The decision does not mean that anything is finalized at this point as the Technical Review Committee is an advisory committee to the Ministry. However, Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm was very unsatisfied saying it’s the Ministry’s fault that there is an issue here to begin with.
“I’m disappointed the ruling came down the way it has. Some of the language that they use in there saying that if we do something special for this particular area it’s going to affect other parts of the province differently,” he says. “Quite frankly it’s because they went to a student allocation fund, that kind of funding, that it affected our area in the first place. They’re saying it’s okay to put those kind of costs on our region but it’s not okay to return those costs to our region.”
He continues by saying the battle on the issue is not over and he intends to have further discussions with the ministry.
“I’m going to be dealing with the Ministry. I’m not letting this drop. We’ll continue on and hopefully we’ll get something resolved on this. I’m very dissatisfied with the outcome of what I’ve heard and I’ll continue to pursuit it,” Pimm states. “It’s not a dead issue. Obviously the school board is going to have to deal with some things at this point in time. It doesn’t look real positive but I’m certainly going to continue battling on this front. Hopefully we can win.”
Meanwhile School District 60 Secretary Treasurer Doug Boyd says that while the Review Committee will examine the formula further, the board will go forward on the notion they have not been successful on requesting a change to the Student Location Factor.
“We’re looking at it from the perspective that when the Review Committee is recommending no change that it will probably remain,” he admits. “Basically we have to proceed on the basis that we were not successful on getting a change recommended so at this point we have to act on that information because we can’t sit and wait for anything else. We don’t know how actively this will be pursued. It is recognized there is a flaw in the formula. They don’t know how to correct the flaw. It is our opinion that that needs to be done before any real satisfaction will be reached on our part.”
School District 60 will now gather information on factors that will help them decide if a fee will be implemented and if so, when.