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Wynne visits Sault, says 'no' to merger of school boards (7 photos)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, the first of the three main party leaders to campaign in Sault Ste. Marie in the 2014 provincial election campaign, visited Holy Cross School Tuesday morning.

Accompanied by David Orazietti, Sault MPP, Wynne took a tour of the school and visited students in a Grade 6 classroom, even lending a hand in taking attendance and taking a close up look at their classroom activities.

While speaking to reporters, Wynne was asked for her input on Sudbury Liberal candidate Andrew Olivier’s suggestion that a merger of public and Catholic school boards would be an idea worth looking into.

For the sake of saving tax dollars, is this an idea whose time has come?

“We have no intention of moving in that direction at all,” Wynne said.

“What I do believe is that it’s very important for school boards to work together, in transportation, program delivery or sharing facilities.”

Though this has happened easily in other jurisdictions, Wynne said “it becomes a distraction…there’s a lot of work to do in the school system as it exists, there are a lot of improvements we need to continue to make and I’m talking about one today, making sure we have the technology that we need in our schools.”

What of Olivier’s comments?

“There are always conversations that happen during a campaign and candidates have their own perspective but we have no intention as a party to look at that kind of change.”

Wynne announced the Liberals recognize the huge role information technology plays in today’s classrooms, and announced her government will, if re-elected June 12, go ahead with a $150 million investment in a three-year Technology and Learning Fund.

Those dollars would be used to buy digital tablets, netbooks, software and cameras for use by teachers and students in everyday lessons.

Wynne and Orazietti touted the Liberal government’s record on education since 2003, which includes the hiring of over 13,000 teachers, more students reaching the provincial educational standards in Grades 3 and 6, 83 percent of students graduating from high school as opposed to only 68 percent before 2003, and the fact all four and five-year-olds will begin full day kindergarten this September.

Wynne dumped on her political rivals, saying Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak and NDP leader Andrea Horwath “have no vision” for education.

On issues of special interest to Sault Ste. Marie, Wynne repeated her stance that the Sault OLG office will retain its “head office” status (and jobs) as the corporation goes through its modernization process, though the OLG Chair and President still work at the Toronto OLG office.

Speaking to SooToday.com, Wynne gave her response to the current dilemma facing municipally-run daycare centres in Sault Ste. Marie.

Council will have to decide June 23 if it will stop operating municipally-run daycare centres and turn over operation of them to other providers, leaving 32 city daycare employees jobless, while 1,000 children remain on a waiting list for childcare spaces.

The city has said the tough decision will have to be discussed in light of Liberal funding cutbacks.

“We have increased funding consistently for daycare and we will continue to support daycare…we introduced legislation to modernize daycare and we would bring that legislation back (if re-elected),” Wynne said.

“The fact is we’re in a transition period because we are implementing full-day kindergarten, we are going to continue working with municipalities to make sure we go through the transition in the best way possible.”

“We want to work with daycares in schools but also third party providers who are located off school property to make sure kids in the community get the services they need…overall, our commitment to childcare is solid,” Wynne said.

(PHOTO: Premier Kathleen Wynne speaks to media May 27, 2014 at Holy Cross School as MPP David Orazietti looks on. SooToday.com/Kenneth Armstrong)

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Comments
14
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
justsomeguy 5/27/2014 1:00:48 PM Report

It would be interesting to see parties having a press conference at a grocery store or the station mall amidst the voters and people they more directly impact rather than a room full of children years away from voting.

Reeks of brainwashing and seems duplicitous. I personally do NOT want any politician approaching, or speaking to my children.
Lone24 5/27/2014 1:07:08 PM Report

Who is the Troll beside Wynne?
Mr. Poster 5/27/2014 1:21:01 PM Report

It is safer to meet the kids than the voters.
vixen 5/27/2014 1:43:58 PM Report

It is time to really make cost savings changes-- they seem unable to cope with considering change-- at least dig into it to see what taxes we can save. As to daycare, they cut it back because provincially ( in the south) demand was less. Where is David to let them know we are not in the South and we have more demand, not less

Out of touch
ThinkAgain 5/27/2014 1:49:56 PM Report

When my dog looks like that I gave her a bone
bulletcards 5/27/2014 2:18:59 PM Report

just like mcdonalds and the tobacco companies... get em while their young!!!!
justsomeguy 5/27/2014 2:41:50 PM Report

@Vixen - since when is daycare demand lower in the south? This 'the south is out to get us' paranoia is creating all kinds of false information.
Gurpy 5/27/2014 3:08:02 PM Report

Gee, wasn`t she just in the Sault not long ago? Oh wait, I remember. Something to do with deleted emails and avoiding questions in the House of Commons. How much did this trip cost the province?
jinch1 5/27/2014 4:36:48 PM Report

I heard that by merging the school boards the province would save over one billion dollars. Would that not mean that our children would not have to go begging door to door with their chocolate bars to get money for various activities.
learningaswego 5/27/2014 4:56:46 PM Report

We, the taxpayers, would save AT LEAST a billion dollars, by merging the FOUR SCHOOL Boards.

Most people do not realize it, but we have FOUR boards - each with their own FAT, overpaid BUREAUCRACIES, their own schools, admininistrators, janitors, yadda yadda yadda. It is absolutely ridiculous that Ontarians should have to pay for this COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY AND WASTEFUL education systems..

In all likelihood, we'd save A billion $$$$ A YEAR - eachand every year, if we had one public board.
jinch1 5/27/2014 5:01:46 PM Report

We need to show the Liberals that we do not agree with their past very bad ideas,and the only way of punishment is to vote them out.If we do not vote them out they will believe that what they have done is OK in the eyes of the people just like someone who has raped a child and got away with it will continue doing it till caught and punished.
All Is Well 5/27/2014 10:11:30 PM Report

jinch1, your comparison is totally inappropriate. Quit trying to think that you know what the voters of Ontario are thinking. You don't even know what the person down street is going to do.
Bill_the_Cat 5/27/2014 10:22:23 PM Report

She visits, breaks school board policy, and leaves.

Guess that's ok considering the size Liberal sign OECTA has on their office (opposite Ross' CHQ), and the politicking for a new school building in the east part of the Board.

Good to know whose side the catholic board is on.
dadal 5/28/2014 5:22:05 AM Report

jinch1 you are the type of voter tha tthe PC party rely on...one that conviently forgets most of the past.

While Wynne was in office during the Liberal dark time, she has been trying to distance herself from it by slowing changing thing. The last budget was a prime example. Oddly enough it was the SAME thing the NDP are proposing now.

Doesn't anyone else remember how the NDP spending ran the province into the ground? How about how the PCs cut back so much on the gov offices with staff cuts that many of our basic features are only accessible via phone?

It amazes me how I see a pattern from PC supporters. They tell us over and over the evil Lib times before Wynne and ignore the evils THEY did.
Comments
14
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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