Re: Minister’s year of learning, May 13.
It’s great that Education Minister Peter Fassbender “absolutely respect(s) the importance of education to the future of the community and the nation.”
He’s right – without adequate education, our children and our neighbours won’t be able to get good jobs, our businesses won’t be able to find the employees they need, and our economy and our communities won’t be as vibrant and healthy as they could be.
Education, from kindergarten through university, is an essential part of our society’s infrastructure; it’s something we must invest in to ensure that our future, and our children’s future, is good.
But the government’s investment in education in Surrey has always been way too low – our K-12 system has been shortchanged in many ways, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University, our region’s post-secondary institution, has never gotten more than half the funding that the other regions in B.C. get for their local colleges and universities, relative to population of each region.
So, if Fassbender really believes in the importance of education to the future of this community, he and colleague Amrik Virk – minister of advanced education, also representing Surrey – had better invest more in education here.
Fassbender ended his interview by asking where does the money come from. That’s easy: it comes from our pockets, in the various taxes we pay. Sure, balancing the budget is important, but if we do that only by cutting spending, our necessary infrastructure will decay.
The budget can also be balanced by increasing the government’s income, by raising corporate and/or personal taxes, so that we can build and maintain the infrastructure necessary for a healthy economy.
If the government’s not willing to do that, they’re just presiding over our province’s decay.
Geoff Dean, Surrey