Near North District School Board Chair David Thompson has been adamant that the Near North District School Board cannot continue to fund half-empty schools.
The Board is grappling with frustration from parent groups at Widdifield Senior Secondary which is slated to close at the end of the 2019 school year.
After last Tuesday’s Board meeting, Thompson once again brought up a controversial solution to the issue and that is the creation of One School Board in the province of Ontario.
“I give credit to the Green Party, none of the three major parties will not touch the one school board with a 10-foot pole,” said Thompson about the controversial provincial issue.
The idea was endorsed last January and Ontario’s public broadcaster even stated that creating the one school board model in Ontario may be a way for Kathleen Wynne to win the upcoming spring provincial election.
See related: Could one school board save Premier Wynne?
Thompson has said it makes sense for Northern Ontario.
“Education is the one issue that everyone knows the elephant in the room, but no one wants to discuss it so just from following up on research, I’ve had prominent Catholics approach me and say, ‘yeah, there should be one school board.’ My thinking is that this is one topic that can galvanize. It certainly hurt John Tory a couple elections ago but for people, especially in northern Ontario, it is a very prominent issue, funding one school board,” said Thompson in a previous interview on the topic.
Thompson believes the NDP, Liberals and PC’s are all worried about the backlash of such a concept in 2018.
“They are afraid of someone, they are afraid of losing votes, but I think if they put forward, like the Northern Ontario Party, have a referendum on June 7th say do you support one school board or not, that is a great way to monitor what the public is saying but I think they are not listening to the majority of people that say,’let’s look at a one school board system,’” he said.