Michael Ewen answers New Westminster School Trustee questions

Michael Ewen is running for School Trustee in New Westminster, and he answered my questions. Thank you for answering!

Obviously, this is all satire. And I apologize for making a complete hash of the graphics. If they don’t turn out or look stretched or garbled, that’s all my fault. I didn’t get excellent Photoshop training like they get in forward-thinking New Westminster’s School District 40. Wait, what? They don’t get excellent Photoshop training in SD40? What kind of backwards School District are they running here? Geeze.

The biggest issue in this year’s election is undoubtedly the replacement of New Westminster Secondary School, an issue that has been going on for at least a decade. Every legitimate candidate (sorry, Jim Bell) is on board with getting the rebuild started quickly. When you run for re-election in 2018, what promises will you make to convince voters that the NWSS rebuild will start in 2019?

Michael Ewen: I reject the premise in your question. I understand that Mayo Crusty has pledged to have the new high school built in the next year, and that it will be built over his dead body. I will therefore move that we set aside a portion of the school property to be named after him, in honour of his miraculous feat of building the most complicated secondary school in provincial history in no time at all. And if you can’t trust a Mayo (or a Mayo candidate), then who can you trust?

There was some recent discussion on Twitter about entering discussions with Richmond towards building a high school in Queensborough that will also take students from the Hamilton district of eastern Richmond. Two part question here: As school trustee, what will you do to ensure that New Westminster students at this Queensborough high school are reminded daily that they are better than their Richmond counterparts, and will you join forces with the pro-expansion council to annex Hamilton and make it part of New Westminster?

Michael Ewen: Once again I must reject the premise of your question. The New Westminster School Board has been in talks for months and once we get this silly election out of the way we will be announcing that we have annexed all of Richmond. Our agreement with Richmond allows each Richmond trustee to have one vote each at New Westminster School Board meetings, while real New Westminster trustees will have votes based on their New Westminster pedigree. One vote for every generation that they have lived in the Royal City, plus bonus votes for Trustees who have served over 30 years.

One of your fellow school trustee candidates asked why three schools (NWSS, Fraser River Middle, and Qayqayt Elementary) are being built instead of just one. That’s an excellent question. Why not one school? In fact, why not tear down all of our schools and take over the Anvil Centre as “New Westminster School”?

Michael Ewen: The Anvil Centre is clearly too fancy a location for a school. The Ministry of Education requires that all schools look like a boring box, with little in the way of windows to distract our learners. I think that the School Board should be starting talks immediately to take over every empty warehouse in the city and transfer our schools into them.

What is your favourite New Westminster school and why is it Urban Academy?

Urban Academy is not an appropriate name for a school in New Westminster, therefore it cannot be a favourite school. All New Westminster schools need to have either boring geographic names, the name of a queen or the name of an obscure white guy (who most likely was racist at some point in his life). My real favourite New Westminster schools are, in no particular order (and no QE is not my real favourite just because my wife teaches there and where there are always blue skies):

  • Queen Elizabeth Elementary
  • Connaught Heights Elementary
  • École Glenbrook Middle School
  • F.W. Howay Elementary
  • École Fraser River Middle School
  • Herbert Spencer Elementary
  • Queensborough Middle School
  • Lord Kelvin Elementary
  • New Westminster Secondary School
  • Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary
  • École Qayqayt Elementary
  • New Westminster Homelearners Program
  • Richard McBride Elementary
  • RCAP

Enroling children for Early French Immersion in New Westminster means signing up within the first six months of your child’s life because of the first-come-first-served process. What will you do to change this and require parents to sign up their children for Early French Immersion before they are born?

Michael Ewen: I think that children should be signed up in the Royal City tradition of generations count for everything and those who have just moved here should count for very little. Each children should be ranked on how many generations have lived in the Royal City and they should be accepted in order of their family lineage. For those with less than a generation in New Westminster they should be required to pay a surcharge to be admitted into our premier programs.

Bonus question inspired by Jen Arbo: Fundraising for a playground at Qayqayt Elementary has been a community-lead effort. As school trustee, how many bottle drives and online contests will you help push instead of getting proper funding for these things?

Michael Ewen: I have actually been in contact with the Royal City Record and their leader, Pat Tracy (Dick’s sister), she has pledged to support us in our fund raising drive if we supply her with banana bread. Therefore I pledge to start a series of cupcake sales and Burger Heaven burger events to eat our way to a properly funded playground. We’ll be able to incorporate the cupcake sales into our new “practical” curriculum, replacing IB at NWSS.

Bonus question inspired by an unnamed Mayoral candidate: Since the city is responsible for all of its own traffic problems how will you transport Queensborough students to NWSS until the Skybridge from Queensborough to NWSS is built (right after the series of tunnels to move all the traffic under the city)?

Michael Ewen: After this election it have been clearly proved that between our Mayor candidates and Council candidates there is sufficient hot air and gas to inflate a number of hot air balloons to move our students from Queensborough to NWSS, in fact some of the candidates could probably do the job without much help.

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