Looking for more like Babinsky and Hume

Nick Martin, Winnipeg Free Press,  03/29/2011

Hume is the rookie school trustee in St. James-Assiniboia, who called me last week to express his disgruntlement about the pace of public consultation on the much-heralded standardized report cards…


Trustee urges parent forums

Nick Martin, Winnipeg Free Press,   03/28/2011

Is Education Minister Nancy Allan failing to work well with others in developing standardized report cards…


A dollars-and-sense approach to education

Nick Martin, Winnipeg Free Press,  03/4/2014

Education Minister James Allum will unveil a major expansion of the grades 4 to 10 curricula Wednesday to teach children more about economics, personal finances and business enterprise….


School boards will sport lots of new faces after Oct. 22

Nick Martin, Winnipeg Free Press,  09/19/2014

Only three incumbents are running for re-election on a board that oversees 18.3 per cent of Manitoba’s public school students and whose budget could be in the $375-million range this year…


Law and order is coming to WSD

Dan Lett, Winnipeg Free Press,  09/22/2014

Education Minister James Allum is readying himself to bring some law and order to the Winnipeg School Division, which despite repeated warnings, has continued to conduct its business behind closed doors…


School board fails democracy test

Dan Lett, Winnipeg Free Press,  09/22/2014

The school board has repeatedly displayed an obsession with secrecy over transparency….


 Yes Rocky, it would have been Ok, and other trustee election stuff

Nick Martin, Winnipeg Free Press, 10/10/2014

I happened to run into Rockford McKay the other day, and we chatted a bit about his campaign….


Ed’s reponse to Nick Martin

Hi Nick,

After reading your recent online story “Yes, Rocky, it would have been OK, and other trustee election stuff”, I would agree with you that Rockford McKay is an excellent candidate who hopefully can be elected by the public. I would also agree that the present Business, Corporate Model of governance, supported by the Manitoba School Board Association (MSBA) in my opinion, doesn’t serve the public that well. We need to move to the Parliamentary Model one where trustees can truly act as elected representatives like councilors, MLA’s, and MP’s and as you correctly put it “should be saying whatever you want to – while remaining civil”. This will require a major paradigm shift of seismic proportion, which will not change over night! I’ve been personally fighting for this change for the last 4 years, so Nick we are on the same page here. I plan to blog on this issue over the next few weeks.

Also, thank you Nick, for looking at my political platform (edrhume.com) and asking some good questions on behalf of the public. I would now like to answer them; hopefully since you asked the questions publicly, you’ll publish the answers publicly.  As you probably know, you cannot fully explain everything in a bulleted pamphlet! The reason they were bulleted campaign promises was to invite questions from the public so I could have a dialog with them as I went door to door or encourage them to diaolog through my public webpage. I’m trying to set an example of being open and transparent.


“So I’m wondering…how would you get low taxes? What would you not spend money on, in order to get low taxes?”

Under Program and Program reviews I stated, “On going program reviews to determine whether money and resources can be reallocated.” In my opinion if more school boards did this the education tax would not have to be raised as much since money could be moved around within the division without costing the tax payer a cent i.e. lets get the biggest bang for our dollar. I feel the problem is that the chief superintendent tends to guard this area and there aren’t enough trustee initiated program reviews!

Just how much access would you give trustees to classrooms, how often, and why?”

 The idea of having more trustees in classrooms would be for trustee professional development.   This would be a totally voluntary thing for both trustees and teachers. Trustees would have to be invited into the classrooms by teachers but presently that’s not encouraged. The public may not be aware of this but the majority of trustees are not retired teachers, they are from every walk of life (parent, business man, lawyer, mechanic etc.) and I feel they often don’t understand the realities of the modern day classroom.  If this were encouraged, in my opinion, trustees would be able to make more informed decisions. They would have their own independent view of what was going on in classrooms rather than having to depend on community gossip and the chief superintendent’s report.

“What does “a more balanced family life program” mean?”

 You need to put as much effort into teaching abstinence as we presently do for safe (should be safer) sex. If you go to the Manitoba’s Department of Education website abstinence is the first issue mentioned. The problem is in my opinion, that we don’t spend enough time teaching on this topic. There are some great resources out there that support the abstinence concept. Unfortunately we tend to take a skewed approach to family life programing. The official stand by Governments and Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) I feel are largely responsible for that. For example the WRHA comes to our School Boards every year asking permission to put up their safe sex posters in our high schools. If they were really interested in a balance approach, which they should be, they should be posting one abstinence poster for every safe sex poster so students know they have a real choice. Some students can show self-control and some cannot, thus I believe in an equal emphasis on both would benefit all.

“And this idea of having student trustees — why wouldn’t you allow them to vote? Could they attend in camera sessions?”

The use of student trustees is the law in Ontario and all school boards has to have them. It gives students more voice in their own education and helps trustees make more informed decisions. This program has been very successful. To more specifically answer your question, student trustees are not elected by the public, they are elected by their peers and thus are not accountable to the public like trustees who have to be 18 years or older and not in school to run.   The purpose of student trustees is to advise the board on what they see going in their schools, so again trustees can make better decisions, which ultimately affects them. It also has the potential to get students interested in the political process and we certainly need more of that these days! Student trustees would give their report in the public session and would not be allowed to attend in camera meetings.

Thank you Nick, have a great day!


All Kinds of stuff about Ed Hume

Nick Martin, Winnipeg Free Press, 10/17/14

The bad news, Ed, is I won’t be doing a profile piece in the paper on you.
And I don’t know if writing about you here constitutes good news….

Read more>>

Nick Martin’s Email to Ed

“Coincidentally, I just received a letter which includes both your pamphlet, in which you cite the new track and soccer field at SJC as accomplishments, along with a copy of a recorded vote from board minutes in which you voted against the expenditure. Could you comment on that, please?”

Ed’s Response to Nick Martin

Hi Nick,

First you have to understand that 16 metres of the track was going to be on city or community club property. The school division approached the Bourkevale Community Club about building on the their land so they could a have a regulation 440 metre track which wouldn’t fit on school property. The Bourkevale community club executive voted 8 – 1 against the project but did not want to be responsible for the failure of it so they wanted to put the project to a community vote (the Bourkevale CC catchment area) The school board wanted to pass the expenditure before they met the request of the community club’s executive desire for a vote. I was supporting the community’s request for a vote. I stated at the meeting that I was voting against the expenditure not because I didn’t want the track but because they wouldn’t acknowledge a community vote. The Bourkevale CC originally wanted to co-sponsor the vote with the school division which they refused to do so the community club went ahead and organized their own vote and advertised it to the Bourkevale catchment area residents. The vote was 67 – 25 in favour of having the track. At this point I could now support the expenditure. Why would I vote for an expenditure before we had settled the issue with the community? The vote for the expenditure was premature and I stated that at the meeting. When the rest of the Board was not willing to postpone the expenditure vote, I was left with no choice but to vote against it. I was not against the track but rather against the Board not acknowledging the community’s right to a vote since the track was going to be partly on their land. If the track had been totally on school property there would have been no problem at all. In the end it turned out well and I’m proud of the track we built. Now you know why my political platform calls for greater detail in board minutes!