School trustee candidate Ross Milligan called to let The News know that in the process of our editing for brevity his replies to our Q&A reports in Tuesday’s edition, we omitted contextual wording.
We agree with his assessment and in this space, are reporting the question and his answer.
Q: With the spectre of school closures in the district how will you address this issue?
A: Firstly, I would immediately issue a statement that the board will not close KSS. The benefit of this action is that it will immediately alleviate anxiety in Qualicum Beach and surrounding communities, it will assure present and potential international students that SD 69 is once again a school district that is a viable location to attend school, and it will reiterate that Qualicum Beach is a community that is attractive to families with school-age children.
Secondly, I would engage the community in identifying, and analyzing viable options to raise revenue and decrease expenses. Should these analyses indicate that SD 69 would still be in a deficit position, only then would I consider action such as a school closure or reconfiguration.
Lastly, I would consult with the community in developing a methodology for determining which school would be closed. I would ensure that methodology is fair and that it places emphasis on minimizing the affect on communities. It would thus be a priority to maintain elementary schools in outlying communities and avoid removing whole layers of education in both Parksville and Qualicum Beach.
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Additionally, while RDN Area E candidate Bob Rogers did not specifically answer one question posed to all of the candidates, he told The News he says he answered it in the preceding question response.
As best we can, here’s the question and his answer.
Q: Is fire protection in the RDN at safe levels?
A: Recognizing the current challenge to recruit, train and retain firefighters will require a more regional review of our electoral area and municipal approach to the volunteer based fire protection program. As the RDN’s demographics change with the fastest growing age group being the over 65 sector and the resulting reduction in the percentage of the under 65, often fulltime working population, the available recruits for firefighter positions will also be reduced.
Thanks to everyone’s feedback — and remember to vote. — Steven Heywood