Are red herrings being put in front of the PAR committee that is preparing a report on high school closings for the Director of Education?

opinionandcommentBy Peter Menet

February 13th, 2017


Last Thursday the Program Accommodation Review  committee was not presented with a 150 page report on AODA prepared by Snyder Architects. They were given a brief outline of approximately six pages. The full report is to appear on the Board’s website. Let’s wait and see where the devil lies.

The asbestos issue was handled very poorly by Board staff. It is my understanding that since the mid 2000’s all Boards in Ontario have tested for and documented the location of asbestos in their schools. My understanding is that this is a requirement of OHSA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). It is also my understanding, having previously been employed at unionized facilities where I was tasked with removing asbestos material, that there will be detailed reports of any occurrence where asbestos has been disturbed and reports of the remedial actions taken.

So the location of asbestos in all the schools appears to be known and well documented.

Asbestos is not an AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) issue, it is an OHSA issue. Now we get into the meat of the issue which is friable and non-friable asbestos, but we have to wait to see what the full AODA report says.

It is unfortunate that the Board has presented asbestos as an AODA issue. It is not, it is an OHSA issue.

Public gallery Feb 9

Parents from high schools that are at risk of being closed listen intently to what the PAR committee members are saying and what staff is telling them.

A considerable amount of work has been done in the province to protect the public from asbestos exposure. Again, we must wait to see the full AODA report to see if the Board’s staff did a disservice to the public by raising fears and a disservice to the PARC committee process.

We have to wait for the full AODA report to be posted on the website to confirm if the architects had been given access to the asbestos documents prepared in the 2000’s and to see how these documents were used to estimate asbestos removal costs.

Asbestos is a hot button and was very poorly handled by Board staff.

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1 comment to Are red herrings being put in front of the PAR committee that is preparing a report on high school closings for the Director of Education?

  • John


    Your right, the complete report clears up this matter,it was itemized “Remediation for Designated Substances”

    The dollar amount was presented as a percentage of overall costs base on the age of each school.
    In the case of Central about $281K of a total cost of $3.2 million.
    For perspective Bateman is $56K of a total $925K.

    These numbers are estimates however, the report provides a very detailed assessment of the costs and work required for each school.