Delta MP Carla Qualtrough thanked teachers, administrators and support staff working hard to educate kids while keeping them safe via Twitter on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020. (Carla Qualtrough/Twitter photos)

LETTER: Heading back to school as COVID-19 numbers rise

Delta MP Carla Qualtrough talks back-to-school amid the ongoing pandemic

As the mother of two school kids, I know what it is like for parents as our kids return to school. Much of the traditional excitement has been replaced with worry and uncertainty.

Like parents across Delta, and the country, my husband and I had serious conversations about what option would be best for our family. I know many families will keep their kids home for the year or will take a “wait and see” approach. I respect these choices and am grateful we have these options in Delta.

We see COVID-19 numbers rising in B.C. and across the country. We hear about people refusing to wear masks, and about parties and gatherings that are causing outbreaks. We listen closely to Dr. Tam and Dr. Henry.

My husband and I decided on in-person schooling and took our kids to orientation last Thursday. We held their hands a little more tightly and nervously chatted with other parents through our masks while socially distancing. It was harder than usual to leave them. The kids gathered on the field and bravely walked into the school with a quick wave, six feet apart from their friends.

I am grateful to the Delta school board, teachers and staff. They are taking extraordinary steps to keep our kids safe. They are nervous and worried, too. They are putting themselves at risk. But they made it easier for us parents last Thursday — and for our children, who came home with smiles on their faces (under their masks) excited for the adventures that the year will bring.

This reminds me that despite everything that is different this year, many important things are the same. Our kids will reconnect with their friends — and make new friends. They will be taught by teachers who care about their learning, well-being and personal growth. They will learn new words and explore big ideas. They will play and laugh. They will jump in puddles in the rain, lose mittens, and forget water bottles.

We will remind them of how lucky they are to live in this community, in this country, at this point in history.

Throughout this pandemic, all levels of government have worked together to keep our communities healthy and safe. The Government of Canada is investing up to $242 million in B.C. through the Safe Return to Class fund to adapt learning spaces, improve air ventilation, increase hand sanitation stations, and purchase personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies. This will go a long way in ensuring our kids are healthy and safe.

As Minister of Employment, I know a successful return to school is an important step in economic recovery. Not all sectors are re-opening at the same pace and many people are still out of work. We have adjusted our federal support programs and are transitioning people from CERB into EI and creating new recovery benefits for job loss, caregiving and sickness.

Which brings me back to the COVID-19 numbers. We are still in a crisis. We crushed the curve before in B.C., and we can do it again. We know what we have to do to keep each other safe.

We are all in this together. For my part, I will continue to work hard for Delta and Canada. Please know my team and I are here for you, and ready to do whatever we can to help.

I wish you and your family a happy and safe return to school.

Carla Qualtrough is MP for Delta and minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police investigating after another teen girl followed in Tsawwassen

Police say a man in a burgundy car approached teen girls on at least two, possibly three occasions

(Photo: Twitter@SurreyRCMP)
Surrey Mounties, pet owners, bracing for Halloween

Last year the Surrey RCMP received 147 fireworks complaints on Diwali and 121 on Halloween

Although B.C. has not made masks mandatory in public indoor spaces, some business owners are requiring all customers to wear them before entering their store. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media photo)
Delta urging residents do their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19

“We all know what we need to do as a community to push the curve back down,” said Mayor George Harvie

White Rock RCMP are searching for Richard John Lewis, who is wanted on warrants for assault and uttering threats. (RCMP handout)
White Rock RCMP searching for wanted man

Richard John Lewis is wanted on warrants for assault, uttering threats

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Stock photo
Pair’s lawsuit dismissed against Fraser Valley soccer association and churches

Judge in Abbotsford calls claims against 14 defendants ‘an abuse of the court’s process’

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

The B.C. Teacher Regulation Branch has issued a decision about the actions of an elementary school teacher in Langley. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley elementary teacher suspended for grabbing, shoving, yelling at kids

Roxann Rojas will lose her legal authority to teach for two weeks from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, 2020

Most Read