School closure ramifications to a mega-development
by Sandy Lindsay

March 3, 2017


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Bruce Power conceptual drawing

Surely ... surely ... even the Bluewater District School Board (BWDSB) can spot the ramifications of closing two local schools, in Paisley and Chesley, given the major announcement of the Life-Extension project by Bruce Power.

On March 3rd, Bruce Power hosted more than 150 developers, realtors and municipal officials from across three counties, Bruce Grey and Huron, to discuss the mega project that is moving forward and will continue until 2064.

Bruce Power hosted the joints Nuclear Economic Development and Innovation Initiative, to let developers and realtors know the possibility of housing that will be required.

"With this unprecedented investment program will also come a need for new housing, which is why the developer session was so important," said James Scongack, Vice President of Corporate Affairs & Environment.

Suppliers for the project are being encouraged by Bruce Power to set up shop in the surrounding communities and a Business Investment Specialist has even been hired to help ensure successful transitions for companies and employees.

If this is the case, then the Bluewater Board should take a look at the map (with this article) in regard to the geographic positioning of Paisley, with one of the schools slated to close.

This isn't some small one or two year project.  This is a mega geographic-changing project that will include all three counties and it's time for the BWDSB to get their heads around it.

It will not be just workers at the site, it will also be suppliers and their employees who will be coming in and being asked to relocate for the long term.  Many, if not most, will be young with families and, perhaps, they will want to settle in a community with a school ... do ya' think?

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According to the joint session, "... the county and Bruce Power continue to work together to have suppliers invest in the area by opening offices in Bruce, Grey and Huron counties, and by hiring local people, which will boost the regionís economy."  

Bruce County, the home of Bruce Power, in particular is on the brink of a major housing expansion.  Saugeen Shores for instance is seeing unprecedented growth in housing and permits that have recently been applied for regarding condo developments, townhouses, apartment buildings and single family homes.  The municipality has recognized what is taking place with the largest employer in the region and has been taking proactive steps to ensure that it has stepped up to the plate.

If the school closures are truly due to the funding formula by the Ministry of Education (which I know much of it is), then a change must and should be made to accommodate rural schools. 

If on the other hand, it is a measure being taken by a board whose members are not listening to its public and it is the public's tax dollars that are paying their salaries ... then, things have to change.

We can only hope that it is not too late for the Board to garner some insight before the irrevocable damage is done.

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Sunday, March 05, 2017