Here's the question:
Do you honestly believe that the quality of education can be improved with another $670 million removed from the system; and that replacing qualified teachers with uncertified personnel in the classroom will solve the problem?
If you do, then may I suggest that we have a much bigger problem at hand; or that you believe Mike Harris to be a magician. The only other possible explanation is that you are a secret member of Heaven's Gate and you missed the ship that was to rendez-vous with comet Halle-Bopp.
Let's get serious. This, friends and neighbours, is a simple matter of “the end justifies the means.” Mike Harris is prepared to sacrifice practically anybody and anything to achieve his promise of a provincial tax cut of 30 percent.
The question then becomes: how much are we prepared to compromise in terms of civil rights, democratic principles, and educational opportunities for our children before we say no!
Well, the teachers have already answered that question in a clear and deliberate manner. It is generally in the nature of a teacher to do so. It is not in the nature of a teacher to let a bully take control of the classroom and completely disrupt the learning environment.
And rightfully so, I hope you would agree.
Ladies and gentlemen, do not be fooled by the slick rhetoric of the Harris government. Education does not need to be overhauled; it needs fine tuning. Harris is selling the system short in order to make political gains. No matter your political affiliation, this is wrong.
Some 126,000 teachers have crossed the line because they not only believe in themselves but more importantly they believe in the democratic process. This is exactly the message that we need to send to our students.
Now we need your help to bring the protest to an end. Simply ask Mike Harris to take a more sensible and reasonable approach to educational change and reform. Do not put the future of education in the hands of politicians—unless you want to sell it to the lowest bidder every four years!