MLA Report (14 August 2007)
Local Schools Need More Capital Funding
Thanks to the hard-working and forward-thinking people in this constituency, we have the fastest growing communities in the province. We have a history of industriousness and innovation; of making things happen rather than waiting for governments to do it all for us.
We need governments to do some pretty basic tasks – primarily to provide the infrastructure that is needed in order for our communities to grow and to thrive.
When we are met with the kind of success that our efforts have produced in our growing communities, there will be further challenges to meet. Certainly these are welcome challenges – immensely preferable than the challenges other parts of rural Saskatchewan face.
Foremost among those challenges are the pressures being faced by our schools. Not only are our communities among the fastest-growing in Saskatchewan; they are also among the youngest. That puts even more pressure on to the schools. Our schools in Warman and Martensville were designed and built when the town populations were half what they are today, and perhaps a quarter of what the population will be ten years from now.
With schools bursting at the seams with young students, our school division has recognized and identified the need for new schools and renovation projects. However, our provincial NDP government has responded with a freeze on all capital school projects (look for this freeze to end soon with an upcoming election). Meanwhile, our children are squeezed into schools like sardines with no identifiable remedy in the near future.
This province needs a government that is committed to planning ahead to provide infrastructure and support when it is needed; not a government that is caught unprepared and responds by delaying announcements based on election cycles. Earlier this spring, I asked the Learning Minister if capital funding for schools would be made available to schools in the Martensville constituency. Many of our schools are full to or past capacity and more space is desperately needed. She promised that an evaluation report on priorities would be completed at the end of June. That report is now delayed until the end of August at the earliest.
While the NDP has been busy spending your tax dollars this summer on various announcements – with the lion’s share being distributed in NDP ridings in a vain attempt to hold onto seats – let’s hope that they don’t play politics with capital funding for schools. What is needed is a clear plan of spending priorities based on need – not political gain and retaining seats.
Past MLA Reports