VSB hire deserves more scrutiny

Post by Daniel Fontaine in


The Vancouver School Board is building up its partisan bench strength

Parents across BC are watching closely as negotiations between the BC Teachers Federation and the Province of BC heat up. It’s still early days, but it would appear we may be headed into a labour dispute as early as this fall.

If teachers do hit the picket lines, the Vancouver School Board is bound to be front-and-centre in the media storm. Leading that battle will be Vision Vancouver’s Patti Bacchus. As Chair, she has proven herself to be a take-no-prisoners kind of politician.

I fully expect the labour-friendly Bacchus to support the teachers union as the PR battle begins in earnest starting in September. After all, big unions are significant donors to Vision Vancouver.

Luckily for Bacchus, she has just hired someone who could play a key role in the communications department during sensitive labour negotiations. It was revealed last week that Kurt Heinrich, a former Vision Vancouver staffer and regular anti-NPA tweeter, has been given a $72K per year communications job at the VSB.

Heinrich’s appointment triggered a flurry of sharply worded news releases from NPA school trustees and candidates who think this hiring stinks.

The normally reserved Trustee Ken Denike, a former School Board Chair himself, is outraged at the manner in which this appointment was handled. In particular, the fact that Bacchus actually sat on the hiring committee for a lower level communications job.

Meanwhile, NPA school trustee Candidate Fraser Ballantyne has gone one step further. He thinks Bacchus should step down as Chair of the Board over her questionable actions.

“As a retired human resources manager who formerly worked for the VSB, I must say that any Trustee actively involved in this type of recruitment process is considered highly unusual. In my experience over five years, I've never seen a Chair of a School Board sit on a low level hiring committee, let alone any Trustee.” 

As recently as a couple of weeks ago Heinrich was tweeting out highly partisan and political comments about NPA elected officials. These are the same elected officials he is now expected to work with in his new public service job.

In what appears to be a demonstration of his commitment to non-partisanship, Heinrich has now deleted some of those offending messages from his Twitter account. However, I doubt this will be enough to dull the controversy emerging from his appointment.

Bacchus has shown very poor judgment when it comes to the optics of this hire. But don’t expect her to step down anytime soon.

Editor's Note: I thought our readers might also enjoy reading some of these previous CityCaucus.com posts about how "political" the Vancouver School Board has become under Vision Vancouver.

- Post by Daniel. You can follow us on Twitter @CityCaucus. Or you can "like" us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CityCaucus. This post first appeared in 24 Hours Vancouver on Thursday, July 21st.


A $72,000 a year job is a lower level hire???

in this skill sector - yes, it would be considered a low/mid level hire.

I can tell you, there is no way he was making $72K at Peak.

I figure he is getting roughly a $25 to $30K/year bump up in pay.

Keep in mind that $72K was supposed to be the maximum paid for that position.

The entry point for that job is much lower, but Heinrich was awarded the maximum amount from the get go.

I don't think it is relevant for us to be debating what he was being paid at PEAK and I don't think there is merit to start searching for an validation of salary range for Account Manager. Everyone is entitled to apply for a job that pays more - don't you think?

My beef is not with Kurt- he took advantage of an opportunity to advance his career... how can you fault him for that?

My beef is with those who made it happen and why.

The Thought of The Day

"When you are bathing alongside pigs you get muddied. Duh!"


Here is my interpretation on this, to go hand in hand with yours:

"In all fairness, but... would you agree with your daughter... dating the punk...wait for it... who's after...wait for it... YOUR money?"

Think about it. No mercy. Kurt's plan, was just that since day one, from the moment he joined and started carrying the torch for Vision...years ago. This job is not only 'pay for services' but also, the cherry on top of the Sundae for Vision... the inside Snitch.

City Hall, VSB, VPB are full of them. The Greenest City Report - Applause;
"Trial" Bike Lanes...To Stay On - Applause;
City Hall Staff have become a bunch of scared shit, watch your back, don't talk against the Leader, have no opinion, spineless followers. They families to feed, they need the job.
When they see the edema Kurt taking a job just like theirs away from them they play ball. What they don't know is that they are simply temporary filler, or else, they'll have to start attending Vision induction meetings. Incognito, of course.



Report On Bike Lanes & Impact... favorable to Vision (businesses along the route?10% losses. Yeah, right. Wait. Nah, other people's problems)... Applause.

For Public Release

"After Reading The Bikelane Report, Fidel Castro Called A Party Meeting. 'Companeros! The Wheel Of Fortune Has Turned. We'll Do A Trial Green Whatever They Call It In Vancouver Next'"

Don't they love it?
All is well when it Endswell!

