#CQvotes2018: SD43 candidates differ on China trips

Depending on who you ask, trustee trips to China are good for cultural exchange or a potential conflict of interest

Who are they and what do trustee candidates think of current School District 43 issues?

The following information about Coquitlam candidates is derived from a survey supplied by the Tri-City News to give voters more information leading up to the civic election on Oct. 20.

Blatherwick
Jennifer Blatherwick - Submitted

JENNIFER BLATHERWICK
Age: 43

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Occupation: association director, Odyssey of the Mind

Campaign funding: community donations

Previous community service: Volunteered in breakfast and reading programs, school and community coach. Recipient of 2018 Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers.

Do you support the board of education taking a lead role in creating daycare spaces in schools, and why?

Yes. The childcare shortage in Coquitlam is serious. Creating space for daycare generates revenue for schools and makes Coquitlam a better place for families. Right now, the provincial and municipal governments are ready to work with us on solving the daycare shortage. School boards need to maximize this opportunity.

Do you support the use of SOGI 123 curriculum in schools to support the inclusion of LGBTQ+2 youth, and why?

Yes. SOGI education in schools decreases bullying and reduces suicides — across all student populations. Students today are already aware of these issues from media — SOGI 123 provides factual information about the variety of Canadians they will encounter, and how to treat those differences with respect.

Do you support trustee trips to China paid for by the Chinese government through cultural grants from the Confucius Institute, and why?

No. International education is valuable to Coquitlam. To represent our community’s best interest, the board needs to have local control over broadening our outreach.

Do you support the expenditure of $36 million for a new school board building, and why?

No. Compared to spending on new school buildings, which came in at lower budgets, the replacement costs are excessive, and do not directly benefit students.
What do you hope to accomplish as a school trustee?

Volunteering in classrooms, I’ve seen that the research is right — early intervention is the best, most cost-effective solution to learning difficulties. We need to ensure that students get assessment and appropriate support as early as possible. Doing things right from the beginning saves the district money over the long term, and helps our students succeed.

Email: info@jenniferblatherwick.ca

Website: jenniferblatherwick.ca

Facebook: jennifermartin.blatherwick

Bucher
Francis Bucher - Submitted




FRANCIS MARK BUCHER

Age: 59

Occupation: retired teacher

Campaign funding: self-funded

Previous community service: youth soccer coach and referee, community choir director, volunteer pianist at seniors' homes.

Do you support the board of education taking a lead role in creating daycare spaces in schools, and why?

Yes, I understand how difficult it is for working families to find affordable daycare.

Do you support the use of 123 SOGI curriculum in schools to support the inclusion of LGBTQ+2 youth, and why?

Yes, I know that there is a great deal of misunderstanding on this issue. However, if there are students who are confused as to their sexual identity, this curriculum is meant only to help without telling them what they should or shouldn't do.

Do you support trustee trips to China paid for by the Chinese government through cultural grants from the Confucius Institute, and why?

Yes, if it is completely funded by the Chinese government. If this fosters better cultural understanding between Canada and China, then why not?

Do you support the expenditure of $36 million for a new school board building, and why?

I will be honest and say that this is an issue that I will need to look into more closely. Being fiscally responsible and accountable is very important to me and I promise to give close attention to this possible expenditure.

What do you hope to accomplish as a school trustee?

Coming from the perspective of a parent and a freshly retired teacher, I feel that I can really make a difference to help continue with the excellent programs that are in place here in School District 43. I will work in a collaborative manner to implement new programs and I will help to make any necessary changes in order to improve the lives of all concerned.

Phone: 604-818-2179

Email: socmuto@gmail.com

Facebook: forSchoolTrusteeCoquitlam

Cahoon
Carol Cahoon - Submitted



CAROL CAHOON

Age: 48

Occupation: SD43 trustee/bookkeeper

Campaign funding: Personal and independent contributions.

Previous community service: SD43 trustee, piano teacher, licensed professional investigator, chair, Coquitlam Montessori Society, SD43 parent advisory council and District Parent Advisory Council, acting president, Children of the Street Society.

Do you support the board of education taking a lead role in creating daycare spaces in schools, and why?

Yes, the board of education should take the lead role because of its connections and knowledge that already exists. The board has strong relationships with the provincial government, cities, related stakeholder groups and the community to best address locations, identify solutions and communicate the challenges and opportunities within the Tri-Cities.

Do you support the use of SOGI 123 curriculum in schools to support the inclusion of LGBTQ+2 youth, and why?

