Friday, July 22, 2011

Capital priorities

This article by Nathan Taylor at the Orillia Packet and Times (though the link is from the Barrie Examiner) does a good job of explaining the current fiscal and approval realities for capital construction in this day and age in Ontario.
Boards are routinely submitting and updating their capital priorities 'template' where they make business cases for particular capital projects-- be they new schools, school renovations or school expansions.
As Taylor's work shows, the ranking submitted by boards isn't always that given priority by the province.
While local trustees would like to see the government fund the Orillia priority — a new high school to amalgamate Orillia District Collegiate and Vocational Institute and Park Street Collegiate Institute — it's not surprising that a new Bradford school has been approved.
"There's a huge growth occurring, which isn't the case in Orillia," Edwards said of enrolment.
But it is an election year, and "interesting things can happen," she said.
"Let the games begin."
Jodi Lloyd, trustee for Ramara, Severn and Tay townships, said the funding for Bradford "is great," but she is still waiting on the Ministry of Education to provide an explanation as to why the Orillia project has not been funded.
"If it wasn't selected in this round, why not? And what is required to get the funding?" she wondered. 
This is where board politics and ministry / provincial politics may be colliding. Are there more votes in Bradford? Maybe. Or, as has been mentioned in the past when the Simcoe County DSB missed out on an entire round of capital funding, do the board's priorities simply contain more politics than reason?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is an Orillia centric story and misses the point that after 3 years Orillia still has 3 secondary schools and only needs max 2 - with declining enrollment continuing possibly 1 with improvements.

Trustees don't always get they are there to look after the full board they represent not just their local area. The MOE does have all the data and recognizes that local politics is not always good for the whole school board.

In this particular board they got more funding in this last round, than any other board in Ontario. Sad to see them complaining.

Anonymous said...

School boards would not be missed. Good trustees would.