Can a politician champion and hold the purse strings to a public education system while, at the same time, send his or her child to a private school?
It's universal debate that has landed in British Columbia this week.
On Tuesday, during an online rant about education funding, Vancouver School Board chair Patti Bachuss tweeted this:
Right away, most observers felt that Bacchus was referring to Christy Clark whose son goes to a well-to-do private school in Vancouver.
In an interview with CBC Radio, host Stephen Quinn asked Bacchus if she was indeed talking about the B.C. premier.
"I'm not going to attach a name to it but I wouldn't say you were wrong," Bacchus responded.
"[I'm] expressing the frustration of what those of us who have been dedicated to the public system to the point of keeping our own kids in the system.
"And looking for government that looks at a public education system — or a public health system — any public system is one that they would want for their own family."
Bacchus is frustrated over the Clark government's decision to appeal a BC Supreme Court decision. The ruling, which came down last week, would retroactively restore class sizes and composition levels that the government stripped from teachers' contracts in 2002. According to some estimates, the ruling would cost the government $1.3 billion.
Nevertheless, Bacchus' reference to a politician's child — any politician's child — going to a private school has ruffled feathers and elicited heated debate on the radio talk shows and social media.
This is a debate that has gone on in other jurisdictions and in other countries as well.
Last year, in the UK, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg came under fire for just considering to send his oldest child to a private school. President Bill Clinton even took some criticism, in 1993, for sending his daughter Chelsea to one.
What do you think? Are politicians who send their children displaying some sort of double standard? Should be they criticized?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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