There were two no-shows at the NLTA leadership debate last night, raising questions for many about party commitment to education.
Only the NDPs Alison Coffin and the NL Alliance’s Graydon Pelly showed up to the debate, leaving two podiums empty.
Both former educators, Coffin and Pelley emphasized their commitment to schools, with Pelley saying the teachers are struggling to meet the needs of students and that government should be consulting with education experts before making policy.
The NDP’s Coffin pledged to increase the allocation of guidance counselors.
@alliance_nl Mr. Pelley…”it’s time that gov speak with the education experts – Admins / Teachers / G Counsellors” @NLNDP Ms. Coffin…”our gov will increase the G Counsellor allocation!” @nlliberals NO COMMENT @PCPartyNL NO COMMENT #nlpoli @NLTeachersAssoc @Vocm_Openline pic.twitter.com/npBTvdutOa
— Trent Langdon (@TrentLangdonNL) May 13, 2019
VOCM News was informed before the debate that the other parties had offered stand-ins for the leaders, but that Ball and Crosbie would not be attending.
NLTA President Dean Ingram says they wanted party leaders only, not substitutes. He say it’s disappointing that both Ball and Crosbie felt that other events were more worthy of their attention. He says the invitations were sent out even before the writ was dropped.
Social media was quick to react.
— Stefanie Tuff (@steftuff) May 13, 2019
I can only think of one reason why the @nlliberals and @PCPartyNL disldn’t show tonight. It’s either:
1)They don’t understand #NLSchools
2)They don’t care about #NLSchools.
Please consider this when you vote on Thursday#NLPoli
— Russell Stockley (@RussellStockley) May 13, 2019
Thanks to @AlisonCoffinNDP & @gepelley for actually taking the time to participate in the @NLTeachersAssoc leaders’ forum. Apparently a 30-day notice, before the writ was dropped, was sufficient to schedule attendance at this event. Not the case for @DwightBallNL & @ChesCrosbie
— Gabe Ryan (@GabeRyan) May 13, 2019