Special Open School Board Meeting

As part of its school site selection process the Board of Education for School District No. 40 (New Westminster) will be holding a Special Open Board Meeting to address its School Consolidation and/or Closure Policy and grade configuration.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 7:00 pm

City Hall – Council Chambers

SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 40 (NEW WESTMINSTER)

An Important Notice for Residents of New Westminster

The Board of Education for School District No. 40 (New Westminster) invites you to participate in two sequential Community Workshops to provide input for the selection of school sites.

Community Workshops are scheduled for the following dates:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009: 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Saturday, January 17, 2009: 10:00 am – 2:30 pm

The preferred option(s) will be presented at an Open House at a date to be confirmed following the workshops.

All events will be held at Century House, 620 Eighth Street, New Westminster.

PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUESTED

Please Contact: Barb Basden @ 604-517-6310 or bbasden@sd40.bc.ca

Santa Shops Sapperton

This Saturday, December 6th, from noon – 4pm, and Thursday, December 11th from 6-9pm visit downtown Sapperton, E. Columbia Street for family fun.
There will be festive roasted chestnuts, Cal’s Christmas Karaoke, a Christmas tree sale by WesGroup Properties, a special appearance by Santa, gift basket draws, as well as special Sapperton promotions and passport shopping.
It promises to be a fun family time.

– Neil Powell

What’s the Big Deal about the Influence of the DLC in Our Local Municipal Election

For all those who have been wondering what the big deal is about the influence of the DLC in our local municipal election, here is a fine example of what you can get with that sort of “support”.
If you read Vaughn Palmer you will know why Voice New Westminster was formed. In short, it was formed to put the community first in all matters.

The NDP and unions as political bedfellows: Veteran insider tells all
By Vaughn PalmerDecember 3, 2008

The B.C. New Democratic Party’s relationship with organized labour is under examination in court this month, thanks to some telling testimony from a long-time denizen of NDP campaigns.
The case involves the challenge to the election “gag law,” the B.C. Liberal attempt to rein in advertising by unions and other third parties in the run-up to provincial elections.
In the effort to provide a rationale for the law, its defenders sought and obtained an affidavit from Brad Zubyk.
He’s a 20-year veteran of B.C. political campaigns, mostly on behalf of left-of-centre parties.
Zubyk helped former NDP MLA Gregor Robertson win the mayor’s office in this fall. He also worked for the B.C. branch of the federal Liberals in their campaign.
But the relevant parts of his resume for this case were his multiple efforts for the NDP, including the last provincial campaign.
“During the 2005 election, I was one of the senior people in the communications campaign run by the provincial NDP,” Zubyk says in his affidavit. My official title was director of candidate support. This made me one of the core communications operatives in the NDP’s campaign war room.
“During that time,” continues the voice from the NDP war room, “the NDP ran an election campaign that was closely coordinated with the campaigns of major labour groups in the province.
“The unions’ membership and spending was used as a resource to support our overall campaign and we exploited that resource to the best effect possible.
“The degree to which the unions put their resources at our disposal varied from union to union; however, the vast majority were supportive in some fashion.”
He singles out the B.C. Federation of Labour, the Hospital Employees’ , the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Canadian Office and Professional Employees.
The veteran backroom boy cited the myriad ways unions had worked hand in hand with the NDP, from coordinating “events and rallies” to placing anti-government advertising.
“The NDP would be advised of the advertising being run by the unions so that duplication of effort could be avoided,” according to Zubyk. “This process was informal but constant. Because of the heavy advertising conducted by unions in support of the NDP in 2005, we were able to devote more of the NDP’s own money to other campaign activities.”
Heavy is right. A half-dozen unions spent almost $3 million on anti-government advertising in the three months leading up to the election.
Zubyk also told how the unions would tap their own membership lists “on behalf of and in coordination with the NDP.”
They aimed to mobilize their members as campaign volunteers, but also as potential NDP voters.
He described how the unions telephoned their members early in the campaign in an effort to identify their political leanings.
Zubyk: “I know that unions came to know the political preferences of the members they called because that was the very purpose of the initial stages of the election calling campaign.”
He also says: “One of the things that some major unions would do for the NDP during this campaign was to share contact information of their members with the party.”
This quasi-merger of the lists would “permit more accurate and efficient use of voter identification resources and permit those [union] members to be targeted with messaging supportive of the NDP and designed to ensure that members supportive of the NDP vote on election day.”
All this coordinated effort — events, advertising, volunteer recruitment and voter identification — amounted to parallel campaigns, one run by the unions, the other directly by the NDP.
“The NDP expected this coordination to permit the party’s own resources to be freed up for investment in other campaign activities,” Zubyk says.
“It was effectively the pooling of resources (financial and human) to serve the end of electing as many NDP candidates as possible.”
He goes on to discuss the implications for public awareness of the role played by the unions.
“This represented a substantial benefit to the NDP without the unions ever having to make a formal donation to the party,” Zubyk observes.
Preferable, he goes on to suggest, because formal donations “would have to be reported and would become known to the unions’ members as a discrete figure.”
Some union members who are not devout NDP supporters might even take exception to the size of donations.
But the main advantage was to lower the public profile of labour’s assistance to the NDP.
Zubyk’s testimony in this complicated case in B.C. Supreme Court won’t surprise anyone who has followed the labour-NDP link closely over the years.
But the details do help illustrate why the Liberals moved to curb third-party advertising, while rejecting all calls to end their own heavy reliance on financial support from business and corporate interests.
vpalmer@direct.ca