Battle lines for the next provincial election are being drawn - PC's appear to have decided to make high school closing their issue in Burlington.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 10th, 2017



The battle lines are being drawn.

Homes in the downtown core got a mail drop recently setting out where Progressive Conservative candidate Jane McKenna stands on the issue of closing high schools in the city.

McKenna flyer side 1

Side 1of a flyer dropped off at homes in Burlington.

McKenna side 2

Side 2 of a flyer dropped off at homes in Burlington.

City hall may have been reluctant to get involved but the smell of blood in the water has Jane McKenna focusing her efforts on turning minds in ward 2.

The facts need not bother getting in the way – there is an opportunity to exploit and it doesn’t appear it is going to be missed.

There was a debate in the provincial legislature and the Liberal party did vote to take no action at this point in time.

MMW with T - shirt

Ward 2 city Councillor Meed Ward who is a member of the Program Accommodation Review Committee took part in a media event at Queen’s Park with Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown. Meed Ward has always identified herself at a Liberal in the past.

PC leader Pat Brown held a media event the day of that vote with Burlington’s ward 2 city Councillor Marianne Meed Ward at the microphone appealing to the provincial Liberals to do something about the Program Accommodation Review (PAR) taking place in the city.

Meed Ward and most of the parents involved in the school closing issue believe that the PAR process being used is badly flawed and that the quality of the information the school board is feeding the public is both not reliable and subject to frequent changes.

The Program Accommodation Review Committee (PARC) has completed its work and the matter is now in the hands of Board staff who are pulling together the numerous documents that Director of Education Stuart Miller will use in preparing the report he will deliver to the trustees and the public on April 21st.

We are going through a bit of a quiet time while that report goes through what will probably be several drafts before it is placed in the hands of the trustees and the public on April 21st at 6:00 pm; a Friday on the Board of Education’s web site.

All the senior people at the board will have quietly driven out of the Board parking lot and headed for home – no one wants to be around for whatever the backlash to that report is going to be.

The report will get discussed at a school board trustee Committee of the Whole on Wednesday April 26, 2017 starting at 6:00 pm.

Between now and then everyone with any skin in the game will do everything they can to influence the outcome of the debate and discussion that will now take place in front of the 11 school board trustees.

The literature that went out to households in the high school catchment areas across the city might be just the start.

Politics, especially local politics are called a “blood sport” for a reason.

The Burlington Progressive Conservatives are fully funded for the next provincial election. Former city Councillor and Member of Parliament Mike Wallace is running the McKenna election campaign.

Wallace wants and needs to win this campaign if he is to get back into local politics; his eye is believed to be on the office of Mayor for Burlington.

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3 comments to Battle lines for the next provincial election are being drawn – PC’s appear to have decided to make high school closing their issue in Burlington.

  • Fred

    It’s utter hypocrisy and dishonesty by the PCs to call this ‘Liberal’ school closures. Its a decision by the HDSB and will ultimately be voted on by the trustees. Everything about the process was designed to get the decision *away* from Queens Park. Eleanor McMahon can’t get involved out of fairness to the process and all the schools involved.

    And schools in south Burlington have a lack of students, while those in north Burlington are busting at the seams. An honest PC party would point out that efficient spending of out taxpayer dollars suggests putting the schools and the teachers where the students are. I’ve spoken to a few local teachers, and THEY agree that keeping schools open ‘just because’ is crazy.

    And for the PC Party to paint itself as the friend of education? Excuse me while I roll my eyes. The minute they get elected they’ll be slashing education funding and attacking teachers LIKE THEY ALWAYS DO. And cutting healthcare (remember Jane McKenna promising the new Joe Brant would never be built anyone? And voting against it multiple times? And bad-mouthing it to anyone that would listen?)

    It’s sad that for Jane McKenna, being an MPP is the only decent job she’s ever been able to get. Other people might leave office and go on to bigger and better things. Jane was out of her depth as MPP and disappeared to live in Toronto to work for Patrick Brown for three years after losing her seat.

    We don’t need to go back to having do-nothing, dishonest, career back-bench representation from McKenna and Wallace.

  • Lynn

    Considering the huge and growing number of citizens all across Ontario, urban and rural, who are screaming about this issue, and the need for changes to the funding formula and process, why wouldn’t the opposition party get on board to support them? Doesn’t seem strange to me. What is strange is why the Liberals don’t care and why Mitzie Hunter is still smiling.

  • Teri

    Of course the Conservative will use this issue as a platform to get votes. But what is their plan for the under funding of the school board and what do they think should happen to the half empty schools?