2014 Winnipeg Civic Election

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The information on this page was collected for the 2011 Winnipeg Civic By-Election.

Once a person officially registers for the 2014 Winnipeg Election their information will be updated.

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Jasmine Van Gerwen

 

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Jasmine Van Gerwen

Candidate in the 2011 Louis Riel - 2 School Ward race.

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Questionnaire Response

Why did you decide to run in the 2011 school board election?

I believe we all need to be involved, as parents and assist the School Division on how, when, where and why important decisions are made. I decided to run for School Trustee Ward 2, coincidentally after I had met with the Board Sept 20/11. At this meeting I addressed the Board on the lack of LRSD transportation for my son and his fellow students, travelling as much as 5.8 km away to a LRSD facility that would provide Mandatory Industrial Arts programs. The thing is, the bus transportation is not Mandatory.

Unfortunately, the WPG public transit bus was full that morning and drove right by him. The division had no real back up plan – that is a Major Safety Issue. There are a lot of discrepancies as to what categories these kids do & do not fall under, according to the website. As a concerned parent, I asked some very basic questions that night, and unfortunately, didn’t get justified answers. After which, the 6 page ‘No’ I received, got me concerned as a Tax-payer and area resident. Where & what is the LRSD doing with my funds?

What experience will you bring to complement your role as school trustee?

I’m a full time parent with a full time job. I proudly work for Health Canada, First Nation & Inuit Health. In my current position I am with the Account Verification Unit where it is our role to examine Vendor Invoices and Billing to audit authorization, payments and discrepancies, based on the most Cost Effective means possible. This can involve reviews of anywhere from a couple of thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars on a daily basis. I am a person of action, and in further support of my candidacy role - Several years ago, when I was a Customer Service Team Leader, with a local publishing co. for children's safety books, I singlehandedly shut down an inappropriate website after tracking down the domain company. Within 12 hours of recognizing the site as soft porn, the Domain Co took down the website. The website link (originally a legitimate website smoking prevention, but changed hands), had inadvertedly been published within company safety resource handbooks. This affected 66, 532 Safety Books which were distributed in 6 Canadian provinces and 9 States, and posed a threat to children.

I am committed to making sure our kids stay protected.......

What are the major issues you would like to stand for and why did you choose these issues?

Issues that I feel need to have more of the Board's Attention include:

  • The overwhelming class sizes; a real need to reduce the amount of students per class and also focus on the real validity of integrated classes to ensure all students get the education and attention they require so no student gets left behind
  • More LRSD staff feedback (Teachers, Support Staff, EA/TAs) need to be in place for smooth communication as to what works for some schools and where processes fail for others.
  • Ensuring all schools have implemented safety plans in place (fire, evacuation, narcotic awareness, cyber stalking, stranger danger and lock down modes)
  • More emphasis on the EA/TA roles in classrooms and supporting this valuable role in children's education in a class room setting
  • With more and more students arriving during the school year from other countries, there needs to be more support systems in place to integrate them accordingly with language requirements as to not frustrate the new student and at the same time to not occupy all the teachers time from trying to get around cultural and language barriers.

Is there anything in particular you would like to change in your school division? In your ward?

Transportation - Safety concerns with regards to this & not Band-Aid cures with concerns to Pubic Transit - First and Foremost it is the School District's role to provide safe and reliable transportation to all students. After I made an issue about the issue with my article in ‘The Lance’ and then they decided to run a 2nd story on the plight of our kids the following week, so many people approached me from all 4 Wards within the School District as they are not happy that they are living with the decisions made by parents in the district 15 years or even 6 years ago. It is approaching 2012, there are valid safety reasons our children are faced with everyday such as pedophiles being released, random acts of violence and abductions. No one wants their child to become a statistic- it’s time for the LRSD Board to take a moment and re-evaluate the policies and re-evaluate the bussing expenditures.

Do you have any other comments regarding your candidacy?

As a parent I believe there is nothing more important than the safety of our kids, whether its at home, in school or in between. There is no greater peace of mind than the physical and mental well being or our children.

As a Taxpayer, I believe in Accountability. Everyone, including myself works hard to provide for our families and see that our kids are provided for. We all pay property taxes, a portion of which goes toward the School Division. As a taxpayer and area resident we need more information on where our money is being applied. That's where the accountability factor comes in.

Last but not least, I would like to mention the emphasis of quality Education, for all kids, of all ages, of all grades. The balance of learning and development for children is a crucial and basic need. All children need an education to help them grow and in turn shape the world. I am reassured that in the LRSD, we are giving our kids just that. It is a wonderful and excellent school division that provides our kids with promise and opportunity for the future.

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