Teacher's marathon awareness effort visits Semiahmoo Peninsula

North Vancouver teacher Ian Cunliffe is joined by South Surrey teacher Caroline Bentley as the pair ran through Surrey Thursday.  - Evan Seal photo
North Vancouver teacher Ian Cunliffe is joined by South Surrey teacher Caroline Bentley as the pair ran through Surrey Thursday.
— image credit: Evan Seal photo

An ultra-marathoner from North Vancouver breezed through town last week as part of his cross-B.C. journey to rally opposition to Bill 22 "and the Liberal attack on public education."

Teacher Ian Cunliffe – supported by local runners and teachers – left South Surrey Thursday on his way to Burnaby, one of the last of 22 marathons Cunliffe aimed to complete in 22 days, in the hopes of drawing attention to funding cuts to public education.

"Twenty-two consecutive pieces of legislation have been enacted by the Liberal government, resulting in the gradual deterioration of public education in B.C.," notes a statement on a Facebook page created for Cunliffe's initiative.

The legislation "has impacted the teaching lives of teachers and students for more than a decade."

Cunliffe began his journey in Sparwood, not far from the Alberta border.

On Day 2, he told Black Press, as he ran south of Fernie, that Bill 22 "slashes funding to the bone."

“I feel it’s my professional responsibility to tell people the devastating effects Bill 22 will have on our education system," he said.

Cunliffe said his top worries about Bill 22 – which was passed by B.C. politicians in March – are that it erases limits on class size and doesn’t guarantee support for special-needs students or set a limit for how many special needs students are in a class.

He challenged elected officials of each riding that he passed through to run or walk with him to discuss the impact of Bill 22.

– Tracy Holmes & Michaela Garstin


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