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Not to change the subject, but it would be nice to hear from Klassen and the rest of the NPA on pedestrian safety. Do they have the guts to support bold measures to improve safety like 30km/h speed limit on Hastings or are pedestrians just another talking points.

Interesting you bring that up Get Real.

I see Vision is all over it....now. But you know, there is an election coming up....

13 deaths this year so far, and all we here about it bike safety.

Glissando... you really are brilliant...

Well now we are hearing about pedestrian safety. How come CityCaucus and NPA is silent so far this week on this. They seem to be more worried about wheat than people's lives.

Klassen has talked about the issues surrounding pedestrian safety. In fact he's been the only one talking about it up until recently when Vision finally realized there's an election coming up.

As for a 30 km/h speed zone on Hastings being a "bold measure" I'm not sure if that's an accurate description. It seems more knee-jerk. A typical Vision tactic. I think we need to know what REAL options we have.

Totally agree with you Paul T...who knew we thought so much alike... LOL

Who knows George, I may even convince you to come back out to a certain event happening next weekend. ;)

Hastings is bad area for pedestrian accidents moreso due to people's addictions and lifestyle over speed.

People randonmly dart out at any given time.

It isn't a speed issue for that area.

I think we need to go back to basics..

Instead of changing the laws of society to protect those on a stretch of street that ignore the rules, for whatever reason...drugs alcohol, entitlement to rule bending... ticket them!!!!

Cyclists , cars, pedestrians, no exceptions... don't pay, do time, sober up, or in some cases grow up...give the revenue to fund rehabilitation from addictions, if that is the Elephant in the room..

and no whining from Eby about the rights..we have laws, that apply to everyone equally...poverty nor stupidity,should enter into this..

That is the opinion of cranky old George..

Now to tie this into the original thread...thanks for the detour Get Real..

I think Vision is using this as a vote pandering issue...Vandu spoke out about this issue(slowing traffic to accommodate) and I think again Vision is displaying a manipulation,

Just as with the VSB to pander to voting blocks...again only my opinion..

Truth Is The Greatest Virtue (Except At VSB)

Back to the scandalous partisan hire of a partisan “spin doctor” with the partisan chairman of the school board on the hiring committee …

Why is the successful candidate (out of 15) the “right man for the job”?

In choosing a new PR person for Vancouver School Board the submission of a portfolio of writings would be part of the screening process -- the implicit question being “What are your proofs that you can turn a ‘sow’s ear into a silk purse’?”

You can bet Kurt Heinrich, the successful candidate, would have submitted this essay from his previous work at Peak Communications, “NDP’s New Language Says A Lot” http://www.peakco.com/2010/04/30/ndp%E2%80%99s-new-language-says-a-lot/

Whether Heinrich had anything to do with the rebranding of the BC NDP and their “new language” is not clear but his admiration for changing just the message, the narrative, and NOT the substance is indeed clear. A new language, he concludes, will help “topple the BC Liberals” in the next provincial election.

Thus it is that Vision cohorts within the Vancouver School Board, no doubt, expect to change people’s perceptions as much as possible now that we are heading for municipal and school board elections this fall.

A politicized public service in schooling is nothing new. It was in 1972 when then Minister of Education Dailly appointed many partisan outsiders to the bureaucracy in Victoria. And acquiesced in large measure to the then leadership of the BCTF, to “radical Marxist” Jim MacFarlan as described in “The Decline and Fall of the BC Ministry of Education” http://library.queensu.ca/ojs/index.php/edu_hse-rhe/article/view/454/611

It’s been 4 decades of “school wars” since.

The reason the dedicated socialists of BC have glommed onto education as their venue for radical cultural transformation of society is because it is such an easy mark with NOBODY to defend it from usurpers. The provincial government (regardless of its stripe -- NDP, Socred or Liberal) does nothing to stop this. School boards are helpless as they are the darlings of the teacher unions. And Parent Advisory Councils are kept busy fund-raising.

There is only one alternative to this unchecked takeover of BC by radical visionaries.

Abolish regional school boards. Deliver the substantial savings to individual schools and special needs. Devolve the present coercive monopolistic government service to local boards at each school and thus provide a wider choice of innovative possibilities.

No provincial teacher strikes!

Does the current government in Victoria have the guts?

NO, we do not need slick PR people to develop fraudulent “new language” to stomach the present manipulative school system.

THANKS for persisting to expose this obvious travesty of democracy and conflict of interest transgression.

