Monday, November 25, 2013

Christy Clark

On October 29, 1965, a Burnaby schoolteacher and his family counsellor wife, welcomed a female child into the world. Jim and Mavis Clark named their daughter Christina Joan "Christy" Clark.

Although she never obtained a degree, Christy attended Simon Fraser University, the Sorbonne in France and the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

In 2001, Clark and then husband, Mark Marissen, had their first child, a son they named Hamish Marissen-Clark. Christy became the second woman in Canadian history to give birth to a child while serving as a cabinet minister.
Photo of Christy Clark supplied by the B.C. premier's office.
Clark was elected to the legislature in 1996, representing the Port Moody-Burnaby Mountain riding. She was busy for the next five years, serving as the Official Opposition critic for the environment, children and families and for the public service. She also served as campaign co-chair for the B.C. Liberals in the 2001 election. The one where the B.C. Liberals triumphed by taking 77 out of 79 seats in the legislature.

 When Gordon Campbell took office, he appointed Clark Minister of Education and Deputy Premier. She got busy making changes that were intended to increase accountability, strengthen parental power in the decision-making process as well as give the parents greater choice and flexibility in the school system. These changes were not popular among teachers, school board members opposing politicians and union officials. The union officials argued that the decision not to fund the pay increases agreed to by the government resulted in funding gaps. The BC Teacher's foundation challenged the changes, which were later found to be unconstitutional.
While she was Education Minister, Clark tried to increase the independence of the B.C. College of Teachers (the B.C. College of Teachers was the professional self-regulatory teachers in B.C. It set and enforced standards for teachers in the province, assessed applicants for the profession and issued teaching certificates.) But the B.C. Teachers' Federation heavily opposed this.

In 2002, Clark and the B.C. Liberals introduced Bills 27 and 28, which forced teachers back to work and banned collective bargaining. Nine years later, Ms. Clark's decision to do this was found to be unconstitutional.

Christy Clark and her brother, Bruce, were also drawn into the B.C.Rail scandal - one of the election campaigns the B.C. Liberals had was not to sell B.C. Rail, but they did. - but I am not going to go into it here because no one was charged, the B.C. Liberals were not ousted because of it and it does look a lot like a smear campaign by the opposition and others.

In 2004, Clark quit provincial politics and did not seek re-election in the 2005 election. She stated she wanted to spend more time at home with her three-year old son.

But Christina Clark did not stay out of politics - after all, she is our current premier - and on Wednesday, I will tell you more about her.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the information on Christy Clark.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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