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Education (Amdt.) (No. 2) Bill

Tuesday, May 02, 2000


I hope that the hon. Minister will think about what I have said in that light, not because I wanted to be critical of what is here, but I see it is seriously flawed and as I said before, this is not the only place that is doing this. Other countries have been doing it, communities too. You have to look at boards in the inner city and in the rural areas and think about what we are doing because at the end of the day we do not want to have things on paper and not functioning. It must be attainable, we must be able to put things in place not just in name, that there is a school board that we could find the personnel, do the training, group them that no one would feel discriminated against and that something flows out of it all.

I have real problems with this entire Bill and even with the Regulations. I am not saying so because I want to be critical. It bothers me because I went through everything and sometimes I am looking at it and when I read it I really do not think people took into consideration schools, communities, skills, what you are supposed to, even the whole reform process of decentralization and training necessary.

It is all well and good to bring this to Parliament as one step forward, but I still feel we need to look at it very critically to see we are doing the best for schools and not creating another monster or a system that fails. In fact, when I read about the school committees, I called some people at the ministry and asked about them and I could not remember getting very far. These boards are replacing the school committees and I could not get very much on them. Not that I was worried in any way. These boards are supposed to replace school committees and what is expected here is very difficult to attain.

I am really hoping that we could look at it because when we try to put things in place in terms of legislation, we find in many instances things are not happening and we ask ourselves why. It is probably because what we try to do was not attainable. We have some money to spend, let us spend it wisely. There are a number of schools which it is felt need support. Let us see which is the best way of giving that support. Not that I am saying that the government schools do not need support. All schools need support, but what is the best way at this particular time that we give the support? Have we tried what we have—have we tightened up on what we have? All these things need to be looked at. A little over $5 million a year is money that must be well spent. You might find that it is not much money, but it is money we could very well use in some other way in the educational system.

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