Yes, in order for everyone to be treated equally, I support SOGI 123 as a resource to assist teachers and parents. Students should be educated in an age-appropriate manner to create a safer, secure environment in schools and to build a better understanding of empathy.

Do you support trustee trips to China paid for by the Chinese government through cultural grants from the Confucius Institute, and why?

Yes, I support any educational cultural exchange event that continually educates our school board, teachers and staff, particularly when there is no cost to local taxpayers
Do you support the expenditure of $36 million for a new school board building, and why?

Do you support the expenditure of $36 million for a new school board building, and why?

Yes, It is more cost effective to build a multi-use facility, bringing several departments together, than to renovate the existing 60-year-old-building.

What do you hope to accomplish as a school trustee?

Moving forward, I’ll continue to advocate to the government, approve balanced budgets, ensure that all stakeholders are valued and listened to, and invest resources into the classrooms. This will strengthen our public education system while supporting safe, diverse and inclusive schools.

Phone: 604-787-3435

Email: votecarolcahoon@gmail.com

Website: carolcahoon.com

Facebook: Carol Cahoon

Twitter: @carol_cahoon

Denison
Chuck Denison - Submitted



CHUCK DENISON

Occupation: business owner

Campaign funding: donations and self-funding

Previous community service: SD43 trustee, DPAC president, "Distinguished Toastmaster.”

Do you support the board of education taking a lead role in creating daycare spaces in schools, and why?

In schools, the board has and does take a lead role. For the overall community, the board initiated a meeting with four mayors and two provincial ministers, and is initiating an ongoing task force for childcare. Collaboration and creativity are needed to maximize effectiveness.

Do you support the use of SOGI 123 curriculum in schools to support the inclusion of LGBTQ+2 youth, and why?

The core intent of SOGI 123 is difficult to refute: to respect all people and the diversity of our society. Children learn homophobic slurs in their primary years, with significant consequences for emotional well-being. All students should be proud of who they are and who their parents are.

Do you support trustee trips to China paid for by the Chinese government through cultural grants from the Confucius Institute, and why?

Business trips are not holidays. Large corporations use grants when possible. Cultural understanding goes both ways. Trustees enhance business meetings, with schools, agents and embassy.
Do you support the expenditure of $36 million for a new school board building, and why?

Yes. The existing board office is very old, not meeting current building standards, with inefficient layout and removed from other district-wide operations.
What do you hope to accomplish as a school trustee?

The momentum I helped build needs to continue, with an understanding of what it took, and the road ahead. Finances have stabilized. Relationships with partner groups and cities have strengthened. Student mental health is better supported. I will help ensure that positive values are at the core of our goals.

Phone: 604-614-9772

Email: Chuck@ChuckDenison.ca

Website: ChuckDenison.ca

Facebook: Chuck Denisonfor Coquitlam School Trustee

Twitter: @ChuckDenisonBC

Hobson
Barb Hobson - Submitted



BARB HOBSON

Occupation: former EA at BCIT and Polytechnics Canada

Campaign funding: personal donations and fundraising

Previous community service: community volunteer in Coquitlam for more than 30 years in schools, city committees and community organizations.

Do you support the board of education taking a lead role in creating daycare spaces in schools, and why?

Yes, I support the district spearheading a task force to work with the provincial government, city councils, community organizations and parents to develop sustainable daycare spaces.

Do you support the use of SOGI 123 curriculum in schools to support the inclusion of LGBTQ+2 youth, and why?

I support the Ministry of Education’s intent to ensure that the diversity that exists in communities is reflected in existing classroom lessons. SOGI is not a new or separate course or curriculum. SOGI is about treating all people with dignity and respecting the diversity of our society.

Do you support trustee trips to China paid for by the Chinese government through cultural grants from the Confucius Institute, and why?

International education provides our students with exposure to different cultures, additional school staffing and benefits to the community. Trustee support for the program is essential.
Do you support the expenditure of $36 million for a new school board building, and why?

Yes. Our school district has more than doubled since the original office was constructed and district staff are working in overcrowded, potentially unhealthy conditions.
What do you hope to accomplish as a school trustee?

I will continue to: pressure senior government to fund new schools and classrooms; bring more resources to support students with mental health challenges and vulnerable students; oppose provincial downloading of costs and lobby government for additional operating funds; and continue to closely monitor finances and make sensible financial decisions.

Phone: 778-772-0402

Email: barb@barbhobson.ca

Website: barbhobson.ca

Facebook: Barb Hobson

Twitter: @b_hobson

O'Neill
Shari O'Neill - Submitted



SHARI O’NEILL

Occupation: business owner

Campaign funding: donations

Previous community service: PACs, DPAC, Chamber of Commerce ambassador, various committees, SD43 Enchantment Project, SD43 Aboriginal Advisory Committee and various other volunteer work
Do you support the board of education taking a lead role in creating daycare spaces in schools, and why?

