Ontario NDP attack Grits for trying to sell off schools

Paulette Huebert —

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath sent a Feb. 11 email accusing the Kathleen Wynne Liberals of privatizing school grounds by selling them to developers.

Citing the broader community nature of school buildings and grounds, Horwath wrote:

Schools are vital community hubs. Not only are they where we educate our children, but they can be home to a child care centre, a meeting hall, a class for newcomers to improve their English, a gym and field for the local sports league, a park to play in on the weekend.

Our schools are not empty assets to be sold to developers.

But that is exactly what the Wynne Liberals want the Toronto District School Board to do. Sell off our schools.

They are not considering fluctuating enrolment. They ignore how vital schools are to a livable neighbourhood. Once a school is sold we can never get it back. All the Liberals see is the bottom line and how to make a quick buck.

It is a deeply conservative view of public education — and it’s straight out of Mike Harris’ playbook. The Liberals have refused to fix the flawed funding formula, which leaves Toronto classrooms underfunded year after year. And now, the Liberals are defending their sell-off plans with bogus numbers that just don’t add up. The Liberal cuts will hurt some of our poorest neighbours.

Much like Harris before, this is not the first time the Liberals have tried to manufacture a crisis in our children’s education system to push through unpopular reforms. Wynne claimed she would be a different Liberal leader, but she has not lived up to her claims.

New Democrats will stand up to the Liberals. Peter Tabuns and Cheri DiNovo have been leading the fight here at Queen’s Park, but we can’t do it alone.  Sign on and help save our schools.