Fraser Ballantyne Archives

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Vancouver School Board Chair under fire for controversial hire

The appointment of Kurt Heinrich to the role of a communications officer with the Vancouver School Board is yet another example of how Vision Trustees can bungle an open job competition. Last week it was announced by Superintendent Steve Cardwell through the Vancouver Courier, that he and Patti Bacchus and other senior management unanimously found Kurt to be the best candidate out of 15 applicants.

Certainly this has raised a number of questions for me:

  1. Was in fact VSB Chair Patti Bacchus on the shortlisting committee?
  2. Was Patti Bacchus also on the interviewing committee?

The public needs answers to these questions primarily because as a retired human resources manager I must say, ANY Trustee on any of these competitions is highly unusual and just not the norm. 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.

Patti Bacchus needs to come clean on her participation in this process immediately. If she was involved, look out, as this then becomes a grotesque example of "conflict of interest". There must be a review as to the level of her involvement in this process.

During this review process that I propose, Patti Bacchus MUST step down in her role as VSB Chair and relinquish those responsibilities to the Vice-Chair.


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