‘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.