Columns: Trade deals galore

When are we going to hear from the Cariboo Chilcotin School Board regarding the budget surplus story?

When are we going to hear from the Cariboo Chilcotin School Board regarding the budget surplus story?

Speaking of schools, there has been some flack because the inter-school cross country run earlier this month didn’t include students from the city’s three independent schools. This has led to some misunderstandings of school taxes. It doesn’t seem to be well-known that the B.C. government has been subsidizing the independents (including faith-based) since 1977. Independent school funding is said to be increasing three times faster than that for public schools, and a number of public school boards and teachers are wondering why. Since 2005, they say, funding for private schools has risen by 66 per cent, funding for public schools by only 19 per cent. According to reports, the independents received $358 million this year.


Long-time salmon advocate and biologist Alexandra Morton is suing the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, alleging DFO is putting wild salmon at risk by failing to inspect hatchery fish for a known virus prior to transferring them to fish farms. She won a previous suit on this issue. Ms. Morton herself is being sued by Marine Harvest for trespassing on three of their fish farms. She spent the summer with a group aboard the Sea Shepherd’s vessel Martin Sheen checking out salmon farms on the B.C. coast, looking for the controversial virus.


On another scene, Canada has to pay $28 million, the largest penalty to date against Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement’s Chapter 11. An arbitration tribunal ruled in favour of a U.S. company, Windstream Energy LLC, which claimed Ontario ‘s green energy policies hurt its operation. Under NAFTA, Canada is the most sued country in the developed world, but apparently we want more. Like the Harper government, the Trudeau bunch wants more trade deals, such as the Canada and European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).


RIP Jim Prentice. The former well respected politician who died in a plane crash last week was, in my opinion, a true Conservative, not a Reform/Conservative hybrid. We need more politicians like him.

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

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