Dear Friends –
More cuts from the NDP –
As I write this, I’m sitting in the Legislature for Budget Estimates. This is the process by which MLAs examine the spending plan the government puts forward for the coming year. It’s a dual-track process: some departments, like Health and Education, will be examined in the Legislature Chamber. Others, like Agriculture and Justice, will be looked at in the Red Room.
Already, certain things are clear to us.
We know, for example, that the government plans to cut once again from Education. Their rationale is that the number of students is falling. Unfortunately, many of the costs of running a school are fixed – whether there are 300 or 400 students doesn’t matter. The school still has to be heated. The buses still have to pick up students along the same routes – even if there are fewer getting on board. The school still needs a gym teacher and a music teacher.
We know that some boards have indicated they are being forced to cut teachers. Others are closing schools. And one announced it would have to cut its library program.
(Interestingly, when that decision was announced, the minister took away the board’s budget decision-making power. If the minister truly valued libraries in this province, she could have protected them with targeted funding. She chose not to do so.)
If you don’t remember the NDP promising during the last election that they’d cut teachers, close schools, and lay off librarians, don’t worry – your memory isn’t failing. Until well after the NDP became the government, it railed against cuts of any kind.
In fact, I distinctly remember the Minister of Finance, pontificating less than a year into their mandate: “They may be willing to close hospitals, they may be willing to close schools, they may be willing to lay off nurses, they may be willing to lay off teachers, but we are not.” (Hansard April 14, 2010.)
Apparently they are.
MLA for Bedford-Birch Cove
New School Update
Steel is going up at the new high school site on Innovation Drive. (The building material, not the Minister of Finance.) I met with the Minister of Education last week on a number of outstanding issues and we made some progress on some of them.
You can see the latest drawings of the new school at http://bedfordhighschool.blogspot.ca/
(Some of you may be wondering why the High School is referred to as Bedford High School on the drawings and other documents. The Order-in-Council [the cabinet order] to build the school referred to it that way – so that’s what the drawings say. )
Parents of some students may have received communication that new school boundaries have been proposed for their schools. While our school board rep indicates in his most recent newsletter that he has not yet received any report on these, this is the information that has been sent home with students:
The final recommendations of the committee are as follows:
The proposed boundary for Bedford South School will be altered with the removal of streets that are located west of the Bicentennial Highway. Students residing in this area will be redirected to Basinview Drive Community School (P-6) and Bedford Junior High (7-9)
The proposed boundary for Sunnyside Elementary School will be altered with the removal of streets north of the Bedford Highway being redirected to Basinview Drive Community School (P-6). Students in the current Sunnyside Elementary catchment south of the Bedford Highway will remain within Sunnyside Elementary School but be directed to either the Eaglewood site or the Fort Sackville site.
A boundary review be conducted, starting as early as possible in the fall of 2012, for Madeline Symonds Middle School and its feeder schools.
The committee respectfully asks the Superintendent and HRSB to consider three scenarios regarding the junior high students at Bedford South and Bedford Junior High:
1. Combining all 7-9 students within the Charles P. Allen building in 2013.
2. No change for the 7-9 students from Bedford South School.
3. Students from new streets from the top of the Ravines be redirected from Bedford South to Basinview Drive (P-6) and Bedford Junior High (7-9)
If you are concerned about the boundaries now proposed for Sunnyside Schools, please contact: email@example.com to discuss with other parents.
Parents who have any concerns with the boundaries as now proposed can sign up to speak at the next Halifax Regional School Board meeting on April 25. You need to do this several days before the meeting. For more information, please check out www.hrsb.ns.ca/content
…to the students and teachers at Halifax West High School who shaved their heads on Wednesday to to raise money for the Terry Fox Foundation. Even before this week’s event, Halifax West had raised over $60,000 over the past 9 years in the fight against cancer. Well done!
Dakin Drive Update
A new traffic control sign has been posted by HRM warning drivers that turning onto Dakin Drive from the Bedford Highway between 7:00a.m. and 9:00 a.m. Monday to Friday is prohibited. The decision was based on the observation that there is a sharp peak of short- cutting traffic travelling through the residential road during morning rush hour periods.
