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Concerns raised that rural school closures have negative impact on communities

by Mike Robinson

ABERFOYLE - Puslinch councillors share concerns being expressed across the province that school accommodation reviews do not reflect the reality of rural schools or community life.

On April 5, councillors noted a letter from Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott supporting council’s stand.
“[Puslinch] council’s resolution is detailed and self-explanatory,” said Arnott.
“As you can see, council is very concerned about your ministry’s accommodation review process and its impact on rural communities. Council asks that you initiate an immediate moratorium on the accommodation review process until such time as a review can be carried out on the impacts on small rural communities.”
He added, “I share council’s concerns and support their position. Our local schools are vitally important to our rural communities.”            
In December Puslinch councillors passed a resolution stating the current accommodation review process “is not reflective of the reality of rural school and community life.”
Further, council noted school closures impact single-school small rural communities in all educational, social and economic aspects to a far greater degree than those impacts in multi-school urban communities.
As such Puslinch council asked that the Ministry of Education initiate an immediate moratorium on the process “until such time as a review of the above mentioned impacts on small rural communities are studied, completed and the results and recommendations are considered.”
Lever noted that at a recent meeting of the Western Ontario Wardens Caucus, that group also supported the suspension of the accommodation review process until there is more consultation with and involvement by local municipalities.


April 21, 2017


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