Abbotsford’s local association of teachers has reversed its policy of not endorsing school board candidates, naming Heidi Smit-Vinois as the union’s sole candidate endorsement this election.
“Things change and this was something that members wanted to alter,” said Abbotsford District Teachers’ Association president Jennifer Brooks. “We are now able to endorse candidates that members view as supportive of public education, inclusive of all students and are willing to work with teachers and the union.”
To endorse a candidate, the union, a local of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation, must debate the proposed endorsement in a general meeting, Brooks said.
“Heidi is the only candidate that has had numerous discussions with the ADTA and members felt that her views aligned with that of teachers. The members voted to endorse a school trustee for the first time in ADTA history.”
Smit-Vinois’s endorsement was made public in a two-line statement on the ADTA website’s election page, which notes that the decision to endorse the candidate was made at a general meeting on Oct. 10.
Just below that announcement, the ADTA put out a flyer with information on the election, including a list of all 17 candidates, also urging teachers to vote for candidates “who demonstrate a commitment to” four principals: consulting with teachers, respecting diversity in the community, funding “for students first” and keeping up with education issues.