Nomination Speech

Edmonton Catholic School Board

Introduction:

On behalf of the Catholic community and most importantly to God, I am humbled, thankful and appreciative to be here today. I am blessed to be a candidate from a diverse background, coming from a Chinese Immigrant family, my dad came to Canada with a grade 6 education and not being able to speak a word of English. Through hard work and perseverance he was able to raise a family of 5. 

As a child, he constantly reminded us, we live in the best country in the world. Canada is a land of opportunity. Canada is a place that welcomes all immigrants and you don’t have to be rich to get an education. He valued education and reminded us, Education is the key to success!

My dad has passed away now, and I know today, he would be proud of me. I’m grateful to my dad, my heritage, Canada and aware my dad’s dreams lives on in my precious son. I know my story is part of the larger Canadian Story, and I owe a debt to all those who came before me, and without Canada, I would not be here today.

This year is election year and we are once again called to reaffirm our values and commitment when it comes to publicly funded Catholic Education.

As fellow Canadians, regardless of political association, I say to you all: we have a lot of work ahead of us when it comes to publicly funded Catholic Education. Collaboration is the KEY. That means working with all levels of government, working with the communities, working with the schools, working with the teachers, working with the parents and working with all children. We need to all come together and solve the problems together.

Working together means treating everyone with respect, regardless of the barriers we may face. It means having higher standards and holding each other accountable. Working together means having a diverse voice, a meaningful voice and encouraging positive dialogue so we could create meaningful change.

Lastly, we are all born equally but we are not treated equally. We must fight for the equality of every man, woman and child regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identification, ethnic origin, type of family, mental health, special needs and so many more. As a devoted Catholic I was taught to love all and embrace all. If you believe in my message of love, diversity and equality of all, then I ask for your vote on October 16.

1. What are the two most important challenges facing Edmonton Catholic Schools and what is your vision of resolving them?

I want you to know, as your trustee all challenges or issues must be treated equally and not one is more important. The two challenges that come to mind is the modernization of our schools and the growth of our diverse population in our schools.

Modernization means if we want our children to succeed we need to keep up with a changing society. For example, class sizes are growing, that means we need more classroom spaces for more resources such as computers, books, to a quiet area where students can read. I will be your Voice to bring all levels of government, community, schools, and home to solve these issues together. Collaboration is the key!

Enrolment was 32,943 in 2008 and as of 2016 that enrolment is 41,333. As presented, our population has increased and that brings diverse needs. The dynamics of the classroom as changed and has become more complex. Collaboration is the key, we need to work together to support and solve the diverse needs together from parish, community, schools, parents, and children.

2. How do you envision your governance role as a Catholic School Trustee?

As your trustee, I envision myself as a team builder. Everyone on the board will bring a diversity of issues based on their Wards needs. Again, Collaboration is the key. We need to all work together respectfully and we need to support each other. We need to all know we will all have a meaningful voice, and that we will all encourage positive dialogue so we can solve the issues together.

Having said that, we also need to respect the democratic process. If we vote on an issue we have too respect the process and outcome. I will remind my colleagues, we may not always agree, but this is what makes democracy so special. Once a decision is made, we need to come together and speak as one Voice. Our voice, represents the Catholic community, from Parish, home, & schools.

3. Public Catholic Education is under attack now more than ever. In your role as a Trustee, how would you advocate to ensure it continues to exist?

There are advocates that want “One publicly funded school system”. As your Trustee, I will advocate for a publicly funded separate school system. Collaboration is the key. I can’t stress the importance of working together from community, home, school and parish to raise awareness there are families and students that want a publicly funded Catholic Education where the message of inclusion of all, living Christian values, and the teachings of the Catholic church will be present and will continue to be present in our schools.

4. As a trustee in a Catholic district, how do you see your role in working with the Edmonton Catholic Archdiocese in fulfilling the mandates of Alberta Education with a Catholic lens?

In all our questions today, I can not stress the importance of Collaboration. My role as your trustee is to ensure the funding and education follows the jurisdiction of the Alberta government and making sure we follow the teachings of the Catholic Church. I hope to be your Voice to build a partnership with his grace, the eparchy, the community, the schools, the parents, the children and lastly the government to ensure the continued success of publicly funded Catholic Education.