Undoubtedly you have heard that the court case between Trinity/Wisdom and Alberta Education did not go well for the tax payers.
Yes, the tax payers get to continue saving $29M per year on Trinity/Wisdom’s home schooled families even though the government would love to see them all in brick and mortal public institutions.
The judge ruling came quickly this morning that Trinity/Wisdom get to continue operating as they were with new government oversight. It was quick because it was a planned settlement over the past several weeks between both parties, the bullies running our government and the students and schools they attacked.
This post is for the average Alberta Taxpayer. It is for the huge majority of people who read all the reports from the media and wanted to crucify the families that run the two school boards. It is for the sheep who attacked home schooling on social media and the clowns who call themselves “journalists” like Janet French.
I have written several posts on this topic as I have 5 children directly affected by the government’s attacks on Trinity/Wisdom. I would like to take a moment to review those previous posts to see how my opinions aligned with the facts of the case…
How can Someone Care so Little About Our Youth?
In the first post I basically said that Alberta Education didn’t give a crap about Alberta youth. I pointed out that I could not prove a single allegation in the 37-page review that the government released as a basis for the immediate and decisive closure of the 3500-student school board in October.
I was right. The judge agreed today that Alberta education did not act like it cared about the students. He wasn’t overly pleased with Trinity/Wisdom either, but the fact that they were the ones attacked and were the only defense for 3500 innocent students gets them a whole lot of leeway that doesn’t transfer to the province.
Alberta Education Could Learn Something from Michael J. Fox
I couldn’t get over how many times I heard the government claim that they were involving the RCMP and the CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) in the investigation into the financial management of Trinity Christian School Association. After the review release there was the conference calls (which are both linked from blogs if you have a couple hours to kill) and then the liberal NDP media took charge and called for crucifixions at Trinity. They didn’t really call for them, they just made it obvious that they were deserved.
The government based their actions on the fact that they wanted to redefine the word “employed” to not include sub-contractors or contractors and that is just foolishness. The government is more than welcome to try to change the wording in the Alberta School Act or the Home Education Regulation to say that teachers must be employees of the school board.
In 2010 the federal government took away significant tax advantages to contracting the way these teachers do but now that the government is calling for direct employment of teachers there will be direct costs of paying teachers more. This in turn, will decrease the services offered by home education providers as there will simply be less money to go around. It will hurt smaller boards much more than boards with 1000+ students however.
I proceeded to say that, since the government was attacking with such ferocity, that the school board would lose significant students and when they were cleared of all wrong-doing, have an excellent lawsuit on their hands for seeking damages from the province for the resulting income loss from their witch-hunt.
If you still don’t believe that this was a witch-hunt or that the closure was ferocious, feel free to stop reading. You obviously have no interest in educating yourself on this topic, you are simply trolling the internet looking for a fight and I don’t fight with fools… I laugh at them.
I had several people point out that the government was totally within their right to shut down the school board and I should stop acting like this was an NDP witch-hunt because the conservatives shut down a home schooling board in Calgary a few years ago. That school was using private funds to buy a home for the director. Clearly a little more significant than anything they could find on Trinity. And in that case, the conservative government put the students first and had an auditor run the school board for the remainder of the year. If this isn’t a witch-hunt against home educators I don’t know what to call it.
My big concern with learning something from Back to the Future is that the government learns nothing and because of the loyal families that have signed on with Wisdom Home Schooling Association over the years, there will likely be no large financial damages to award Trinity/Wisdom. In the grand scheme of things, with the thousands of man-hours that Alberta education put into closing this board down, the threatening emails, letters and phone calls that parents received, including the instructions that we all had one week to switch school boards or join a brick and mortar school; Wisdom only lost 8% of their students.
That’s right, since the announcement in October, less than 300 students left Wisdom. Apparently, there is a lot of loyalty to school boards that treat their students as great as Wisdom and Trinity do. You would think that the government would look at the lack of complaints against Trinity and Wisdom as an indicator that they should find someone else to tie to a stake but they simply aren’t that smart.
This is Me Standing Up to a Bully
I published this the morning before the initial court case. I basically highlighted how ignorant our government was. I discussed the AHEA meeting, liberal insanity taking over Harvard and what parents should do next. Yes, I told Alberta Home School parents with Wisdom to do nothing, contrary to the order of the provincial government. I told these parents that they had already performed their obligations to the law.
I predicted they would get an injunction. And they did.
I also first posted here about one of my true concerns and no response had come from Trinity regarding their building lease or their “funeral expenses”. Those have since been answered and quite happily in my mind.
The fact of the matter is that the government is promoting anti-bullying campaigns in schools across our province while, at the same time, bullying a school board. What is wrong with these idiots? I said that the law would be on the side of the truth and when the RCMP and CRA finish I am sure I will be right.
Special Thanks to a Family Up North
This was just a quick thank you to Alex Barendregt and his father, Dick. Dick has been a long-time advocate of freedoms with home education and Alex was tweeting from the courthouse in Grande Prairie.
