Trustees’ role to take the heat?

The Child Development Centre celebrated its 40th anniversary on Saturday with a tea at the Aileen Hewitt building.

The Child Development Centre celebrated its 40th anniversary on Saturday with a tea at the Aileen Hewitt building.

This  building is  a far cry from the CDC’s first facility, a smallish room in the old arena. Many people have been involved with the success of the CDC.

Looking through the memorabilia on display  brought back a lot of memories, but everyone looked so young.

I remember Mrs. Hewitt’s determination to fill the gaps in children’s services, and that  determination never wavered.

Among the guests  at the tea was  Jim Fraser. As the city’s mayor at the time, his support played a significant part in getting the program going.

How many remember the big piggy bank that helped with the CDC’s early fundraising efforts?

The latest fund raiser  was launched at the tea, a  book titled  “Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre Association – 40 Years Working With Community” compiled by Elaine Watt.

Our  community is quick to yowl about our shortcomings, but we have some major achievements. The CDC is one of them.

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A recent decision by the BC government should trigger a yowl. The Education Ministry is clawing back money school districts saved  during the teachers’ strike in September. Boards were allowed to keep 20 per cent of any savings from the June part of the strike. Surely local trustees know local needs better than Victoria does. Any extra dollars should be spent on those local needs.

Given the iron-fisted control the ministry has over school boards, the main role of trustees  these days is almost  limited to deciding what and where to cut in order to meet the government’s funding. Makes you wonder if the role of school boards is simply to take the heat for Victoria’s decisions. Maybe that explains the lack of interest in the upcoming local elections. As I write this, no candidates, incumbents or otherwise, have announced.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

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