April 12th, 2018

NDP legislation would ensure open meetings for Provincial Advisory Council on Education

Council would have to meet with the public at least twice a year

HALIFAX – The NDP Caucus will introduce legislation today that would guarantee some level of accountability for the new Provincial Advisory Council on Education (PACE).

“With the elimination of school boards, it is essential that we ensure there are still ways for the public to access decision makers in our education system,” said NDP Education Spokesperson Claudia Chender. “By requiring PACE to meet with the public regularly and consult on issues in schools, we can ensure a minimum level of accountability in our public education system.”

The advisory council will be replacing the seven English school boards that were eliminated by the Liberals’ Education Reform Act. Unlike elected school boards, which were required to meet in public, the new council has no requirements to meet at all.

“The Liberal government has a habit of meeting behind closed doors and avoiding public input,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “Nova Scotia is the only province in the country with a health authority that has no public meetings. We should not allow the same lack of public access in education.”

The NDP legislation would require the advisory council to hold public meetings at least twice a year to hear from community members, and would ensure that members of the public would be able to make written submissions to the council at any time.

– 30 –