One on one with Trustee Bruce Johnson on school closures in district 67
April 23, 2016
by Kevin Proteau of Locals Independent Media
(VIDEO INTERVIEW BELOW ARTICLE)
We had the extreme pleasure of having a one on one discussion with Bruce Johnson, School District Trustee, who was, and still is, opposed to the closure of any school in School District 67. Trout Creek Elementary School in Summerland, and McNicoll Park Middle School and West Bench Elementary School in Penticton are all targeted for closure. Bruce Johnson was the only trustee who voted not to close any schools believing that we should wait one more year and see what monies come in from the Province.
In our interview with Bruce we discussed the proposal, ” Summerland Solutions”, that has been submitted by a passionate group of concerned citizens. In it they proposed ways in which, by keeping Trout Creek and Middle bench schools open, the district could actually have a surplus of $422 000 dollars.( Visit our LSL video media page to view hearing ) The district has agreed to apply due diligence and look at the solutions presented and will have a hearing on the decision on May 9, 2016 at 6:30pm at 425 Jermyn Ave, Penticton.
We also discussed The B.C. Trustee’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) that took place this past week in Vancouver. Six of seven of District 67’s Trustee’s attended, as well as the Superintendent and Treasurer. We have yet to get the costs from the 2016 AGM but we were able to obtain the district’s costs of the 2015 AGM. It was roughly $1500 a head for a grand total of $11,976.28. They hold two AGMs a year.
Just at the end of our discussion with Bruce, LSL brought up an article we stumbled upon from the April 17, 2016 issue of the Vancouver Sun. The article exposes how our Provincial Government is collecting money from School Districts and Regional Health Authorities under the pretense of remaining carbon neutral. We will follow up with what we learned from this article and research further into the Carbon Tax and Credit that is causing a financial burden for our public services. We feel that is VERY IMPORTANT that every parent, school teacher and citizen in B.C. review and research on their own. You will find a number of quotes and links below that will assist you in this research.
Is Carbon tax or Carbon Fraud responsible for the closing of schools? You decide!
Summary of Research
Note : In 2010, the B.C. government starting making schools, hospitals and universities reduce their net carbon emissions to zero, and as a result the public institutions were forced to pay to have outside projects reduce carbon emissions in their stead. These reductions are often called carbon credits or offsets.
Note : British Columbia had paid out $53.4 million to buy these carbon offsets from major forest companies such as Canfor and Interfor, energy companies such as ARC Resources, and increasingly from a First Nation consortium whose traditional territory encompass the Great Bear Rainforest on B.C.’s central coast, according to data assembled by The Vancouver Sun.
Note : “In 2014 alone, the province purchased $10.2 million in carbon offsets from the Great Bear initiative.”
Note : Under the program, the province put a $25 a tonne price on the carbon emissions of the schools, hospitals and universities to provide an incentive for them to reduce emissions. (The carbon offsets from industry have been purchased at an average price of less than $12 a tonne).
Note : schools, hospital and universities have reduced emissions by 7.4 per cent or just under 63,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents, according to government data.
Note : And there are some public sector emissions under B.C.’s rules that have been deemed exempt from having to be offset — such as carbon emissions from school buses and the B.C. Transit fleet. Emissions from those exempt categories have increased about 20,000 tonnes between 2010 and 2014.
Note : The B.C. Liberal government has shown no intent to dismantle its carbon offset system, and B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak said there are no plans to make any changes.
Note : “I would hold this up as a really good example of how to take incentives and turn them into benefits that are pretty direct,” Polak said in an interview.
Note : She is referring to the $14.5 million a year the province provides to schools, hospitals and universities to help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Note : In essence, the B.C. government is giving back money they collected from the $25 a tonne of emissions, but it has to be directed to emission-reduction projects.
Note : NDP environment critic George Heyman says the province’s carbon trading scheme is a shell game.
Note : “The real question here is why are they taking additional money from schools and hospitals instead of letting them upgrade and retrofit their buildings for energy conservation directly,” he said.
Note : Asked why the province does not simply let the public institutions keep the money, which they could plow into projects to reduce carbon emissions, particularly given hospitals and colleges are already paying a $30 a tonne carbon tax as well, Polak said the $25 a tonne additional charge provides a needed incentive to change behaviour.
Note : Asked why this additional $25 charge was then not applied to the private sector as well, where there are much larger gains to be had in emission reductions, Polak said that question may be answered in the province’s updated climate change plan expected to be released this year.
Note : After shutting down the Pacific Carbon Trust in 2013, and moving its operations into the secretariat, the B.C. Liberal government said it would save $5.6 million a year and use only five government workers.
Note : The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has been highly critical of the Pacific Carbon Trust, and continues to have concerns of the program now being run within government.
Note : B.C. spokesman Jordan Bateman called the carbon system a farce, saying the program is not about reducing emissions but a public relations exercise so the government can call itself carbon neutral.
Note : He noted that replacing boilers sounded like routine maintenance.
Note : More fundamentally, he said most people would not consider schools and hospitals priorities for reducing carbon emissions, said Bateman. “The whole program seems really ridiculous.”
AN AUDIT OF CARBON NEUTRAL GOVERNMENT (Must Read)
Public Accounts (Ministry of Finance BC)
Things that still make you go “Hmmm” (Must Read)
Pacific Carbon Trust Finacials (Lots of information 2008/14)
Pacific Carbon Trust Folded Into B.C. Government In Cost-Cutting Move (Article)
BC Conservatives Promise Pacific Carbon Trust Shutdown (Article)
Auditor General Carbon Neutral Report Scalds BC Government (Article)
B.C. Taxpayers Pay Millions in Carbon Corporate Welfare–Again (Article)
Why Fear B.C.’s Clean Energy Policy? (Article)
Meaning of “Secretariat” (Related to the change to Pacific Carbon Trust)
Carbon Neutral Local Government (Review Material)
The following links are for Deloitte, this firm is presently working with the provincial government carbon tax dept! (Research Connection)
Deloitte works with the Sinularity University! (Research Connection)
Sinularity University (Research Connection)