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MPP presses government on school closures

November 26, 2016
www.saugeentimes.com

From Queen's Park

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Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson recently questioned Kathleen Wynne  on the province's 2015 accommodation review which has led to school closures across the province.

"There is a troubling pattern with this government ignoring community autonomy," said Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron-Bruce. "The 2009 Green Energy Act stripped away local authority too, and we all know how that impacted rural Ontario."

"Now the government is choosing to make another 'mistake' that will continue to generate negative impacts in our communities," she added.  

The prospect of school closures has led to significant concerns due to the investment and growth that schools bring to rural communities. Another concern unique to rural areas is the increased distance that children will have to travel by school bus.  

It is important to note that there could be an influx of students when the Bruce Power refurbishment project brings 2700 jobs to the area. This has led to parents voicing their concerns as to why the review is not taking into account the expected future enrollment in local Bruce County communities such as Paisley and Chesley.  

In response to Thompson, Minister Hunter tried to deflect the question by comparing the school closures to those in Scarborough, but her answer did not address the unique challenges that rural students will face.   

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"It is unacceptable to ignore local concerns by pushing through these school closures. The government should enact moratorium on these school closures immediately, and fix the arbitrary guidelines that removed the value of community voices."




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