Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Who is to blame for the MHS crisis?

The closing of Moncton High School as structurally unsafe has angered parents of students at MHS, and at the elementary school the high school is moving to. The Moncton Times is encouraging the anger to be directed at the elected district education committee, and at the superintendent of education in the district. However, government practice in Canada points elsewhere. (The Times is not ignorant of government practice - I don't think - at least, not entirely - almost.)  What usually happens happen to The Times is the owners of all the New Brunswick papers sends a command, and the New Brunwick papers wag their collective tail.)

Anyway, under our system of government, the person responsible for the maintenance of safe schools is the Minister of Education. The District Education Committee and the superintendent cannot be held reponsible. They don't control the money.  In fact, even the minister doesn't. It's all controlled by the governing party.

Everybody in Moncton has known for years of serious defiencies in the maintenance of schools of New Brunswick, especially in the case of MHS. The premiers and the ministers of education were the ones who had the power and the knowledge to act. They didn't. They're responsible. This failure covers the years of both Liberals and Conservatives (and both as government and as opposition.) But it's not as simple as that.

Both Liberals and Conservatives get the bulk of their funding from corporations and wealthy individuals. These are not people who give money out of civic responsibility. For generations, New Brunswick has had government owned and, in fact, run by the province's economic leaders. And they don't give a damn about the condition of public schools. All they want is tax cuts for themselves, and any other goodies they can get from government. They're to blame. But it's not as simple as that, either.

When New Brunswickers got mad at Shawn Graham's Liberal party, they said, "We'll show him. We'll vote Conservative.)  It was just like the election before it when they got mad at the Conservatives and said, "We'll show them. We'll vote Liberal."  Duh. New Brunswickers have been talking and voting like that for over a century - and they still haven't caught on. Both parties are the same. Both are dogs with the same master.

But New Brunswi\ckers go through this farce every election year. Admittedly, they have lousy newspapers which are really no more than propaganda sheets. But, come on, fellas, 1867 was a long time ago.

Who is to blame for the MHS crisis. The voters are - all those parents, for example, who are screaming their anger at the DEC and the superintendent. They're too lazy who make up their own minds about their children's safety, too lazy to make an effort to understand what's going on...We are the same people who wouldn't spend a cent on a school, but were eager to spend 84 million dollars on a  hockey rink.

We just had a provincial election - and no party had a serious education platform or any mention of MHS - though eveybody knew and  had known for years about the problem. Who's to blame?

We all are - for being to stupid or to lazy or too irresponsible to make MHS an issue or to lift a finger to do anything about it.

We;re just lucky we have a superintendent with the brains and the courage to do what had to be done for the safety of our children.

She'll probably suffer for it. And we'll let it happen. And that puts us beneath contempt.

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