John Harding’s editorial in the Dec. 8 edition of The NEWS has a few points that need clarification.
First, I agree with Harding that all we will hear up until the election is the party platform. A few of my party’s issues I do not fundamentally agree with. No matter what a person’s policy or party’s platform, at any level of government, those elected should listen to their constituents. Nothing infuriates me more than a politician looking after their own self interest.
However, Schools in SD69 were closed based on more factors than declining enrolment. The age and repairs needed to older schools would not have been funded by the B.C. Liberal government and seismic upgrading was clawed back therefore leaving the school district liable to make those repairs out of their capital budgets that was already capped. The declining enrolment issue was based on a report that determines birth and where people might live. Historically this area is a retirement community. Then people started moving here from Alberta and elsewhere and we are faced with a housing crisis. Some schools are now bursting to capacity. School District 69 no longer has a declining enrolment.
It was Christy Clark, as education minister in 2001, who made funding based on a per student capita. School District 69 was one of many districts that was forced to close schools despite opposition from many within their communities. Now three schools are rented out to service and community groups without making any real substantial revenue in buildings that are still in need of repair and maintenance.
One school was repurposed into an alternative school so that SD69 did not pay rent anymore as they had done for the last 15 years.
Each party candidate will make their party issues known leading up to the election on May 9, 2017. What’s more important is that everyone votes.