Absolutely, we are in dire need of more daycares. When parents are left without care for their children, they are forced to stay home and not work, and that doesn't pay the bills.

Do you support the use of SOGI 123 curriculum in schools to support the inclusion of LGBTQ+2 youth, and why?

Yes, in an age-appropriate way. Students have the right to feel safe and free from discrimination, no matter their sexual orientation or their parents' orientation, just the same as no child should be discriminated because of their race. Schools should be an inclusive and safe place for our children.

Do you support trustee trips to China paid for by the Chinese government through cultural grants from the Confucius Institute, and why?

No, I don't support the trips.

Do you support the expenditure of $36 million for a new school board building, and why?

I'd like to see a breakdown of the costs for this $36-million expenditure, then I'll decide. Right now I don't have enough info to say yes or no.

What do you hope to accomplish as a school trustee?

First and foremost, I want to see student assessment wait lists caught up. We need more specialist teachers and support staff, let's work on finding and hiring them. The Math Makes Sense textbook has to go. A better explanation of the budget, in public consultation, needs to happen.

Email: oneillshari@yahoo.ca

Website: sharioneill.me

Wang
Hui Wang - Submitted



HUI WANG

Age: 48

Occupation: businessman

Campaign funding: donations from local residents.

Previous community service: board member of school PAC and DPAC. I also organized a running team for neighbour children and am actively involved in community events.
Do you support the board of education taking a lead role in creating daycare spaces in schools, and why?

If the school has enough space and is qualified in creating daycare, it will be great. It's also the duty of the board of education to support community.

Do you support the use of SOGI 123 curriculum in schools to support the inclusion of LGBTQ+2 youth, and why?

Based on my survey, there are different voices and opinions regarding the SOGI 123 curriculum. There are many ways to support the rights of LGBTQ. Our school system is responsible for protecting every student's rights and keeping every student safe.

Do you support trustee trips to China paid for by the Chinese government through cultural grants from the Confucius Institute, and why?

Yes. It's helpful to communicate and understand the learning requirements in China to attract more high quality students to SD43.

Do you support the expenditure of $36 million for a new school board building, and why?

I support if this building can be the studying centre for all students and parents, and generate revenue to support the education system.

What do you hope to accomplish as a school trustee?

Improve quality of education, enhance communication and parents' involvement, more support to international and new immigrant students, promote French and Chinese immersion program, enhance music and sports programs for more students.

Phone: 778-881-6716

Email: huiwsd43@gmail.com

Website: wechat:wanghuibc

Facebook: huiwangbc

Twitter: @huiwangbc

Instagram: @huiwangbc

Woods
Craig Woods - Submitted



CRAIG WOODS

Age: 45

Occupation: industry relations advisor at the ITA

Campaign funding: friends, family, self-funded

Previous community service: SD43 DPAC president for past five years, CMFSC soccer coach, social services worker, diversity and inclusion initiatives. Toastmasters Club president
Do you support the board of education taking a lead role in creating daycare spaces in schools, and why?

I support sharing the lead in collaboration with the municipalities and the relevant provincial ministries to develop sustainable daycare spaces in our neighbourhoods. I would explore creating space with portables on school properties, creating the required zoning in and around our school communities, and creating financial incentives/supports.

Do you support the use of SOGI 123 curriculum in schools to support the inclusion of LGBTQ+2 youth, and why?

As a supporter of diversity and inclusion, I support using SOGI 23 age-appropriate resources in the curriculum. I also support parents being aware of what is happening in classrooms in advance and would want schools to communicate proactively with parents prior to SOGI 123 curriculum being introduced.

Do you support trustee trips to China paid for by the Chinese government through cultural grants from the Confucius Institute, and why?

I support the international education program. However I feel that it is time to review how we manage the relationships we have with international governments.

Do you support the expenditure of $36 million for a new school board building, and why?

A new office is needed. However, I support plans that use money already available and doesn’t use money that could be used in classrooms.

What do you hope to accomplish as a school trustee?

To build upon five years of service offered, experience gained and relationships established, and continue to support true parent and public representation through extended consultative processes, healthy staffing levels to support the mental health and social and emotional well being of children, board accountability and transparency.

Phone: 778-231-9663

Email: craigwoodsfortrustee@shaw.ca

Facebook: CraigWoodsforCoqTrustee

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