Baillie presents River Hebert school petition

Darrell Cole
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‘All the children deserve a good school and a decent education’

Cumberland South MLA and PC Party leader Jamie Baillie.

HALIFAX – Cumberland South MLA Jamie Baillie is continuing to hold the province’s feet to the fire over continued delays at River Hebert District High School.

The PC Party leader presented a petition, containing more than 1,000 letters, from River Hebert area residents to Education Minister Ramona Jennex on Wednesday urging her to move forward with the stalled renovation project.

“They are the provincial government and they can get this done. Instead of the finger pointing that’s going on between the government and the school board, it’s time for them to move forward with the renovations,” Baillie said following Question Period. “All children in our province deserve a good school and a decent education, regardless of where they live. That’s a message that has to get through to the NDP and the school board.”

Baillie also brought forward a resolution in the legislature Wednesday demanding the government complete the school and asking for permission to debate the debate the issue, but the government and the Liberal opposition defeated it.

The letters are a result of a petition started several weeks ago by River Hebert District High School graduate Roger White. The petition demanded the government finish the renovation project that has been stalled for nearly a year because a second set of tenders came in 42 per cent over budget.

“For the students, staff and parents of River Hebert District High School to have another year added to this project is unacceptable,” Baillie said. “The NDP government is failing children.”

The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board has indicated it wants to complete the project as soon as possible, but there are issues with the internal consulting team. It’s unknown what the issues are.

Jennex announced last October that tenders would be called in November and was surprised to learn recently that the tenders had yet to go out.

Area municipal councillor Mike McLellan is also suggesting community members attend a future school board meeting to show the board its resolve on the issue.

While the minister has assured him the school is a priority, he said there are still concerns in the community that the longer the project is delayed the more the likelihood it could not go ahead.

Twitter: @ADNdarrell


Organizations: River Hebert District High School, NDP, PC Party Central Regional School Board

Geographic location: River Hebert, Chignecto

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Recent comments

  • Maccan resident
    March 30, 2013 - 15:33

    It's a lost cause. River Hebert and Joggins have no major employers and are on a dead end road. Heck, Nappan and Maccan and Athol are in pretty much the same situation. There are very few young people around here anymore and those that do have kids soon find out that the jobs around here don't pay the bills so they head off to Alberta or Halifax or Moncton. River Hebert will be much like Joggins or Apple River inside of a generation. People are voting with their feet and leaving here so with limited taxpayer resources to operate schools, why should River Hebert be maintained???? My wife used to live in Wentworth and she said while it's nostalgic to hold onto the school there, it just isn't realistic any longer. Cumberland County has the ''major'' centres of Amherst, Springhill, Oxford, Parrsboro and Pugwash. Sooner or later you will see all the schools in this county reduced to these locations. The sooner you recognize this reality and adapt to it, the easier it'll be for you. Otherwise you will waste a lot of energy fighting the inevitable.

  • Susan Irving
    March 28, 2013 - 14:08

    Dear Concern: Not sure where you get your information from, but the people of River Hebert will not build the schools themselves. I am assuming that you may not live in the area, considering your attitude, IE: no work, not much of anything else. Where there is or isn't "not much of anything else", River Hebert has a school and the children that attend that school and their parents have been promised a new P - 12 school. Therefore the "not much of anything" that I see is the attitude of the school board, the education minister and the NDP govt. These are the people who are failing the students and the other members of the community of River Hebert. Bring on that public meeting, and make sure that Ramona Jennex KNOWS and is AWARE of the time and place of it, as she certainly doesn't seem to be aware of anything else concerning River Hebert, I say let's have the public meeting in the RHDH gym!!!!!! BRING IT ON

  • Jogginer
    March 28, 2013 - 09:22

    To "Concern": There may not be jobs, or an abundance of them, in the communities of River Hebert and Joggins, but it is very close to areas that do have the opportunities and it is also more cost effective to live there. Living there my whole life, I have travelled to Amherst every day for work, so your rationale that there are no jobs in the community and should therefore have no school does not make sense. A trend now is that working families want to move away from city centres to have a lower cost of living and a yard their kids can play in. While River Hebert and Joggins is not being actively marketed, it could be. Those communities have the opportunity to become a place where people can be part of a community and yet still live close enough to urban centres that they can have employment opportunities. Perhaps see the positive and not the negative....just my opinion.

  • Tootles
    March 28, 2013 - 08:57

    Before anyone can honestly sit there and demand a new school be built, one should ask themselves these questions, is there a decent education being presented? No! Is there fair play and complete equality? No! Is that school full of people who think they rule the world so bullying, etc., doesn't apply to them or their kids? Yes! My kid was bullied everyday there and nothing was done because the kid belonged to one of the faculty! These kids need to be taken out of there and shown what it is like to live in the real world because River Hebert is not it. Numerous parents have told me that they feel their children are being left behind both educationally and through physical activity by staying there. I moved my child out so he could have the benefits of a real education and any physical possibilities that he desires. Close that school and be done with it!

  • t.j.
    March 28, 2013 - 08:20

    just hurry up and close the school so that the community and the kids can get on with our lives. make a final decision on our children's future...instead of prolonging this situation...

  • Dave George
    March 28, 2013 - 05:13

    Baillie also brought forward a resolution in the legislature Wednesday demanding the government complete the school and asking for permission to debate the debate the issue, but the government and the Liberal opposition defeated it. Well not only no support from the NDP government but not even the Liberals either. Jamie Baillie is doing all he can.

  • Dave
    March 27, 2013 - 21:23

    Down here in River Hebert we are happy to take any support we can get for our school. I don't think we can blame Jamie for this,we have to blame a school board and a NDP government that could care less whether or not our children have a nice school to go to. If the people of River Hebert don't start pulling together on this issue we will loose our school.If that happens we all better be ready to give our houses away because they will be worth NOTHING!!!

  • concern
    March 27, 2013 - 21:17

    people of river hebert you are wasting time on this there is not enough people in this village for to build a new part on this school there is no work there and not much of anything else co op and funeral home

    • Debbie
      March 28, 2013 - 09:45

      Whether there be work here or not should not be an issue when it comes to schooling. Everyone has chosen to live here as that is their home as well as their heritage. The school not only houses the children from River Hebert but it is also a school for surrounding areas. The people here pay taxes the same as everyone think everyone that pays these taxes work at the co op or funeral home? No they commute to work but have chosen to reside in River Hebert as it is a peaceful and serine place....these young adults deserve to have the safe High School they were promised. What would we be teaching our children if we just gave up? I say keep the petition going!!!!!!! Add more names and shout as loud as you can til someone hears you :)

  • wingman
    March 27, 2013 - 18:18

    He might present the petition but don't expect any support from him. If it doesn't concern HRM he is not interested in it.