Trustees or Truckers?

Island school trustee candidates might not be as "Non-Partisan" as you think.

Research your School Board Candidates

Schools are perhaps the biggest influence on all our kids.

They help establish kids’ paths forward and guide our culture’s future.

For people who have extreme opinions, they’re the perfect place to start a “culture war.”

That’s the battle cry of John Randal Phipps, Victoria’s 2021 Candidate for the People’s Party of Canada. Phipps has been calling for people to join him on the frontlines – starting with our local School Boards.

The People’s Party isn’t exactly popular on the Island, with no recent candidates drawing more than 4,000 votes—but the party and its supporters are now turning their attention to oft-overlooked local elections. 

And they’re doing it sneakily.

Have you heard of Vancouver Island Voters Association or VIVA Victoria?

Neither had we. But this “non-partisan” organization is not as impartial as they’d have you think.

Their founding member put out a call to action for organizing VIVA municipal candidates and school trustees at a meeting with People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier in Victoria.

“We’ve got great people here. I’m doing the Vancouver Island Voters Association—VIVA Victoria—I’m trying to organize candidates there,” Phipps told the Capital Daily.

The day after Bernier’s event, VIVA Victoria established its social media accounts.

VIVA has now put forward 13 municipal candidates in Victoria, and six School Board Candidates in School District 61.

But their name implies their ambitions go beyond Victoria.

And Victoria isn’t the only frontline; rumours abound of extremists organizing in other municipalities.

In August, the Vancouver Sun reported that Lululemon founder Chip Wilson has been fundraising from other deep-pocketed fat cats “to donate to new organization seeking to help BC’s right-leaning “pro-business” candidates defeat “socialist” opponents, starting with this October’s municipal elections.”

If you pay attention to the news, you might have seen stories about the growing culture wars down south. The latest battleground has been school boards banning books.

It now looks like extremists are trying to import this cultural virus up north.

School Board elections get little public or media attention. So it’s easy for extremists to run stealth campaigns. When candidates front as being “non-partisan” while actually holding very extreme political ideologies, voters can be easily hoodwinked.

That’s why many are fearful that Vancouver Island Voters Association may succeed.

“If they want to roll back progress on gender inclusion and anti-racism and the efforts around reconciliation, the best place to do that is in our schools. That’s scary,” Jordan Watters, a two-term school trustee, told the Capital Daily.

Jordon wasn’t going to run for re-election, but changed her mind when she learned about the extremist candidate slate. She was fearful there might be too few candidates who weren’t positioning themselves as the “frontlines” of the culture wars.

So be careful when you go to the polls. VIVA may not be the only cultural “warriors” on the Island.

So we urge you to do your research before you head out to the voting polls.

Look into the candidate’s social media. Who are your candidates following, and what groups are they active in?

Ask around – see what others say about them, and what they’ve said beyond their candidate posters.

Choose candidates whose values align with a future you want to live in.

Don’t support something without knowing it.

We’ll keep you posted as we find out more.


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