Editor: As president of the Langley Teachers’ Association, I continue to receive e-mails and questions regarding if, and how much, of our members’ union dues, were donated to individual candidates running for a position on the Langley Board of Education in November, 2011.
No funds were given directly to any candidate. Services ‘in kind’ were voted on by LTA members and offered as a service to the community, as well as teachers and candidates.
The LTA offered all candidates the opportunity to send in their picture, biography, answer questions focused on public education and have their information printed in our newspaper, the local.link. All candidates took advantage of this opportunity.
Copies were provided to all LTA members as usual and, as we always do for a local election, copies were mailed to all other BCTF members living and voting in Langley, who are not teaching in Langley. For those seven candidates endorsed to our members, we did include their flyers, if provided.
We did organize, advertise and publicize an all-candidates forum at Brookswood Secondary. All candidates, except Candy Ashdown (for family reasons), attended and it was a beneficial evening of exchanging information.
In addition, the LTA initiated an automated, recorded call-out for all BCTF members voting in Langley Township or Langley City. In this call-out, members were encouraged to vote, and were reminded of the names of the LTA-endorsed candidates in each area.
The mention of our endorsed candidates in this call-out, was the only action that the LTA undertook that could be seen as benefitting only the LTA-endorsed candidates.
The local.link, and the candidates forum were clearly beneficial to all candidates running for office and yet, the DPAC’s forum was not charged to candidates as an in-kind donation, in the same manner as the LTA’s was included.
To set the record straight, we believe all candidates benefited from the actions, events and publications of the LTA. If these expenses needed to be claimed, they should have been claimed by all candidates.
Langley Teachers’ Association