Baillie: Decision to skip over Springhill disgraceful

December 01, 2016 at 3:07 pm

Auditor General slams Liberals for playing politics with schools

SPRINGHILL, NS – Jamie Baillie, MLA for Cumberland South, says today’s Auditor General report proves that the McNeil Liberals are playing politics when it comes to education, and students in Springhill are paying the price.

The Auditor General found the McNeil Liberals ignored objective rankings of new schools and had cabinet intervene to fund schools in Tatamagouche and Bridgetown. Those two schools are in Education Minister Karen Casey’s and Premier McNeil’s ridings, respectively.

Within the Chignecto Regional Schoolboard, the McNeil government decided to fund the lower ranked Tatamagouche school over the higher ranked needs of Springhill. According to the Auditor General, no one in the Department of Education was able to make the case for why Tatamagouche received approval.

“The Auditor General confirmed today what the community of Springhill has long suspected,” Baillie said. “The McNeil government is making political decisions rather than decisions based on the needs of the students, parents and teachers. Not only is it dishonest, it is also disgraceful.”

West End Elementary and Junction Road Elementary are fraught with leaks, cramped gymnasiums and outdated plumbing and amenities. Their current conditions are so bad that program delivery is affected.

“The Auditor General has unequivocally stated taxpayer money has not been spent where the greatest need is. It’s blatant political gamesmanship,” Baillie said. “Trust has been broken once again and it’s shameful.”

“It doesn’t take much to see that the government is making decisions on schools based on pure political motives,” Baillie. “Premier McNeil and Minister Karen Casey should apologize to students, parents, and teachers in Springhill and then get on with funding their new school.”