David Schreck calls comptroller general's school-board review a "political document"

Nobody has ever accused David Schreck of pulling his punches.

The North Vancouver health economist and former NDP MLA has written a scathing review of comptroller general Cheryl Wenezenki-Yolland's 88-page report on the Vancouver school board.

He described it as a "political document". Wenezenki-Yolland is an employee of the Ministry of Finance.

Schreck noted that the comptroller general didn't get around to the VSB's considerations in managing the budget until page 36 of her report.

"She references unique management challenges faced by the VSB with its 19 collective agreements, restraints that cannot be faulted on the current VSB trustees, and she assigns the figure of $975,000 in annual lost productivity and $2.4 million in lost savings that she claims result from not extracting concessions from the unions," Schreck wrote. "On page 37 of her report, the Comptroller wrote that the union issue is 'an area where a provincial solution might be needed.' It appears the Comptroller hasn't been brought up the date with what the Supreme Court of Canada said after the Campbell government tried that approach with the Hospital Employees' Union."

Schreck was referring to B.C. government legislation, which passed in early 2002, ripping up a contract with health workers.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2007 that three sections of the Health and Social Services Delivery Improvement Act violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Schreck wryly added: "Apart from unworkable suggestions, such as breaking collective agreements, the Comptroller's report doesn't contain any options the VSB trustees did not already know."

VSB chair Patti Bacchus has asked for auditor general John Doyle to review school funding. The auditor general reports to the legislature and, unlike Wenezenki-Yolland, not to any B.C. Liberal cabinet minister.

"We can hope he is listening," Schreck wrote.

Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.



Better title

Jun 13, 2010 at 7:59am

"Retired NDP hack supports soon-to-be-retired trustees"

Get Real

Jun 13, 2010 at 9:16am

Schreck wryly added: "Apart from unworkable suggestions, such as breaking collective agreements, the Comptroller's report doesn't contain any options the VSB trustees did not already know."

Maybe Schreck should tell the Board to DO SOMETHING if they already know all the answers beside whine for more money and pass the buck.

Funny how Wenezenki-Yolland is suddenly a partisan hack as soon as the NDP hears something it doesn't like.


Jun 13, 2010 at 1:19pm

Gordon Campbell and the BCLiberals are union busters

glen p robbins

Jun 13, 2010 at 2:06pm

You're welcome.

ray i

Jun 13, 2010 at 2:31pm

The VSB should be fired. Treat it like a bankruptcy and appoint trustees with relevant financial expertise. Our children deserve a professionally run school system and should not be political pawns with their education threatened every time a stakeholder group wants to fill their pockets with taxpayer's money.


Jun 14, 2010 at 9:20am

Some of the comments serve to prove Schreck's point, Wenezenki-Yolland's "report" is really a political screed.

The question for me is whether or not the Liberal Govt's actions towards the Vancouver School Board are a one-off piece of political theatrics, or a prelude to taking on numerous other school districts as well. If it is or was the latter, I would expect that the Lekstrom resignation has probably cooled the Liberals' appetite for a wider war.

Maybe Steve Hopkins can shed some light on the latest "strategic thinking" in Liberal circles.

Rod Smelser

Evil Eye

Jun 14, 2010 at 12:18pm

Damn right that the Comptoller's General's report was a politcal screed, just as was her previous report on BC Ferries and TransLink

TransLink is so bad, that she hardly could say anything positive and of course her puppet masters did not let her look at the Canada Line or SkyTrain. The result, a few executives were let go, that's all.

Have a look what TransLink types get paid! Follow the links.

Oh, by the way, did you know that TransLink "Spin-doctor" Ken Hardie gets paid over $150K per annum?