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Lawyer to investigate complaint of teachers’ bureau

A Victoria lawyer was appointed yesterday to scrutinize the B.C. College of Teachers (BCCT) following a complaint by the college’s council that the regulatory body has been hijacked by the teachers’ union.

A Victoria lawyer was appointed yesterday to scrutinize the B.C. College of Teachers (BCCT) following a complaint by the college’s council that the regulatory body has been hijacked by the teachers’ union.

Don Avison will act as fact- finder and has been asked to determine whether the BCCT is fulfilling its mandate under the Teaching Profession Act, said Margaret MacDiarmid, B.C.’s education minister.

MacDiarmid’s announcement follows a letter signed by 11 of 20 of BCCT board members who claim the college is “hampered” by ongoing influence from the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF), the union representing 41,000 schoolteachers.

“How can the public have confidence in decisions when the line between the (regulating body and union) is so blurred?” said BCCT chair Richard Walker.

The letter asked MacDiarmid to suspend their upcoming election and appoint an investigator.

Since then, MacDiarmid said she heard concerns from groups representing parents, school trustees, superintendents and principals.

Calling it a “manufactured crisis,” BCTF second-vice-president Jim Iker said the union looked forward to meeting with the fact-finder.

JEFF HODSON/Metro Vancouver