Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Opinion: Catholic board decision puzzling
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 28 Jun 2006, p. 6

Full Text

The Halton Catholic District School Board's decision last Tuesday to opt out of the Halton Regional Campus Plan is puzzling to say the least. The board dropped out of this innovative cost-saving initiative during a bizarre school board meeting. At that meeting, Burlington Trustee Bob Van de Vrande presented two motions-- the first of which was to approve the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) hammered out between all four partners in the project-- and then voted against those motions. When the motions ended in identical 4-4 tie votes, the Catholic school board's participation in the Halton Regional Campus scheme was effectively over. For the record, Halton Hills Trustee Irene McCauley voted against the proposal. The Catholic board would have probably benefited the most from the `super centre' shared administration facility between the Catholic board, Halton Region, Halton Regional Police and the Halton District School Board. Of all four partners, the Catholic board is operating in the most outdated and cramped administration facilities. Although the centre will cost about $127-million to build, the overall savings to the taxpayers of Halton would be about $20 million. As it stands now, the other three partners in the campus plan still intend to proceed with the plan, which is still in its early planning stages. Which makes the Catholic board's decision all the more puzzling. All the board members were being asked to approve Tuesday was the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) it has with the other partners in the project. This was not a binding agreement, but an expression of the participants' intent to proceed with the Campus. The Catholic board could have pulled out afterwards if they felt uncomfortable with the project. According to Catholic Board Chair Al Bailey, they are not in line for any provincial funding to build a new administration facility and after turning down the campus plan, we can't see the province rewarding the Catholic board with more money to spend on a new facility. Our only hope is that a new slate of trustees might feel differently about the Campus plan after the November election.

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Date of Publication:
28 Jun 2006
Personal Name(s):
Van de Vrande, Bob ; McCauley, Irene ; Bailey, Al
Corporate Name(s):
The Halton Catholic District School Board ; Halton Region ; Halton Regional Police ; Halton District School Board
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Opinion: Catholic board decision puzzling