Our View: Human infrastructure as vital as buildings

Police, nurses, and teachers are key parts of our social infrastructure

Students head back to school next week, here in Langley and around the province. And yet again, we’re worried if there are enough teachers.

This province has been good at building infrastructure. We can complain about the rate of building of public works, but picture Langley 20 years ago, and consider all that’s been added since then – multiple major overpasses, the Golden Ears Bridge, widened highways, schools, and now expansions at Langley Memorial Hospital at last underway.

But where B.C., and many other parts of Canada, faltered is when it comes to human infrastructure.

You can build all the new classrooms and operating rooms you want, but if there aren’t nurses and teachers to staff those facilities, they’re useless.

We’re now facing a crunch as the education system has to massively increase its staff of teachers after years of neglect. The Supreme Court of Canada decision on class sizes means thousands of new teachers have been hired – and it still isn’t enough.

There isn’t much of an immediate solution, either. More teachers are being trained, hired, and imported from other provinces.

It’s more of an object lesson.

When physical infrastructure is neglected, we can see it. Roads develop potholes that aren’t fixed, street lights burn out, playground equipment becomes shabby.

When it’s human infrastructure – police, firefighters, paramedics, social workers, teachers, nurses – the humans involved work harder to try to take up the slack.

Until, eventually, they burn out, retire, or just quit. And then we’re in trouble.

Governments at all levels need to pay attention to maintaining human infrastructure.



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

Just Posted

BREAKING: Gabby’s Country Cabaret announces ‘heartbreaking’ permanent closure

Owner Steve Gallagher ‘holds out hope’ of a new future for the 35-year-old nightlife hotspot

Aldergrove’s drive-in theatre stops showing films after 50-car limit comes into effect

Tuesday night was exceptionally quiet at Metro Vancouver’s only drive-in theatre –… Continue reading

VIDEO: Langley Community Music School Fiddlers release series of video recordings

Year-end concert covers include Cripple Creek, Tennessee Waltz, and a bevy of Beatles tunes

Councillors spar with developer over Willoughby shopping site

Council argued over density, mixed-use, and the definition of “strip mall” on Monday

VIDEO: Semi-truck rolls over into ditch on Glover Road

There was no reports of any serious injuries but traffic is delayed in both directions

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Langley Advance Times to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Officials looking for answers after Abbotsford football star found dead in Sask. lake

Saskatchewan Health Authority looking into circumstances surrounding Samwel Uko’s hospital visit

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Most Read