NDP

Liberal government preparing for shutdown in lead up to December student lockout

February 8, 2017


For immediate release.

HALIFAX – Documents obtained by the NDP Caucus through a Freedom of Information request show that the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development was preparing for a province-wide school shutdown even after the Nova Scotia Teachers Union announced on November 28 that schools would remain open during work-to-rule.

From November 28 to December 2, department staff were tasked with determining the number of school-age child care spaces that could be created in the event of a school closure. A final list was to be submitted to the Premier’s office by noon on December 2.

“The McNeil Liberals left thousands of parents in the lurch when they locked students out of school in December,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “Schools should not have been closed at all, but if the Liberals had even an inkling that they would be closing schools, Stephen McNeil should have given parents the chance to prepare.”

Emails also show that the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development would not provide additional funding to child care centres for additional spaces required by the anticipated closure. In the event that schools were shut down, “Any extra funding would come from parent fees and not grants,” according to one government email.

“Parents paid the price for the Liberal government’s decision to close schools in extra child care costs and lost hours at work,” said Lenore Zann, NDP Education Critic. “Many parents are already struggling to afford before and after school care, let alone these additional costs caused by the McNeil government’s actions.”

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For more information, contact Kaley Kennedy at kaley.kennedy@novascotia.ca or 902-229-6881.