All five candidates in Greater Sudbury’s Ward 4 council election have signed a pledge to stand up for community schools, an initiative of Rainbow Schools Trustee Candidate Richard Eberhardt.
“I am proud to join with municipal candidates to ensure we maintain vibrant communities across Area 2 and throughout the City of Greater Sudbury,” said Eberhardt. “Keeping community schools open means keeping our smaller neighborhoods alive. They are integral parts of the social and economic fabric of our municipality, and that should, and does, matter to our council candidates,”
Eberhardt said municipal councillors can be important allies in the effort to keep schools open.
Every school in Area 2 was affected by the Rainbow Board’s 2016-2017 Accommodation Review process. Had they all moved forward, Eberhardt says the changes would have had a serious impact on neighborhoods throughout the city.
Ward 4 Candidate Geoff McCausland signed the pledge in front of Lansdowne Public School. The Donovan neighborhood school would have closed had the Rainbow District School Board received its full request for capital funding.
“I believe we need to take better care of the infrastructure we have, instead of constantly knocking things down to build new. I will support our community schools, especially beautiful historic ones like Lansdowne School,” said McCausland. “These are important centres for our local heritage and should be renovated, reimagined and repurposed instead of being torn down."
Acclaimed Ward 3 incumbent Gerry Montpellier is also supportive, and points to his record as an active participant in the previous accommodation review process as proof of his ongoing commitment to community schools.
McCausland and fellow Ward 4 candidates Jessica Bertrand, Eric Lachance, Don Roy, and Sharon Scott all signed the pledge, which asserts that “it is vital that the social and economic impacts to the community are considered, and the voices of residents are heard…” in an accommodation review process. Signatories commit to participating in the process, and supporting constituents in their efforts to express the social and economic impact of closing community schools.
Eberhardt said the pledge lays a good foundation for future collaboration, and is now calling on all municipal candidates in Sudbury to sign on. “Knowing that leaders at all levels are willing to work together, and acknowledging the true value of community schools, can help us find the creative solutions to keep them open.”
The full text of the pledge, and list of signatories, is available at www.richardeberhardt.ca/pledge.
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