I asked some questions of the two school trustee candidates in the upcoming by-election, and Dee Beattie answered them!
Question: New Westminster Secondary School is going to be rebuilt one way or another within the next decade. One of the challenges with the site is the Douglas Road Cemetery under the existing high school. When the current NWSS is bulldozed, this will undoubtedly anger the spirits and unleash them on New Westminster. My question for the candidates is this: name three people who will join you as Ghostbusters to save our city.
Answer: My ghostbuster friends I will invite all of the Lumineers. I don’t know them personally but their new CD is totally awesome.
Question: Concussions and other repeated head blows in football and rugby have been shown to be the cause of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (or CTE), leading to player suicides, memory loss, depression, and dementia. The NFL has been sued by ex-players because of this link. High school students are more likely to suffer concussions, and seven died in the US in 2015 from concussion-related injuries. What will you do to ensure the safety of NWSS students playing football, rugby, and other heavy contact sports?
Answer: My son played football of of his youth, and luckily he never was seriously injured. He quit the team when he realized he did not like getting hurt and I was okay with that.
The information is emerging on the injuries and consequences of the injuries that happen in these sports, so I would like to listen to the research and know more before we made big changes in this area. I think I need to listen to the recommendations of experts and doctors on how changes can be implemented.
Question: Parents in the West End of New West are asking for some sort of solution for getting their children to Fraser River Middle School. This is a two part question: 1. How boring is the name “Fraser River Middle School” on a range of watching paint dry to school trustee by-election? 2. Do you support Queensborough parents of NWSS students in telling West End parents to fuck off?
Answer: 1. The Fraser River Middle School. I totally love the name of this school. Did you know that I grew up in New West on McDonald St? Our front room window faced the Fraser River. My father was a Dutch immigrant to Canada. His chair sat at the corner of the window facing the river. As a young child I remembered him saying that he was the luckiest man in the world because every day he could look at the most mighty magnificent river in the world. He felt he had a million dollar view in his $4,000 dollar home. We had that as a family home for over 30 years. When my dad died in 1997 my brother and I took a few of his ashes and sprinkled them in the Fraser River. It was a small tribute to a man who loved that river. I have no problem with the name of the school.
2. I need to look into this problem and understand it more. I don’t know what has been done. what planning went into this, and what are some good options. Tonight I was door knocking in The West End and heard the concerns from many families. I heard frustration. A few parents I spoke to have a good solution to get their children to school and a few parents are frantic. I don’t have the answers to help with this, but I will try my best to understand and appropriately advocate.
Question: What will you do to ensure parents continue to be punished for daring to have children who get sick?
Answer: My background is working in schools, and I think this is a standard policy. I think it is more about protecting the liability of a school district if something goes wrong. Schools are a busy place and if no procedure is put in place it is easy for the safeguards to not be there. To take on the liability of medicating someones child is serious when you have no medical background.
Question: After NWSS, what do you feel are the priorities for capital projects in SD40?
Answer: Seismic Upgrading of all schools is a Priority. Did you know I went to Sir Richard McBride as a child? I would hope to see McBride upgraded and saved. I love bigger older schools. New schools classrooms are small and common areas even smaller. The Stage in the gym disappears in new schools. Having a stage with curtains is like magic to children. The art of Drama belongs on a stage like McBride has! McBride is a Sapperton pride and has valuable heritage. If I can advocate to make that school a lasting piece of history that would be nice!
Question: What restaurant would you like to see in the Anvil Centre?
Answer: I loved taking my 2 boys to ChuckECheese. That could be a great family family fun destination. Just think a restaurant and game centre. ChuckECheese has my vote.
There you have it! Thanks to Dee Beattie for answering all of my questions. You can follow Dee on Twitter at @deelightful or visit her website at deebeattie.ca.