Reflections on ARA
Well, folks, the Annual Representative Assembly has come and gone for another year, and there will be much to do as we move into the first sitting of our new legislature and, of course, the end of the school year.
But before all that, I have a few reflections on this just-completed assembly. While it did not have some of the controversies of ARAs past, there are things worth noting. The education minister was not nearly as provoking as some we have had in the past, but there is one piece of her address that I want to comment on. Ms. LaGrange mentioned the government plans to proclaim the Education Act, a piece of legislation left over from the former PC government. With this act replacing the School Act, there are not a lot of changes, but one piece that warrants mention is the loss of the provisions of Bill 24. Bill 24 prevented teachers from having to disclose to parents the participation of their child in a GSA/QSA. The clarity of this act was appreciated by most of us, and we will pursue the changes required to re-embed these securities in the new act.
It was a great weekend of work and socializing, and now we all get back to working to improve and enhance public education for all Albertans.
This issue of the ATA News will be full of policy changes and revisions, but highlights for me were the honorary presentations. They were awarded to Frank Bruseker and posthumously to Alexandra Jurisic. I worked with both on Council, and they richly deserved their honours. There was one more item I want to mention, and that was the goodbye to our past president, Mark Ramsankar. I was privileged to make this presentation, and the ovation from the assembly indicated that my good friend was truly the “people’s president.”
It was a great weekend of work and socializing, and now we all get back to working to improve and enhance public education for all Albertans. The end of my term is in sight, but there is still much to be done. I’ll speak to all of you again before the end of June. ❚