Comment 77962

By Hansard (anonymous) | Posted June 05, 2012 at 07:43:32

Monday 4 June 2012 Lundi 4 juin 2012

Ms. Andrea Horwath: My question is for the Premier. These are difficult times for families in downtown Hamilton. Soon the doors are going to close for the last time on their schools, and students will be forced to take long bus rides to schools far from their own neighbourhoods. The ripple effect is definitely going to be felt by the community, Speaker.

My question for the Premier is this: Is the hollowing out of inner-city education part of the government’s Places to Grow plan?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: To the Minister of Education.

Hon. Laurel C. Broten: I’m pleased to have a chance to talk about the fact that the communities in Hamilton and the school boards are undertaking important conversations. Local decision-making, which is a process that we very much respect, is ongoing in those communities.

We know very well the challenges that Hamilton has with respect to declining enrolment. We currently sit with more than 3,000 empty high school spaces in Hamilton. But what I’m very proud about is the fact that, if we take a look at what has been invested in Hamilton, I think that the leader of the third party would be very interested to know and to share with her community that funding has increased by 48.6% in Hamilton between 2002 and now, and enrolment at the board has declined by 6.1%. The per pupil funding has increased by 58.4%.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?

Ms. Andrea Horwath: Decisions made by this government have forced the hand of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. There’s no better way to stifle growth in a community than take away its schools, except maybe to take away its jobs. Hamilton’s downtown will suffer for a short-sighted decision to move the board’s education centre out of the downtown core. This government is sitting on the sidelines when it should be encouraging boards of education to be partners in city-building.

I ask again, is the hollowing out of inner-city education and the removal of hundreds of jobs part of the government’s Places to Grow plan?

Hon. Laurel C. Broten: The leader of the third party knows full well that these are local decisions, and I would encourage her to reflect upon what she is suggesting. We need to respect the elected local voice that makes decisions in communities right across the province. Our part, from the provincial government, is to provide funding. And let me tell you, Speaker, since we have formed office, 11 new schools are open, under construction or planned in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board, and 14 new schools are open or under construction or planned in the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. The total for two boards in new capital investments since we formed office is $360 million.

We support public education and Catholic education in Hamilton. We’re proud of the success in those schools, but we respect local decisions.

Permalink | Context

Events Calendar

There are no upcoming events right now.
Why not post one?

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools