Poll shows British Columbians want class-size limits and specialist teachers ratios returned quickly

A poll released on December 16, 2016 showed British Columbians overwhelmingly want the government to abide by the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling on teachers’ working conditions and implement it quickly. Doing so could mean more teachers working with students as soon as January.

In response to the poll’s findings, BCTF President Glen Hansman said, “It’s been more than a month since teachers won our huge victory at the Supreme Court of Canada and it’s clear that British Columbians want the government to take action quickly to restore our working and learning conditions. Hansman noted that the ongoing discussions between the BCTF and government have been positive and that British Columbians are eager to see a quick resolution, not a long drawn-out process.

According to Hansman the poll shows, British Columbians agree with teachers that this process should not be long or drawn out, and that they care about restoring supports to students as soon as possible. He said, “with a $2.24 billion surplus, we know the government has plenty of funding to get the job done for this school year and on an ongoing basis.”


The polling questions, commissioned by the BC Teachers’ Federation, were part of an omnibus poll conducted by Stratcom between December 9 and 11, 2016. The results (see link below for full results) showed:

  • 6% of British Columbians were aware of the Court decision. Within that, a strong 36.9% said they were following the issue closely.
  • 5% agreed that “the BC government should restore class-size limits, specialist teachers, and support for children with special needs.” 55.5% strongly agreed with that sentiment.
  • 2% agreed that with a $2.2 billion surplus, the government can and should make the necessary investment to restore the stripped language. 54% strongly agreed.
  • 2% chose options that called on government to act in January. 34.8% said the government should start making all of the required changes in January, while 31.4% said more specialist teachers should be hired immediately.

“As teachers and students leave school today for the winter break, it’s important for them to know that the public is on side with a quick and fully funded strategy to hire the hundreds of teachers necessary to abide by the Supreme Court of Canada decision, and to support the needs of all learners,” said Hansman.

Read the full poll for more information

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