Suzanne Perreault is seeking re-election as school trustee in Langley Township. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Suzanne Perreault is seeking re-election as school trustee in Langley Township. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

MEET THE CANDIDATES

IN THE LANGLEY SCHOOL TRUSTEE RACE: Suzanne Perreault

Ahead of Oct. 15, the Advance Times offers a profile and Q&A opportunity to each candidate

Suzanne Perreault

RUNNING AS AN INDEPENDENT

Counsellor/public speaker, age 52

North Otter resident who’s lived in Langley 12 years

As an advocate for inclusion and a compassionate community leader, I served DPAC six years, three presiding.

I worked in post-secondary schools, financial office manager, and SEA.

Currently a counsellor for woman and EDI consultant, I’m passionate about equity in education.

Committees served: ya:yestel (Aboriginal advisory), inclusive education, emergency preparedness, 2SLGBTQ+, human dignity coalition and communications committee.

Chaired BCCPAC inclusive ed committee (three years).

Nominated for: Fraser Valley diversity award (two times) and BC Excellence in Autism awards.

My goal is to work alongside educators and parents, deepening current work started in EDI and emergency preparedness.

My motions speak to the above: a) barrier-free spaces in schools; b) feminine hygiene in schools; c) cultural safety training for onboarding trustees; and d) safe and inclusive schools (seclusion/isolation rooms).

Facebook: www.facebook.ccom/profile.php?id=100035053973850

Twitter: @DecisionTree007

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Have you held office in past? If so, please specify: Yes, one full term (4 years) as a School Trustee.

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CLICK TO CHECK OUT OUR FULL ELECTION GUIDE ONLINE

Questions:

(These answers are presented as the candidates submitted them)

1. Do you agree with how SOGI material and other sex education is currently taught in the classroom, including LGBTQ2S content and sexual consent?

Yes.

2. Are class sizes too big?

Yes.

3. Should all students with diverse abilities or special needs be taught in regular classrooms?

Yes.

This question is narrowly worded. Equal access to education is a right for all children, including students with disabilities.

It is important to understand full “push in” is not inclusion either.

There must be safe rooms for students to go to, which are designated with support that are quieter to support needs.

Each student is a different learner, and that must be honoured and supported without question, in or out of the main classroom.

The better question is, should students with needs have options to be both in the main classroom or in space provided with support if needed?

The answer is always, yes. Not one or the other (push-in or pull-out).

The language surrounding “diverse abilities” is tricky and can remove the voice of the student with disabilities, putting at risk the acknowledgment of where support needs to be injected, thereby softens their felt needs and rights around it.

Their rights lie in both the Human Rights Act and Disabilities Act, to which we need to acknowledge with correct language further supported by the MoEC special needs policy and guideline manual.

4. Is the provincial government providing enough funding for public schools?

No – absolutely not.

5. Should the district set a deadline to switch to an all-electric bus and vehicle fleet?

No. We need to observe the development of the technology to allow room for distributors to find their “glitches” to ensure full functioning vehicles.

6. Should there be more emphasis on STEM courses in schools?

Yes. We are seeing an increase in demand in jobs overall in this area and students, not just locally need to be better supported for work ready skills overall, including Trades.

7. Should the district consider offering distance education for some students on a regular basis, based on what was learned during the pandemic?

Yes. Distributed learning (DL) is a very successful and viable way for certain students to have their needs met. However, it should never be used as a tool to support a veiled “exclusion” experience for students with disabilities or those struggling with traumatic events in their life that need community surrounding them. This should be a global access point for all Districts as an option for learning, not removing the independent DL’s however.

8. Should the district have a strategy to reduce the use of portables?

Yes. This is me dreaming we could if budgets from the Ministry were made more fulsome when forecasting and budling schools.

9. Should there be more emphasis on Indigenous-based history and culture courses?

Yes.

Absolutely and this should show up in the workspace also as part on on-boarding staff to ensure that Cultural Safety in the Workspace is occurring also.

We just witnessed a tripartite Agreement between the Métis Nation of Greater Victoria, Métis Nation BC and Board of Education District 61, Districts would benefit, working alongside our Nations to do the same also over an above the highlighted emphasis.

10. Should new elementary schools be built larger, to accommodate more students and deal with continuing rapid enrolment growth?

Yes. The challenge here is lies with Ministry of Education & Childcare advocacy piece to which our School Trustee’s have done an exceptional job within their authority to advocate for, including having our past Chair sit on the TOL Liaison Committee advocating for our District as well when meetings were called. We have many challenges we face when using the prescribed process afforded to us via Baragar. One of them being the wait time from submission of numbers to developer commencement, we often experience no consistency in rhythm. Many variables often change between point A & B. Our communities will benefit from strong co-governing support by having our Mayor and Council also advocate alongside with us. To date predictions are specific to current exposure where the development could show up a few years later changing the outcome.

CLICK ON OUR ELECTIONS 2022 TAB TO FIND A WIDE VARIETY OF RELEVANT STORIES

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

How the questions were presented to each candidate

Langley Advance Times readers have repeatedly told us how much they value this important, straight-forward reference guide that helps orient them with the range of choices on the ballots – both at the council and school board levels.

Towards that end, we have attempted to make this package available (along with the following instructions) to each of the candidates in a timely fashion ahead of the Oct. 15 election.

Please read carefully before you start to fill this out.

To help voters in Langley make their choices on election day, the Langley Advance Times is asking local candidates 10 issue-based questions.

You must provide a ‘yes,’ a ‘no,’ or a ‘don’t know’ (Y, N, D) response to EACH of these questions.

Each question MUST be answered with yes (Y), no (N), or Don’t Know (D). This will be published in a grid in the Oct. 6 edition. Any questions not answered will be LEFT BLANK.

Candidates may also expand on ANY OR ALL of these questions (to a maximum of 200 words each). Please note any responses longer than that will be cut off at the 201-word mark.

Due to space limitations, we can only guarantee to run one of these answers in the Langley Advance Times print edition ahead of the election. You must CLEARLY indicate which expanded answer you want to see published in print. If you do not specify, we will choose. Any and all expanded answers provided will be published online at www.langleyadvancetimes.com.

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