Board members frustrated with minister’s intervention

Darrell Cole
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‘This government does not discuss things before they do something’

CCRSB Amherst board member David Myles.

TRURO – Amherst’s member on the Chignecto-Central Regional Board is frustrated with government interference in board matters.

Speaking to the Amherst Daily News on Friday, David Myles said the province has a habit of acting without thinking of the impacts of those actions.

“This government does not discuss things before they do something. There’s very little consultation, if any,” Myles said. “We were told two months ago that we were to deal with the question of excess square footage and consolidating our resources. We have been doing that at a tremendous emotional cost to our board and the communities. We were doing the job that was mandated to us by the province and now they have pulled the rug out from under us.”

Myles’ comments come after Education Ramona Jennex asked school boards two weeks ago to delay the school closure review process until a review can be conducted and a new process implemented.  Her request came after the board decided to close Bass River Elementary in June with the possibility of four other schools closing in the following years.

The board struggled with these decisions and took a lot of heat from the communities involved. It's not something they want to go through again.

“My personal opinion is that if the minister wants to change the parameters of the use of property then she should come up with something that makes sense as opposed to something that creates a lot of acrimony,” Myles said, adding the board has an opportunity to look at its commitment to its students and come up with a plan that’s best for the system and what’s the best use of its resources. “Are we going to come up with the best use of our resources or, as in the past, are we going to be blocked on every move we make the best resources available for all our students in the board.”

The minister has requested feedback from school boards by April 30 on whether they will comply with her request. While capital funding will be provided for schools that need repairs, no new money will be provided by the department.

The board has also begun the review process for 12 other schools, but that process is tied to consolidating multiple schools in a new facility instead of busing students to other communities.

Twitter: @ADNdarrell 

Organizations: Central Regional Board, Amherst Daily News

Geographic location: Chignecto

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Recent comments

  • River Hebert
    April 12, 2013 - 16:55

    We had consultation in River Hebert from both the Government and the school board about our school.We all know where that gets you!! After a year still no school renovation , not sure how when you are going to build a whole new wing on a school you can classify it as a renovation but that is a different story. I was wondering if we had a case to file a lawsuit for breach of contract, The school board said if we agreed to their conditions they would complete the renovations on the school. We kept our end of the deal however they have not. Just a thought wonder if we could find a lawyer to take the case if we filed a law suit for 100 million. We could build our own school !!!

  • Dara Legere
    April 12, 2013 - 14:06

    Mr Myles says "the province has a habit of acting without thinking of the impacts of those actions". Seems that is exactly what the school board does when it decides to place a school on the chopping block. They don't think of the impacts their decision has on children, parents and communities" . My feeling is that as long as it is not "my" community then Mr Myles must feel that closing schools is the best way to go. THINK before you speak.

  • Mom of Two
    April 12, 2013 - 14:01

    I think it's time the Minister stepped in and showed our School Board that they are accountable, since their actions show they (the Board) doesn't have to be accountable to anyone. If they truly want to deliver the best education to our students the most cost efficient way then have the Board salaries reviewed. How many of the higher ranking school board officials are now making well over $125,000??? I say kudos to the Minister as someone has to make that Board accountable!

  • Theop Magaz
    April 12, 2013 - 13:45

    Just get rid of the school board all together - use the money saved to renovate and build new schools in the are.

  • noodle
    April 12, 2013 - 13:44

    Everyday it becomes more apparent this provincial government hasn't got a clue what it's doing. They're indecisive and appear to have no plan of action at all. Either Dexter has really poor advisers or he's acting without consulting them. All this confusion and backpedaling is detrimental to the taxpayers of Nova Scotia.