No more blank cheques for teachers' unions

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To the editor:

It is quite obvious that students who walked out of school for a day were greatly influenced by teachers and/or union leaders.

As young adults still learning to learn, always remember to look at any issue in an objective manner and remember not to believe everything you hear, especially from politicians or union leaders. The question then is ‘How can I make an informed decision.’ You do that by using comparables and reading opinions from different authors either in newspapers or, of course, on the internet.

Had you done so, you would have realized that the Ontario school teachers are some of the best paid, have the best benefits package and working conditions not only in the province and in Canada but on the planet.

You will be hearing a lot from the teachers’ unions, which will try to discredit the present government as they no longer will be getting a blank cheque like they were used to from the former Liberal government.

Money does not grow on trees and a $1-billion savings would go a long way to build badly needed housing for our elderly and proper treatment for our children suffering from autism.

Claude Fortier

North Bay

Hockey association unfairly criticized

To the editor:

This letter is in reply to one written by Brad Bolen that appeared in The Nugget on March 9.

To say that it made me angry is to put it mildly. I have no idea how old you are, sir, but I am a senior citizen who happens to have a very good memory.

I recall very well a time when North Bay minor hockey was, if I am correct, very low on funds, and I believe would have folded had it not been for West Ferris, which came to the rescue, took over the entire North Bay area and saved local hockey from extinction, encompassing not only West Ferris, but the entire city, as well. This was thanks to the hard-working ladies rec which operated the snack bar at our arena and provided not only hockey but other sports, as well, even if I remember correctly, helping to look after kids who could not afford to pay to play.

We too ran into a coach who did not play all his players and instead gave time to the best players. He won the trophy that day, but the fans were not cheering for him because he was in it, not for the kids, but for himself. I know full-well how annoying that can be and you have a right to be angry, but the way you went about it was all wrong.

Before you decided to complain publicly through The Nugget and to call the West Ferris Minor Hockey Association “toxic,” you should have learned all the facts.

The best place to complain would be in person to the offending coach and, if you do not get results, then to the executive. By branding a hard-working association toxic, you did a great deal of harm to the reputation of a club that did not deserve it.

Had it not been for West Ferris years ago, your son might not have a place to play today. Incidentally, how many teams have you volunteered to coach in your lifetime?

The coaches give many hours to their job, do not get paid and, yes, some are not good at their job, while others are really in it for the kids. It is unfair to paint them all with the same brush. All kids are entitled to their fair share of ice time because their parents pay to have them play, and besides it is the right thing to do.

Please think before you publicly brand a good organization as toxic, What would we do without them? I feel an apology is in order.

Betty Johnson

North Bay