The NPA pulled out of the Vancouver District Parent Advisory Council’s (DPAC) school board debate last night at Bayview Elementary school. COPE school board candidates were told that the NPA pulled out of the debate because they were “unhappy with the format of the meeting.”

Three COPE, three Vision Vancouver, and one independent candidate responded to parents’ questions despite the absence of NPA candidates and incumbents who currently make up a majority on the board.

“This is an appalling afront to the district parent organizers and the many parents who came tonight to hear from the people working to be elected to represent them,” said COPE School Trustee Al Blakey.

According to COPE candidate Alvin Singh, “Clearly, the NPA candidates were afraid to follow up on their poor display last night at Vancouver Technical’s DPAC debate and uninterested in defending their inaction on the issues that matter to our schools.”

“If we have NPA candidates that don’t even bother listening to parents in the run up to an election, what hope is there for parent consultation under three more years of the NPA’s inept leadership?”

Vision Vancouver candidate Mike Lombardi wasn’t surprised by the NPA’s sudden withdrawal.

“At the previous meeting NPA candidates shut up, and tonight they won’t show up.”

A major plank in COPE’s education platform includes board meeting meetings the main venue where important issues are openly discussed and where public questions are welcomed.

“The NPA doesn’t have the same preoccupation with transparency and engagement” says COPE incumbent Trustee, Allan Wong. “They just don’t care, and they made that absolutely clear tonight.”

All candidates for Vancouver School Board were made aware of the format of last night’s debate on October 30.

NPA Candidates no show at school debate