FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 22, 2016
QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario’s Premier and her education minister were under fire today as concerned parents, students and rural citizens converged on Queen’s Park to protest rural school closures.
Members of the Legislature questioned why over 600 schools are currently slated for closure across Ontario. Members called the current Pupil Accommodation Review Guidelines “rigged” and others reminded the government of its longstanding flawed funding formula.
“Closing rural schools can have a dramatic impact on rural areas where the school is often the heart of the community,” Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett told the Legislature. “The economic impact of closing a school in a rural area should always be considered, and yet the Ministry of Education has quietly removed the last two criteria to the PARG process that looks at value to the community and value to the local economy.”
Barrett went on to explain that people in Ontario have lost their democratic right to have a say in the decisions that affect the education of their children, the survival of their schools and the health of their communities.
He later asked the Premier to explain why she has turned her back on our rural economies and rural communities.
A motion has been put forth by Barrett’s colleague, MPP Jim McDonell, calling for a moratorium on school closures until a long-term plan for Ontario’s rural schools has been developed.
For more information call MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446, 905-765-8413 or 1-800-903-8629