Sunday, March 16, 2008

As regular readers of this blog know Molly originally hails from the Province of Saskatchewan (before escaping to civilization about a quarter of a century ago). One of my favourite sayings is that I spent 14 years in "beautiful" downtown Regina and that most people serve less time for killing somebody in our society. Macleans Magazine recently did a survey of what are the most dangerous cities in Canada, and Regina came out at the top for crime. Winnipeg came number 3, after Saskatoon. The latter amazed me as this didn't use to be the case when I was growing up in that province. Saskatoon was a city that had a real reason for existing while Regina consisted pretty much of those who worked for the government and those who lived off it. Ah, the passing of time and the dreams of youth !
Anyways, the following is from the Act Up In Saskatchewan website, a sort of "mini-Indymedia" site based out of Regina. It discusses the latest plan to continue to close inner city schools in that city in favour of giving out funds to suburban schools. The case is actually quite typical of many cities across Canada, Winnipeg included, as public funds are diverted to those who already have to the detriment of those who do not. For a fuller discussion of this issue see the Abandoned Stuff by Saskboy blog. I particularily like the Buffie St. Marie quote, "Regina makes me wish I had never been born". I'm also glad to see that John Conway has decided to do something useful in his old age rather than spread the gispel according to Mao.

Suburbs await school spoils
Written by Trish Elliott
Wednesday, 05 March 2008
Regina’s wealthy awaited the spoils last night as school trustees voted resoundingly against a moratorium on the closure or merger of 14 inner city schools. Older schools are a “drain” on the system, argued Cindy Jarvis, representing the school council of Campbell Collegiate, a large south end Regina collegiate. Jarvis complained that Campbell’s higher socio-economic status was a burden that might cause “prejudice” against the school, and asked when the cost savings from the closures would be transferred over to the remaining schools. She also put in a pitch for more funds, saying Campbell needs a “facelift.” The trustees apparently felt Campbell’s pain; only one, John Conway, voted in favour of the moratorium.

Meanwhile, other presenters voiced their concern over a plan that will put nearly half of Regina’s elementary school population on buses. Parent Leif Caldor noted that the map of closures looks nearly identical to maps depicting low income and aboriginal populations, and criticized the board for their middle-class bias. More to the point, presenter Leslea Mair quoted Buffy St. Marie: “Regina makes me wish I had never been born.”

Noting that the trustees seem firmly set to begin the plan on March 11, RealRenewal, a group opposing the closures, said they will turn their attention toward the province and the polls.

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