Treasurer approved to consider tough options

Rising costs and declining enrolment forces board to consider cuts.

PORT HARDY—The SD85 Board of Education gave Treasurer John Martin the go-ahead to examine some tough options for the next budget at last week’s board meeting.

Citing the rising costs of pensions, ICBC and MSP, the impending loss of fund protection, the cost of trustee elections, and declining enrolment, Martin said that he was looking at options like reducing positions and closing the resource centre.

“I need some kind of direction from the board to move forward,” he said.

In response to questions, Martin clarified that he was considering two teaching positions and one CUPE position.

“I have some concern about the district resource centre,” said Trustee Jeff Field. “Where will they be housed? How will teachers access them?” he asked.

“We’ve had that discussion,” said Martin. “We don’t want to lose them so we’re trying to find out who’s using them.” He said that Eagle View could inherit the resources and the existing web-based L4U system would allow teacher access.

“We will do everything we can to preserve the service,” said Superintendent Scott Benwell. “We will endeavour to make it as good as can be.”

The motion to move forward was passed by the board.

VINTA representative Fred Robertson expressed his “ongoing concerns” about the cuts, adding that the prospect “wears on the soul.”

He placed the blame squarely at the feet of the provincial government, saying, “There’s a funding problem in this province  — as everyone knows.”

 

 

 

Mileage

In light of the ministerial acceptance of revised trustee electoral areas, Port Alice Trustee Carol Prescott brought forward some concerns over travel expenses under the new system.

The adjustment will see Port Alice in the same zone as Malcolm and Cormorant Islands, with two trustees assigned to the zone, and some residents had expressed concern to the trustee about the distance involved.

“We’ve had two letters voicing concerns,” said the trustee. “Considering trustees are supposed to represent communities, they’d like to see provisions (for a trustee) to go to a community without representation maybe once a month so the community can have an opportunity to voice their concerns.”

“Sounds like a great idea,” said chair Leightan Wishart.

Treasurer John Martin pointed out that the request fell within existing policies. He told trustees that they weren’t covered for regular meetings, but anything over and above — committee meetings, school visits and so on — could be claimed under the current policy.

“The board has made an exception for those that claim the ferry (to attend regular meetings),” Martin clarified, “but current policy allows you to claim.

 

 

 

Science Fair

Benwell vowed to speak to high schools in an effort to boost participation from local  students at next year’s regional science fair after the lack of local entries left Gold River’s students to clean up the senior awards.

But the superintendent was impressed by the entries he did see at the fair. “It was great to see the high standard from our students,” he said.

The board congratulated Rena Sweeney for her organizational work on bringing the event together.

 

Just Posted

Cafe Guido manager spills the beans on new coffee shop drive-thru

“The core drink menu is the same, but there will be new drinks - new cold drinks and new food”

Arrest made in Port Alice mail bomb incident

A 73 year old resident of Whitehorse, Yukon, was arrested on September 13th and remains in custody.

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

Three mayoral races in the North Island

Elections BC has finalized their nomination list for municipal, local elections for… Continue reading

Port Hardy resident furious over smart meter installation

“They came into my house without consent and it wasn’t even a BC Hydro employee.”

B.C. tent city ‘devastated’ after flash flood

Maple Ridge mayor says that residents shouldn’t have to return to their flooded tents

Parents of B.C. toddler who died in unlicensed daycare sue over negligence

‘Baby Mac’ was only 16 months old when he died in a Vancouver daycare

Syrian family can, finally, feel safe after settling in B.C.

Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity White Rock meets sponsored family for the first time

1st private moon flight passenger to invite creative guests

The Big Falcon Rocket is scheduled to make the trip in 2023, SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced at an event Monday at its headquarters near Los Angeles.

‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Mrs. Maisel’ triumph at Emmys

In a ceremony that started out congratulating TV academy voters for the most historically diverse field of nominees yet, the early awards all went solely to whites.

Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang for potentially tough talks

South Korean President Moon Jae-in began his third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday.

Russia blames Israel for plane shot down by Syrian missile

A Russian reconnaissance aircraft was brought down over the Mediterranean Sea as it was returning to its home base inside Syria, killing all 15 people on board.

Vancouver park board passes motion to learn Indigenous place names

The name of Vancouver’s Stanley Park is now up for debate as the city’s park board confronts its colonial past and pursues reconciliation.

Champ golfer from Spain killed in Iowa; suspect charged

Police said Celia Barquin Arozamena was found dead Monday morning at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, about 30 miles north of Des Moines.

Most Read