Green Party statement on OCDSB decision to close six schools in Ottawa West and Nepean | Unpublished

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Green Party of Ontario's picture
Toronto, Ontario
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The Green Party of Ontario is independent yet is philosophically aligned with other green parties in Canada and around the world. The GPO is fiscally conservative, socially progressive and environmentally focused, and begins with the basic premise that all life on the planet is interconnected and that humans have a responsibility to protect and preserve the natural world.

The Green Party of Ontario (GPO) became an officially registered political party in 1983, and has been developing in size and sophistication since that time, expanding its membership and rising in the polls. We have increased the number of candidates in successive provincial elections. In the 1999 provincial election, we fielded 58 candidates, and became the fourth largest party in the province. In 2003, we fielded our first nearly-full slate, 102 out of 103 candidates, and received 2.8% of the vote. The 2007 election saw Ontario voters support Green Party values with unprecedented enthusiasm. The GPO, for the first time in history, had a full slate of candidates and garnered over 8% of the vote.

In the 2018 election GPO leader Mike Schreiner became the first Ontario Green to be elected to Queen's Park. The party now has two seats and polls between 4-8%. 

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Green Party statement on OCDSB decision to close six schools in Ottawa West and Nepean

March 2, 2017
Following the decision yesterday evening (March 1st) by the OCDSB trustees to accept the School Board's proposal to close six elementary and middle schools in Ottawa West and Nepean, the Green Party of Ontario would like to make the following statement: 
The Green Party of Ontario does not believe it's necessary to close public schools in local communities when other fiscal alternatives exist, like ending duplication by merging the Catholic and Public School Boards in Ontario. $1.5 Billion annual savings is sufficient to keep local community schools open, bring back specialty teachers for gym, music and art, and invest in more classroom resources. Children have the right to attend school with family members and friends from their local community. It takes a village (community) to raise a child. This decision ignores this fact. 

We are disappointed the Wynne government is forcing local school boards to sacrifice the needs of their most needy children in order to meet the budgetary constraints of their very flawed education plan. 

We are equally disappointed the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board dismissed and ignored almost all of the suggestions put forward by concerned members of the public, teachers and community groups. Research shows elementary school children learn better in small schools, not mega-large schools. Yet, this is what we are left with. Ignoring basic education research (fact based research) like this brings the OCDSB's entire plan into question. 

Elected representatives can and should do better to protect the interests of their constituents. The constituents of Ottawa-West and Nepean have been let down. In 2018, they will have the chance to reverse this decision by voting in a new provincial government. 

James O'Grady, President
GPO - Nepean Constituency Association