AND, THANKS for that scary reminder (in a comment) of a bygone SOVIET era http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWK4SKoiIYg
I think some of those dispersed from the ’89 breakup have now joined “the socialist hordes” that came to BC in ’72.

$72,000 base. Looking at the VSB website that details compensation for superintendents and assoc., superintendents,etc. base salary should be grossed up about 30% for pensions and other benefits. so, total comp for this lucky young lad would be $93,600.

The Thought of The Day

"Remember the times when a phone was simply 'a piece of string in between two plastic/ tin cups'? And the two kids, not too far apart, seeing and looking at each other, pressing the cups onto their ears and shouting in to the wind, loud, as loud they could, as if they were trapped in some Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole!? These were the days, and the Plans that came with the phones were affordable. As a matter of fact they were FREE!"

But are you aware that there are still some places where you could talk just like that with all your friends, and schoolkids, for FREE?
You know what they say... 'Good Plans if you could get Them!"

Well, I'll let you in a little secret. You my friend, are one rabbit City Hole away from it...

Yap, you read that right, 'All you can talk & text - for FREE' if you are on the List, that is.
I don't know who is on the list or how you can get to be on that list but you can ask one chatter/ talker/ and texter extraordinaire, the one, and the only, @KQcumber_VanCityHall as he likes to call himself.

City Caucus have reported earlier

"Vancouver city hall racks up $1.1 million cellphone bill"

Yes. It's true. There, I said it!
When you see Reimer tweeting during Council meetings, your dime; Gregor, taking that call outside, to ask Magee how to vote, Yay or Nay? Your dime. Penny sending pictures of herself to 'LavaLifeAfterPolitics'? Your dime again.

See, they see themselves as those two kids in the beginning, and they see us as the parents paying for their little tantrums and gimmicks.

I looked through some old, very old nursery rhymes and I came across one. To say that my choice of rhymes, would make Mother Goose proud, would be an understatement...

Just Like What Mother Goose Would Say

The Tweeting Taxpayers
Taxpayers Who Voted
To Appoint The Vision
To Spending The Money
To Footing The Bill
That Paid For The Ballems
To BlackBerry Pattis
That Hired Edemas Like Kurt
To Delete The Message
That Was Sent To Vision
The Tumbling Taxpayers
Had Tweet.

Now children, more here:

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.


We Tweet From Vancouver and This Cost Us A Bundle.

re. VSB
I think you worded it pretty much as it is, Tunya.
As for the 'video reminder', that was a lucky found, however, it is indicative of the mass hypnosis that have now enveloped the Vancouver City Hall.
The wicked Witch, tries hard to put a 100 years spell over the whole City Hall castle. 100 years of Deep sleep, or shall I say... 500 years as it's been enVisioned?
And guess who wants to play the role of the sleeping Beauty?
In drag?
Just terrible.
There goes my dinner...

Your "Just Like What Mother Goose Would Say" was awesome, same as the rest!
Tunya Audain,
What Glissy said. BTW are you by any chance an VSB Insider?

I see the school board trustees are asking that this hire be looked at.

They want to look at it again!
Like a MOB boss asking one of his lieutenants 'Make sure the mole sleeps with the fishes, Mario'
Only the 'mole' this time are the parents of the schoolkids in Vancouver. They want to have another look at it...LOL, so they can better bury the whole thing deeper. I do not believe for a second that a Vision majority would want anything inflammatory OUT!

Wow, did anyone actually read that article from Kurt Heinrich?

"I was pleasantly surprised to be invited me to a rally for a non-partisan group called the coalition to Build a Better BC."

His grammar was way off and he doesn't even know how to use quotes around the title of the coalition.

This was the BEST candidate for the position? Wow. Just, wow.

Thanks Paul T. for mentioning that. Kurt Heinrich is a laughingstock and a Vision hack. Period. I wonder how long he'll manage to survive until someone will throw him out on his ass.
Twitter doesn't teach you grammar, or how to speak and write, Paul T!
To have this small time crook hired in a place of such importance for our kid's future is not only insulting but mischievous. Steve Cardwell and Patti Bacchus must resign or get fired!
Glissando Remmy's 'professional storytelling' earlier rhyme said it so nicely:

"Just Like What Mother Goose Would Say

The Tweeting Taxpayers
Taxpayers Who Voted
To Appoint The Vision
To Spending The Money
To Footing The Bill
That Paid For The Ballems
To BlackBerry Pattis
That Hired Edemas Like Kurt
To Delete The Message
That Was Sent To Vision
The Tumbling Taxpayers
Had Tweet.

There's a guy who knows how to send a message! Hire him, stupid VSB!

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