The Issues According to Social Media

While a few people have attempted to engage in conversations around education or the role of trustee during this election (thanks @standUpAB), the majority of the discussion on social media around the 2017 trustee election has focused on two issues, so I wanted to make my position on both clear.

How are you being funded? Are you affiliated with anyone?

I think the electorate should be informed as to whether or not candidates are being backed by any organization that has an interest in education, and it should be clear what those interests are. Effective democracy requires transparency and everyone should have the information necessary to know whether their candidate’s interests align with their own. While I agree with the proposed ban on union and corporate donations in municipal elections, they are currently perfectly legal, and as long as candidates are forthcoming about them, I think it is up to voters to decide whether or not they find them acceptable.

In 2013, I released all of my donors on this website on nomination day and updated it as I received donations. As I am re-using my signs from the last campaign, my expenses for this election campaign have been significantly less and I have fully self-funded them. However, a few friends of mine have indicated that they plan to donate and I will disclose their names once I have received those donations. I am not affiliated with any organization and all of my volunteers are personal friends.

Do you support LGBTQ2+ students?

LGBTQ2+ students are an extremely vulnerable population by any measure. Too many of them do not feel safe as they have been bullied, harassed or assaulted while at school. This is not acceptable to me. These students deserve an education in a caring and supportive environment and this is why I have voted in favour of policies that support LGBTQ2+ students in the CBE. So, yes, I support GSAs. And no, I do not believe in mandatory or discretionary notification of participation in GSAs. And yes, I also recognize that a supportive home environment produces the best outcomes for these students, which is why the CBE always encourages students to communicate openly with their parents around issues of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. The vast majority of parents love their children unconditionally and only want to support them. I hope that all public school trustee candidates would support policies that promote safe and caring learning environments for LGBTQ2+ youth.

Update

Donations received as of October 15, 2017

$100 – Carol Bazinet

$100 – Amber Stewart

$250 – Laurie Glans & Donna Kennedy-Glans

$300 – Sheila Taylor

(I also received a $20 donation through my website)

2 thoughts on “The Issues According to Social Media

  1. Claude Stevenson

    1. What is your position on the provincial curriculum review?
    Do you feel the current curriculum is adequately age appropriate?
    [I feel it is too targeted to those students who physically mature at the most rapid rate, (top 35% in speed of maturity), and therefore wastes human potential as well as promoting a higher drop out rate by not respecting those who physically mature more slowly]
    2. Does Calgary get all of the property tax money it produces back from the province for use in educating Calgary students?
    3. Do Calgary classrooms have adequate supports to handle the current trend to inclusiveness for special needs students?

  2. Trina Hurdman Post author

    1. I am in favour of the provincial curriculum review as there are many aspects of the current curriculum that need to be updated. Some parts have not been reviewed for decades. In every classroom, teachers recognize that there are students who are at very different stages of development and learning and they do their best to accommodate the various needs within the classroom. While I have heard feedback from teachers that there is too much expected within the current curriculum, this is blamed on the quantity, not age appropriateness.
    2. Property taxes compose only a minority of the total provincial education budget, so yes, Calgary gets all of it back. Here is a document that explains education funding and property taxes in Calgary. Although it is five years old, the premise and approximate proportions have stayed the same. http://www.municipalaffairs.gov.ab.ca/documents/as/0206_BUDGET_-_2012_EPT_CalgaryFact_Sheet.pdf
    3. I don’t think any school board would ever say that they have adequate supports for inclusive education, however, everyone has different definitions of what “adequate” would be. Inclusive education is definitely an area where I feel more funding is needed.

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