Journalistic Integrity. Are You Crying or Laughing at That?
This was both a rebuttal to some “un-investigative” journalism by Janet French as well as a slight commentary on the Review document created by Alberta Education.
I am not nice to Janet but it is hard to take her seriously when she doesn’t take her role as a journalist seriously. She simply joined the witch-hunt along with most other media outlets and I took her to task in this post on behalf of those who prefer journalism with some integrity.
Her simple, uneducated view of how overpaid Trinity/Wisdom employees are, was laughable… so I laughed at it. Aside from her blatant biased views, I called her out on her outright lies about one of the organization’s top employees because Janet claimed that she took home $177,000. Clearly Janet should know the difference between gross and take-home income and should not be confusing the $177,000 income with her significantly less “take-home”, after tax, family income. We spoke briefly about TobyLauren’s relentless efforts to make Wisdom such an amazing home schooling organization and apparently 3500 students and their families agreed.
I had the opportunity to dig through court documents to learn more about the land and lease dealings with Living Waters and everything seemed quite respectable to me as a businessman and professional for many years. Nothing stood out as odd after seeing the details, yet to a public servant who has likely never worked hard for a dollar in his life, the writer of the review deemed this as atrocious and bordering on criminal.
There was also the mention of the funeral expenses and I was excited because several times I was berated both online and in person, by people who jumped on the social justice bandwagon with the NDP. People I have known for a long time lost a lot of respect in my eyes as they gathered firewood and torches for a burning at the stake and I hated that I couldn’t fight back.
I didn’t have enough information to defend the school board but these ass-hats had enough to call for their heads. I simply hate mob-mentality and idiots that get sucked into it are as guilty as the witch-hunters who brought it about. You know who you are and if you forgot, I saved many of our Facebook discussions for future blog posts on hypocrites who claim I don’t look at evidence (see any of my climate change posts).
Now we can clearly see who doesn’t need evidence because the government’s funeral expenses turned out to be a $4.47 bereavement card. I didn’t find it funny in this last post and the judge didn’t find it funny this morning.
NDP Graduate from Bully to Witch-Hunters
So the judge saw fit to berate both parties today. The government for their witch-hunt and the school for not finding a way to make them happy in the past couple years. The government has been telling Trinity since 2013 that it wanted some changes made but not made any mandate into how to make those changes.
It is not a simple thing to fix with an email as we are talking about a school board with 3500 students across thousands of kilometers of Alberta landscape. It would be nice if the government would have looked at last year’s audit and sent a letter out like they did in 1997 with some simple and clear instructions on how to please them.
Instead of finding a solution or opening a dialogue, Alberta Education decided that the school board needed to be shut down in the middle of a school year, without warning to anyone. Mr. Eggen, your crusade to shudder home education has failed and it has failed miserably.
I totally see the judge’s point and when he claims that the two parties should have been able to resolve these differences without upheaving the education of 3500 students and throwing the lives of 30+ employees and contractors into chaos. Had the government told the school of the review findings and asked for a response rather than shutting the school down and calling the RCMP and CRA they might have had a chance but this is the course of action the tyrants running our government wanted, if not the result.
The parties have reached an agreement which addresses the issues. It’s a good resolution, and they should be commended for their willingness to resolve the matter and move forward.
~ Jay Cameron (Trinity Lawyer)
In a conversation with Jay Cameron today, he seemed pleased. He gets paid and his client stays in business. He truly was the stone in the sling, because two months ago I couldn’t find a single person who believed that Trinity stood a chance to survive this onslaught from the bullies running the legislature. I could barely blame them and I had actually read the review and understood most of the false accusations.
The new Edmonton Journal article about the case used the word “alleged” several times. It seems it is not so much fun being biased when the government lets you down and has you eating your words. I wouldn’t hold my breath for an apology from the media but I am excited that Wildrose members, Scott Cyr and Leela Aheer (sorry that the Journal spelled your name wrong), have called on the government to apologize to both the students and families as well as the school boards that they attacked.
Still not holding my breath though.
NDP are not Done with Taxpayers Yet…
And one last kick to Alberta tax payers… a government-appointed financial auditor is now overseeing all operations at Trinity for the next 12 months. The school won’t be changing a lot but you can bet employees will all be tight-lipped and cautious of every word being twisted so that the government can take pieces from here or there to try to attack them again in the future. I suppose it will not be the most pleasant working environment but at least in the settlement Trinity gets to approve the auditor.
Now considering the problems that the school board has had getting employees in the past, what is this auditor going to cost tax payers? They certainly aren’t driving home to Edmonton for a 4-hour round-trip every day so a hotel and $60 a day in meals are a given. Even at $150 a day for only 4 days a week, plus the 400Km of travel at 52 cents per Km comes to over $800 a week or an additional $40,000 in expenses. Add to this the $60,000 wage of this pencil-pusher and you just lost another $100,000 Alberta. Let us hope that these people can figure out a way to do this job remotely.
I am so glad that the government is shutting down school boards for spending $5 on condolence cards to prevent the rampant mis-management of public funds.