London-area MPPs blasted the government's cuts to London-area schools today in the legislature, calling them callous, and a case of misplaced priorities.
Parents and guardians from the Thames Valley School District Board (TVSDB) have learned that new schools and child care spaces slated for their communities were being delayed indefinitely by the government. The TVSDB made that announcement today, pointing to the government-wide spending freeze as the cause.
“The $67.4 million that was promised for London and area school projects is being withheld,” said London West MPP Peggy Sattler. “Staff from the Thames Valley District School Board have been in regular contact with the Ministry of Education, but all they are getting is the runaround.
“By preventing much-needed school funding from flowing, this government is playing politics with London-area students and families.”
These schools have already gone through a multi-year approvals process and had a commitment timeline set, which is now in jeopardy.
London MPPs Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre) and Teresa Armstrong (London-Fanshawe) joined Sattler in condemning the cuts to children’s schools, while MPP Marit Stiles demanded to know what other projects in other school districts have also been put on ice.
“The government's so-called pause on education funding means that plans for new schools in London, St. Thomas and Belmont are all at risk,” said Stiles. “And every day, more and more communities across Ontario are feeling the strain of education cuts.
“Years of neglect by governments have led us to a $16-billion repair backlog for our schools. Now the government is looking for more places to cut, and is taking things from bad to worse.
“Will the government tell anxious families exactly what cuts he has planned for schools across this province? Will it be more cuts from school repairs, special needs assistance or after-school programs?”
No definitive answers have been provided by the government.