Green trustee Janet Fraser's vote makes NPA's Fraser Ballantyne school board chair

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      Following the June 15 resignation of the NPA's Christopher Richardson as Vancouver school board chair, trustees have elected his permanent replacement.

      Two rounds of voting saw NPA trustee Fraser Ballantyne emerge as the new chair.

      Ballantyne, a former teacher and school administrator, beat former chair and Vision Vancouver trustee Patti Bacchus for the post by a vote of 5-4.

      It's the second time that Green trustee Janet Fraser has cast the deciding vote handing the chair to the NPA.

      In a statement, Fraser explained her decision:

      In choosing a trustee for the Vancouver School Board Chair today, I voted for the nominee I thought will provide the best leadership for our school district.  My vote was not based on aligning with a party, but based on who would best serve the board at this time.  

      There were many factors in my decision including my firm belief that the Chair must work collaboratively and respectfully with the entire board, our district stakeholders, and provincial partners.   There are many Ministry of Education decisions I profoundly disagree with; however it is important that the Vancouver School Board has a working relationship with the provincial government so that we can successfully act on our many challenges ahead including responding to the special advisor’s report, submitting balanced budgets and moving forward as quickly as possible with the seismic mitigation program.

      The Vancouver School Board Chair is an important leadership position but it is still one vote among eight trustees.  As a board we have voted unanimously on many occasions and I am sure this will continue.  I look forward to working with the new Chair, and to continue working collaboratively with all my board colleagues.  For every decision I will vote, as always, for what I believe is best for our students.

      In the first round of voting, Ballantyne and Bacchus each received four votes, with Fraser netting one.

      Fraser served as interim chair after Richardson stepped down for personal reasons.

      In a 2014 commentary piece, Ballantyne noted that he worked at five different secondary schools.

      "I stand for high quality educational delivery and equal opportunity for all students. The most fragile students in our community—including ESL and aboriginal students—need all the support they can get, and I will do my utmost to see that it is delivered effectively into Vancouver’s unique neighbourhoods," Ballantyne wrote.

      "An NPA-led school board would deliver these programs with strong fiscal responsibility, and accountability, in mind. Currently, the board continues to run large deficits, and it’s difficult for those affected—parents, teachers, and community stakeholders—to understand how its budget is spent. I will work to provide more transparency in the way our budget is managed and delivered, as part of our larger mandate to make Vancouver one of the most open governments in Canada."



      View from the Coast

      Jun 24, 2015 at 6:31pm

      So once again we have a person in charge of the VSB whom is there to carry out Christy's plans (with feigned protest). You can see the previous chair was effective with the libs, considering the constant attach on public education with wonderful legislation like bill 11, audits with narrow parameters etc.
      Christy's kid gets to go to a school where average per pupil tuition comes to over $37,000 (by my math, using a Vancouver Observer article) and that's before the provincial subsidy, or "fundraisers" held by parents. Last time I checked the public system was paying $8,600. Playing nice with the liberals, in education anyway, seems to go nowhere.


      Jun 24, 2015 at 6:57pm

      If it walks like a duck!

      A "Green Party" School Trustee who refused to vote - twice in less than a year - for the progressive Patti Bacchus has placed herself clearly in the camp of those with conservative values. Those who will not upgrade our earthquake proof schools, those whose sole goal is to privatize our public schools.

      Shame and double shame on anyone who thinks voting Green is anything but a vote for the conservative movement.


      Jun 24, 2015 at 7:18pm

      Fraser is an enemy to any LGBTQ students in Vancouver


      Jun 24, 2015 at 8:29pm

      If Fraser truly meant what she said "For every decision I will vote, as always, for what I believe is best for our students" she would have voted fro Bacchus as chair right from the start.
      To Kowtow to the agenda of this minister of education is seriously ass-backward.

      Shameful decision by Green trustee.

      I will remember this when I vote.

      Guilin fish

      Jun 24, 2015 at 9:25pm

      Once again Fraser has demonstrated that the Greens are Conservatives in disguise. i will never vote green again.

      Vancouver Watcher

      Jun 24, 2015 at 10:00pm

      What bitter and hateful comments by Vision supporters.
      The Vision trustees have proven again and again that they supported the NDP and so their mission was to do whatever they could to mislead the public about education policy of the BC Government and help to defeat the BC Liberals. It seemed as though the real job of the trustees was ignored and the voters of Vancouver only elected 4 of 9 Vision Trustees. Obviously, they and their supporters did not hear the voices of the voters: enough of the Vision trustees crap!

      Sue Stroud

      Jun 24, 2015 at 10:04pm

      Like Weaver and other Greens, Fraser has shown that she is thoroughly right wing. She cares nothing about education or children. She has not got the best interests of BC at heart.

      Raymond Tomlin

      Jun 24, 2015 at 11:34pm

      When Janet Fraser makes the comment in her written statement that "it is important that the Vancouver School Board has a working relationship with the provincial government," we witness yet again just how naive Ms. Fraser has proven to be as an elected member of the Vancouver School Board.

      With Christy Clark as Premier and Peter Fassbender as Education Minister we have an anti-education government in Victoria, elected officials who NEVER listen to reason or the entreaties of school trustees across the province that per pupil education funding be increased to sustainable levels.

      Instead, Janet Fraser (and her NPA cohorts) have stood by this term and looked on passively as funding has been gutted for adult basic education, a $370,000 Ernst & Young report ordered by the provincial government "recommends" the closure of 19 schools across Vancouver, monies have been pulled from hot lunch programmes, and with the passage of Bill 11 this past March, the Education Minister has given himself the power to take decision-making away from locally-elected school trustees.

      Where are the NPA voices calling for a halt to the destruction of our public education system? When do we hear VanGreens' trustee Janet Fraser's voice advocating for a strengthening of the commitment to public education? Never.

      We all know that the NPA constitute the BC Liberal lickspittle farm team. What's Janet Fraser's excuse? Is she really a Christy Clark / Peter Fassbender anti-public education acolyte in Green garb?

      Russell Gettis

      Jun 25, 2015 at 8:20am

      These comments are rather interesting, lambasting someone for siding with one party over another. It's not like Vision Vancouver was in control of the school board since 2008 or responsible for the financial mismanagement of said school board.

      Also seriously an enemy of the LGBTQ community? How is voting a NPA trustee as Chair make her an enemy of that community - last time I checked the NPA are just as progressive as Vision when it comes to LGBTQ.

      Daniel Laskarin

      Jun 25, 2015 at 9:49am

      Is it too facile to point out the parallels between Fraser's rationale and that of Jr. Trudeau in his support of Bill C-51? That in both cases a vote has been cast in which the truth of the action is denied by the words accompanying it? That this is, over and over, the modus operandi of the political right?