Marty McFly was the time traveling hero from the Back to the Future trilogy and was played by one of my favorite Canadians, Michael J Fox. He is actually one of my favorite Edmontonians (which is a great list to be on with Tommy Chong and Nathan Fillion).
The NDP recently made legislative rulings in the energy sector which cost Alberta taxpayers $2B and rather than admit they screwed up they actually sued the companies we had signed contracts with. I am not sure what was going through their heads but they apparently learned nothing from their mistakes.
We could debate all night about whether they were justified in shutting down Trinity yesterday. There are plenty of documents with details about potential mismanagement of public money (something politicians know a thing or two about) and you can read them in yesterday’s post right here.
The fact is that they have made allegations of wrongdoing and are inviting the RCMP and CRA to both open investigations based on a report they paid someone to write. The report has a couple big things of interest from land deals that definitely look like they are on the shady side of the law but I am not a real estate lawyer so I have no idea.
What I do know is that if there was anything inappropriate the RCMP should find it and charge the guilty parties.
There were a few allegations about GST claims and school expenses that the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) will investigate and if they are found guilty of wrongdoing their will be reassessments and possibly penalties. There might even be jail time if they were grossly trying to rob the government.
What I also know is that none of these allegations have anything to do with Alberta Education. If the RCMP or CRA find them guilty then Alberta Education would absolutely be in their right to shut the school down as criminals should not be running school boards.
Herein lies the problem… what if they are found not guilty of any wrongdoing?
Then the government would have to start looking for a new reason to shut them down (and they have never been fans of home schooling)… and here is the problem because they already shut them down and their reason is utter nonsense.
You can argue with me all day but they have repeatedly said that they shut Trinity down for having their finances and teachers all managed through Wisdom Home School (a legal entity recognized by the provincial government for 21 years). They have repeated over and over that they were in clear violation of the School Act and the Home Education Regulation.
The Government Can’t Redefine English Words on a Whim
In both laws it is clearly stated that the school board (Trinity is the recognized school board here) has to employ teachers. In no place does it say that they have to hire them as full-time employees, and the rules are not there to show that they are employees but to put the onus of the management onto the Trinity board.
An associate board or associate private school supervising a home education program must arrange for teachers employed by the associate board or associate private school to conduct at least 2 evaluations of the progress of the student in each school year
~ Home Education Regulation 4(2)(b)
A private school is entitled to be accredited as an accredited private school if the Minister is satisfied that individuals whose qualifications are approved by the Minister are employed to teach at the school.
~ Alberta School Act – section 28(2)(b)(iii)
Tonight was the second conference call to help appease the parents affected by this gross negligent government action and you can follow along and stream the conversation here…
The Home Education Regulation specifies that the school must “arrange for teachers employed by the (school) to conduct at least 2 evaluations… each year”
What would you say this subsection was written to enforce? That the teachers were employed by the school or that they performed the duty of evaluating each student at least twice per year?
The School Act specifies that schools can be accredited schools if they have individuals (not teachers) who are qualified and approved by the minister being employed by the school.
Do you think this section is saying that the teachers must be qualified, full time employees?
The Government is Playing Games
The shell game of trying to make the people see something that isn’t there is not working on everyone. Clearly both of these legislations are in place to make sure that the teachers are qualified and effectively monitoring student education.
They have many people convinced that the school was shut down for not following these two rules because Trinity does not “Employ” the teachers, Wisdom Home School does. After 21 years of Wisdom Home School being contracted by Trinity to disperse funds to parents and pay teachers, this is suddenly so illegal that it makes more sense to shut the school down than to ask them to dissolve Wisdom and move the teachers and banking back to Trinity’s management.
Keep in mind that is was another government that asked them to create Wisdom to separate the money and training from the management of Trinity 21 years ago.
Let’s Go Back to the Future
In the future we will see the CRA slap Trinity and Wisdom with a reassessment and maybe a fine, but probably just a bill for mistake sin the claims for the past 3 years.
We will also likely see the RCMP close their investigation with no charges laid because even though there are some shady land deals, they are probably all legal loopholes that people with lots of land and money know how to use to avoid taxes and increase profits.
There is nothing in the Home School regulation that I have ever seen that does not allow a school to contract teachers to a third party. Every school in Alberta does this on a regular basis and half of Alberta’s workforce benefits from contracts and subcontracts.
If the Albert Education clowns decide that the word “employ” cannot include contract or sub-contract then there are a million Albertans who are working illegally.
But now that the RCMP have found no wrong doing, Trinity, Wisdom and all their employees have grounds to sue Alberta Education for destroying their incomes without cause. They simply have to prove to the judicial branch of the government that you can “employ” someone without paying them directly.
to use or get the services of (someone) to do a particular job
to hire or engage the services of (a person or persons); provide employment for; have or keep in one’s service:
If a judge agrees with the rest of the world and the public school system, that you can employ someone as a contractor or an employee of another company, and get them to perform a task, then Alberta Education will have to pay those employees, making almost $1,000,000 per year for basically destroying their jobs.
This isn’t even getting into the defamation because the government is going very much out of their way to drag these organizations through the dirt trying to make them look incompetent and even criminally negligent.
Marty McFly Learned His Lesson
When Marty went into the past he saw the consequences and he went back to the past to fix everything. It all turned out great in the end but Marty learned some valuable lessons.
This current NDP government is not learning lessons. It is systematically alienating everyone in the province and it will pay a price in three years.
Until then though, they will continue to get sued and lose court battle after court battle because they think they are above the law. Rachel Notley knew she was going to be pushing the envelope with the law which is probably why her first act as Premier was to give the Judges a 9% pay hike.
If they learn nothing from Michael J Fox or their own past experiences, what will it take before these politicians stop acting without thinking?
When will they stop looking at the people who elected them as an annoying rash? They work for us. They are in our employ. Yes, that means that we can fire them and although it isn’t an easy task right now, if we end up paying millions in damages to Wisdom or Trinity, I will do my best to make sure that they don’t just get fired, but that they see their day in court for gross mismanagement of their jobs, and my tax dollars.