Teachers have questions, but does B.C.'s new education minister have answers?

George Abbot 

Vancouver teachers: expect a lot of 'I'll get back to you on thats' after Wednesday's televised address by the premier, which is likely to announce significant changes to education.

That's because, after Monday's cabinet shuffle, British Columbia has a new education minister. Replacing Margaret MacDiarmid in the position is B.C.'s former minister of aboriginal elations and reconciliation, George Abbott.

Once he gets up to speed, Abbott could be a significant force in changing public education for the better. He was well-liked by many who worked with him in his previous post. On the website, First Nations Chief Commissioner Sophie Pierre was quoted as saying, "We were surprised to see Minister Abbott moved from the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation after less than 18 months in the role. We had an excellent working relationship with the minister."

Exciting changes may be ahead for B.C.'s aboriginal students, as someone familiar with aboriginal peoples' issues takes over the education portfolio.

The British Columbia Teachers' Federation welcomes the provincial change in education leadership. Said BCTF president Susan Lambert, “We are heartened by this development and look forward to building a productive working relationship with Mr. Abbott.” Lambert cites underfunding as the most pressing issue surrounding public education in the province.

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