Guest Post: Shelagh Martinusen, Parent, To The Premier

Guest post from Shelagh Martinusen, parent of a child in school in SD61: “Please feel free to share my letter. I’m so tired of subsidizing private education!  Meanwhile our kids are going without adequate support and aging equipment.”

  • On Tuesday, February 10, 2015, Minister of Education wrote: Thank you for your email; I appreciate your taking the time to write. This automated response is to confirm that your email has been received and will be reviewed shortly. Where appropriate, I will respond to your email or have Ministry of Education staff respond to you directly. Please be assured your email will be dealt with as soon as possible.
  • On Tuesday, February 10, 2015, Shelagh Martinusen wrote:This is the only response I ever get from this office. Not exactly a lot of transparency or accountability to a voter if an automated response is the only answer they ever get. That said, it’s more than the premier’s office sends. That’s a rather deafening silence.
  • On Thursday, February 12, 2015, Office of the Premier wrote: Thank you for your emails, Ms. Martinusen.  Please be assured that your previous email was read and discussed.We’ve done some follow-up and understand that staff from [another Ministry] had a discussion with you [on a previous date].   If there’s something more you would like to bring forward, please let us know. Again, thank you for writing.

Thursday, February 19, 2015, to the Premier and MLA
From Shelagh Martinusen

Good to know my message was discussed as you were planning to announce the funding cut from public school budgets. Some discussion! Apparently you are not fully understanding that the parents of the 500,000+ students in the public schools outnumber the private school parents? We won’t be voting for you. Nor will all those high school students approaching voting age. They may be publicly educated, but they are getting a pretty good education, from some amazing teachers who are doing remarkable things in an underfunding and strained system. Those kids know exactly who is responsible for jeopardizing their educations and futures.

As for the discussion with the staff at the ministry. Yes, I got a call, but none of my concerns have been addressed or rectified. The problems still exist. While our children have challenges, many of them are also aware and will become informed voters along with the rest of us.

Did you know that many, many families have resorted to pulling their kids out of the underfunded system due to lack of support, in order to home school? Those parents are struggling on single incomes for decades to meet the needs of their children. They may not have a lot of spare time, but I do believe we will all make time to vote!

Good luck with your plans. I would suggest you get better advisors because you are not gaining popularity with the parents of BC. Over 500000 families. Think about it. It isn’t advanced math. Even for someone with a public school education.

You also might want to think about improving the housing and care options for our elderly before it’s your turn.

Shelagh Martinusen

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