SURREY (NEWS 1130) – Many of the teachers who have been tasked with educating B.C.’s youth amid the COVID-19 pandemic are hoping the provincial election results will have an impact on their lives.
Lizanne Foster, a teacher in the Surrey school district, has been educating youngsters since 1996. She’s seen her fair share of elections, and says education has been a major focus in past elections.
However, amid the health crisis, she says how the province looks at the education sphere is top of mind now more than ever.
“Even before the pandemic started, teachers were feeling betrayed by the BC NDP,” Foster tells NEWS 1130. “We were absolutely shocked that during bargaining, they put concessions on the table.”
She says from the beginning of the NDP’s mandate in B.C., teachers “have been largely ignored,” and claims many of the promises the party made to them were forgotten.
Going into a pandemic, Foster says it seemed like the government “had a grip on the situation,” but once the back-to-school plan was released over the summer, things changed.
“It was like insult, on top of injury, on top of injury,” she explains, adding many of the teachers she knows have now been asking themselves who they should vote for.
When it comes to turnout, Foster believes the frustration boiling over among teachers and other educational staff has played a big role in getting British Columbians out to vote.
Many of the teachers she knows, Foster says, are looking to vote Green. The problem many of them have faced, however, is that there haven’t always been Green candidates to cast a ballot for.
“They didn’t cover all ridings,” she explains, adding she wouldn’t be surprised if analysis finds, after the fact, that many teachers have voted for Sonia Furstenau’s party.
“Our local union, we’re the biggest district in the province in Surrey, and we’re usually very, very active in the election. And this time, it’s been very weird and strange, because in the past, we knew who were fighting against. We knew what we were fighting for,” Foster says.
“We just need a government that’s pro-education.”