Former trustee Fraser Ballantyne seeks return to Vancouver school board in by-election

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      The past turmoil that rocked the Vancouver school board is drawing Fraser Ballantyne back in.

      With a by-election coming up, the former trustee says he is concerned about the possible recurrence of a toxic work situation that resulted from the conduct of some former members of the board.

      “The same old environment may just be created,” Ballantyne told the Straight in a phone interview.

      Ballantyne, who is affiliated with the Non-Partisan Association (NPA), was referring to the situation that was investigated by lawyer Roslyn Goldner and WorkSafeBC.

      In her report, Goldner said that some trustees with Vision Vancouver “engaged in conduct that constituted bullying and harassment” of staff.

      WorkSafeBC has also concluded that bullying and harassment of staff took place under the previous board.

      The old board was fired by the province in October 2016 for failing to pass a balanced budget in close 5-4 vote.

      Ballantyne and his three NPA colleagues in the board voted in favour of the budget presented by staff.

      A by-election for school board will be held on October 14, and Ballantyne said that he wants to contribute to bringing back stability to the board.

      Ballantyne has put forward his name for an endorsement by the NPA in the party’s nomination meeting scheduled in early September.

      “There needs to be a calm, you know, a calming kind of time, a time for … letting them [staff] do their job and work,” he said.

      Ballantyne has a long history of working in the Vancouver school system.

      He has served as a teacher, counsellor, school administrator, and member of the district’s management team before his first election to the board in 2011.