EDMONTON, AB (September 4, 2013): Not only is Premier Alison Redford out-of-touch with hardworking Alberta families slapped with mandatory school fees every September, but is out-of-sync with her own Education ministers on the issue.
On Tuesday, Redford refused to take action against the annual nickel-and-diming of families through mandatory fees saying that the discussion, “takes place between parents and local school boards - and the communities need to make those decisions.” This must be news to her Education Minister Jeff Johnson or previous Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk who have told Albertans something entirely different: “I would like to say emphatically that we do support a fulsome review of school fees. We recognize the issue. We realize that it is an issue.” – Jeff Johnson, Hansard, October 30, 2012 “The Education Act obviously allows school boards to set fees, and we want to put in regulation what kind of fences or expectations would be around that to be clear.” - Jeff Johnson, Estimates, March 18, 2013 “Anything under the (provincially set) curriculum should not carry additional fees,” Lukaszuk said. “Enriched courses, or courses of choice can carry additional fees, but any child who takes the basics should be free of additional fees.” ¬Thomas Lukaszuk, Okotoks Western Wheel, February 29, 2012 Wildrose Education Critic Bruce McAllister said that the PC government is quickly becoming known for saying one thing and doing another after once again misleading Albertans. “This is an issue of priorities. Instead of growing the bureaucracy and upper management, let’s put those resources towards scrapping mandatory fees to give families a break,” McAllister said. “Parents are tired of September becoming ‘Chequetember’ and it’s time that this out-of-touch PC government starts listening.”