Cabinet shuffling leaves confusion, not leadership, say post-secondary educators

“Over the last four weeks we’ve seen a ministry split in two and now a re-shuffling of responsibilities to fill in for an aspiring leadership contender,” said Cindy Oliver, President of the 10,000 member Federation of Post-Secondary Educators.  “None of this creates the stability we need in post-secondary education to improve access and accountability within the public system,” Oliver added.

Ms. Oliver was reacting to news that Moria Stilwell, the Regional Economic and Skills Development Minster, had stepped down as Minister to enter the BC Liberal leadership race.  “It was confusing enough when the Premier Campbell decided in late October to make major Cabinet changes that resulted in the Ministry of Advanced Education being split into two ministries.  Institutions, faculty and students were left to speculate as to how the new arrangement would work.  Now we hear that Minster Stilwell wants to run for the BC Liberal leadership.  To fill the vacancy she has left, the Premier has appointed Ida Chong, the Minster of Science and Universities, to take over Ms. Stilwell’s Cabinet portfolio.  The appointment of Ms. Chong begs the obvious question: why not simply put the two ministries back together again?  It would certainly do a lot to end the confusion that is so prevalent within our institutions and amongst post-secondary stakeholders,” Oliver stressed.

“We shouldn’t need a dance card to figure out how the government is dealing with something as important as post-secondary education.  Unfortunately, this latest shuffle leaves us with a lot more questions than answers,” Oliver concluded.

About FPSE

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.