From 20-23 March 2021 the BCTF AGM was held online. 35 Surrey delegates shared the 66 votes that our union is entitled to. Days started early for the Surrey delegates with a Breakfast Caucus meeting at 7:45 to prepare for each day’s meeting which began at 9am and ended at 6pm.  

Although being online all day for 4 days in a row was onerous, there were many great moments as the Surrey delegates, under the deft leadership of Marilyn Carr and Gavin Hainsworth, brought their comedic selves to lighten the mood between debates and discussions that were difficult at times.  

Violette Baillargeon was re-elected to another two-year term as Member-at-Large on the BCTF Executive Committee. President Teri Mooring, First Vice-President Clint Johnston, and Second Vice-President Carole Gordon were acclaimed to return to their positions for another year.  

The delegation was proud to watch our 2nd VP, Jatinder Bir, remain firm but friendly when barraged by multiple Points of Order and Points of Privilege during the various sessions she chaired throughout. 

Among Surrey Resolutions that were passed was one to declare 4th October as “Sisters in Spirit Day” to honour the lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and another to support calls to lower the voting age to 16.  

There was a concerted effort over two days to pass a resolution aimed at triggering a move to Stage 3 in the Covid Restart Plan. This would mean going to remote learning, when Covid cases are above 5% in communities. Surrey delegates were instrumental in finally getting an amended version of this resolution passed when only a few hours remained for the AGM. Since then there’s been a submission to the Labour Relations Board by the BCTF to resolve issues around ventilation and density.  

A highlight of the AGM was the Keynote address by Dr Shauneen Pete who presented a masterclass in what it means to be in a Just Relationship with each other and the land. Delegates were profoundly moved by her words. 

Do consider joining us for AGM 2022 to gain a deep understanding of how the BCTF functions and learn about the range of opinions and ideas amongst hundreds of delegates representing all 47,000 teachers in B.C. Let’s hope it is in person! 

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