in his speech of which I was aware, but had not pieced together into a bigger picture of which the BCTF is sadly only one of the players. Though it is a longer than usual e-mail attachment, it is very much worth your time to read.  It is quite chilling, sadly accurate, and frighteningly revealing of the direction our nation is travelling with all of us -- parents and teachers and Joe Six Pack alike. I am no extremist, but this concerns me. No, it down right frightens me.” Teresa

2. “ Please don't give up attacking the BCTF and their protection of incompetent or dangerous or deadbeat teachers. I have tried e-mailing various Ministers of Education and only get some petty bureaucrat giving me a pat answer about how good things are or simply thanking me without any real substance. We need an effective, annual evaluation process that includes input from students, parents and other teachers. I have talked to teachers, vice-principals and principals and they all agree with the need for such a process. You probably would be amused by a letter in today's paper. In one paragraph, the writer says that publishing the name of a teacher who is convicted of an infraction might make it hard for that teacher to find work in that School District. Well, duh, what would you expect? That's exactly the problem - protecting the dead wood!” Tom

Another letter keyed to the issue raised in this corner about just how soft our courts and parole boards are on repeat offenders:  “We have just read your article on men either out on parole or waiting to go on parole who still appear be a threat to society.  I am very angry at the injustice of this situation where the person who has been found guilty of a horrendous crime and has been sent to jail is now out of confinement when it is likely they are still a danger to society.   From reading the news of recent weeks, these people could very likely re-offend which leaves innocent people at their mercy. I have e-mailed your column to my MP, Russ Hiebert, to give an example of our poor justice system.  I think he is as appalled as I am at the suffering of innocent people by those who have serious problems and should not be free to terrify society.” Leone and Ray 

Please keep the cards, letters and e-mails coming, folks. These issues must not be allowed to slide into oblivion and inaction.

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


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