The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Sunday, December 22, 2002

Oh my goodness! Who will speak for the taxpayer?

The bills for the Surrey school board's attempt to ban books that featured same-sex parents from its schools keep coming in, and you know who's going to be left holding the bag: the taxpayer. Friday's decision by the Supreme Court of Canada didn't just say that the board contravened the B.C. School Act when it banned the books Asha's Mums, Belinda's Bouquet, and One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dads, Blue Dads from classroom use due to the religious concerns of some parents. The court also ruled that the board would have to pay the legal costs of plaintiff James Chamberlain, the Surrey teacher whose attempt to use the books in his elementary school classes started the controversy.

The Surrey school board has racked up close to a million dollars in expenses, including $760,000 in legal fees, defending its position in court. Now they have to deal with Chamberlain and his associates' bills, which he claims are around $400,000. So what we have here is a bunch of politicians blowing a bunch of money on a pet project (in their case keeping the idea that gays are to be tolerated out of schools) that ultimately failed. Who's going to blow the whistle on this million-dollar-plus fiasco?

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, perhaps? Why, they take delight in slagging off Liberal and NDP government projects, all of which, in the eyes of CTF apparatchiks, are wastes of taxpayer dollars. Normally, when a story of misspent funds hits the presses, the CTF has press releases (often recycled by the Vancouver Province as editorials) lambasting the SOBs who frittered away those taxpayer dollars ready within hours. Yet we have silence, so far. What could be the matter. Might those taxpayer advocates be more inclined to go easy on the right-wing Surrey school board who have, in fairness, doone a masterful job of putting less resources into things like classrooms, libraries, and all those other school-related things? Nah, of course not. That's just crazy talk. Forget I ever said anything. Like the Taxpayers Federation would ever have a double standard when it comes to governments that are ideologically close to them...

One other thing. The Surrey board expects the provincial government, with its messed-up finances, to pay the board's $760,000 legal bill. Should B.C. taxpayers all have to pay for Surrey's mistake? I say not. The voters of Surrey elected these trustees; they ought to be stuck with the bill for their foolish judgment.
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