Opening Statement



Thursday, 13 October 2011

Photos From Eleven Years Of PAC!

Yup. I served on TSU PAC [Toronto Secondary Unit Political Advisory Committee] as chair or executive liaison for quite a spell. I remember my first meeting in September 2000. Only Rene Jansen and George Kolos from the TSU executive were there. I soon became chair by default and continued to work for the next three years in the lead up to the 2003 Ontario Provincial election. PAC eventually got an army of teachers together. We helped elect an education friendly Liberal government after about eight years of all out war between the teachers and the Mike Harris Tory [Conservative] government. I stuck with PAC throughout the 2007 election, and finally through the lead up to this fall.


PAC's come and PAC's go. I can only wish the next crew good luck and hope they carry on the very successful strategic support model we developed with OECTA Provincial. Bottom line is PAC's a lot more than just talking, planning and strategizing. It's really hard sticking with it, and even carrying out the work yourself if need be. Often you may find that it seems everybody always knows what everybody else should do but not everybody is willing to actually go do it themselves.

In politics there's never any shortage of hot air, such is the nature of the beast. Go figure. When things go well everyone loves the accolades. When it doesn't, well it's much easier just to complain, blame everybody else or disappear. Maybe that's just human nature.

I've always believed that PAC is about service. We shouldn't just be in it for ourselves or our own political causes. Anyhow, since I don't drink beer, liquor, wine or whatever everybody else was having on the political circuit, I can now joke that these problems have always just been so much water off my back. The members who were truly there to serve never got caught up in all that nonsense either. Thank God!


I had a great 11 years at it. I truly enjoyed myself. I have been truly honoured by meeting and working with so many great and dedicated people from OECTA, the other teacher affiliates, education and union groups. OECTA's "Consider the Cost", and "Who Speaks For Children?" campaigns were especially outstanding in serving our profession, our students and our schools. Kudos to Cheryl and Vic! Then there were the politicians who ranged from the holy to the profane. Well, more about them later!

It's a welcome relief that the PAC responsibilities are now off my shoulders, as much fun as it's all been. Politics will always be in my blood but now I can focus on some other new initiatives for our unit more so than politics, politics and more politics all the time. I am excited and looking forward to that.


As we move beyond Election 2011, I am taking this opportunity to share with you some of the photos I've snapped over the years. What a long strange trip it has been! I met a lot of pretty interesting people and have a lot of great stories to tell, that's for sure. I will write about more of what I learned for you like I did at the end of my last post, if you read that far, about the "political party's". I will post some more goodies from time to time; the tasty and useful things to know.


Long ago Janet suggested that I ask if we could take a photo with whomever I was meeting. Why not? What fun it turned out to be! Maybe a picture is worth a thousand words. You have to be a little ballsy, or maybe just crazy to go for it. But I did and the only person who ever said no was Tim Hudak. Janet got his picture with me anyways! Ha ha.


I am sharing some of these photos with you on the slide show at the top left of my blog screen. I will add ten new ones a day for the next bit. You can click on the photos to enlarge them and then also go see the earlier ones on my Flickr account. The photos were taken at various places and events. They don't imply that the cast of characters, both good and bad, agree with my own teacher and union news and views on this blogspot. Nor are the photos being officially or unofficially posted to endorse them on behalf of anybody, not even necessarily myself. If you will recall in my last post ["Thanksgiving Appendum, Compendium Etc"] I said that I've always felt that to politically advise, one needs to be able to meet and talk with just about anybody whether you like and agree with them or not. Here they all are. Please enjoy! I hope you have as much fun as I did. Wow!


PS: The only politico I never could bring myself to talk to was Premier Mike Harris, and that's because I heard if you did you'd turn into a pillar of salt! Maybe someday though, who knows? ;-)

        Me: "Tim! Tim! Give it up lad!" Tim: "No way!" :-)

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