Queen’s Jubilee Medal
60,000 extraordinary Canadians will be recognized for their contribution to their nation, province, or community. To eligible, the nominee must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada. This medal can be awarded posthumously as long as the recipient was alive on February 6th, 2012 (the date of the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s accession to the Throne). Nominations are only accepted through mail. Nomination forms can be found both online and in my constituency office (located at 1550 Bedford Highway, Suite 555 – across the street from The Chickenburger). The deadline for nominations is April 30th, 2012.
Power of Positive Change Awards
The Province of Nova Scotia will recognize up to ten students with this award and a $2,000 bursary to be used at a post-secondary education institution. The bursaries will be awarded to students who have demonstrated leadership in promoting safe and positive environments, building social cohesion and cultural diversity in their schools or communities. In recent years, two elementary students from our riding have won for their outstanding work. Nomination packages can be found online at powerofpositivechange.ca/nomination-package. Last day for nominations is April 18th, 2012.
Thursday April 12 – Halifax Northwest Trails Association AGM – at 7 p.m. at Trinity Anglican Church, 321 Main Street, Fairview. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 443-5051.
Thursday, April 12 – the Nova Scotia Electoral Boundaries Commission will consult with the public about how our riding boundaries may change. You’re invited to share your opinion with the Commission. The public meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the Old Ashburn Golf Club, 3250 Joseph Howe Drive.
Saturday, April 14 – St. Peter’s Anglican Used Book & CD Sale – from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. If you have books or CDs to donate, you can drop them at the Church on Thursday morning from 8:30 a.m. – 12 noon.
Monday, April 16 – Halifax North West Trails will hold a public meeting on the future of the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area, the regional park, and more. 7:00 – 8:30 at the Keshen Goodman Library – Thomas Raddall Room. For more info, please contact Bruce Smith at email@example.com or Bob McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, April 18 – the Rockingham Heritage Society AGM will take place at Rockingham United Church at 7:30 p.m. Bev Smith will “revisit Rockingham in the Fifties”.
Thursday, April 19 to Saturday, April 21 – The Bedford Players present “It’s Murder in the Wings” – a lively whodunnit set in the world of publishing. All performances at 8 p.m. at All Saints Church in Bedford. For more info, check out www.bedfordplayers.ns.ca/tickets
Saturday, April 21 – from 8:00a.m. to 10:00a.m. Bedford United Church will host a breakfast fundraiser at Applebee’s in Clayton Park to support fifteen youth traveling to the Gambia next year. Breakfast will include four pancakes, bacon, juice, and coffee. Tickets are $10 each. You can e-mail email@example.com if you are interested in purchasing tickets.
Sunday, April 22 – Bedford United Church will host a farewell to Rev. Diane Tingley. A special presentation will take place following both the 9:00am and 11:00am services.
Thursday, April 26 to Saturday. April 28 – the students of CPA will be performing Little Shop of Horrors at Alderney Landing. The show begins nightly at 7:00pm. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for students & seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the Scotiabank located at the Bedford Place Mall.
Thursday, April 26 to Saturday, April 28 – The Bedford Players present “It’s Murder in the Wings” – a lively who dunnit set in the world of publishing. All performances at 8 p.m. at All Saints Church in Bedford. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students. For more info, check out www.bedfordplayers.ns.ca/tickets/
Saturday, April 28 – St. Peter’s Anglican 10th International Tea – This year’s theme is “A Turkish Delight”; tickets are $12 and can be purchased by calling 443-1820.
Sunday, April 29 – The only Matinee presentation of “It’s Murder in the Wings” – a lively whodunnit set in the world of publishing. This performance is at 2 p.m. at All Saints Church in Bedford. For more info, check out www.bedfordplayers.ns.ca/tickets
Thursday, May 3 to Saturday, May 5 – The Bedford Players’ final performances of “It’s Murder in the Wings”. All performances at 8 p.m. at All Saints Church in Bedford. For more info, check out www.bedfordplayers.ns.ca/tickets
Saturday, May 5 – The Scott Manor House (Fort Sackville Foundation) will be hosting a light dinner at 6:00pm with dinner being served at 6:30pm. The dinner will take place at the Bedford United Church Hall. Guest speaker will be long-time Bedford businessman Art Hustins. Tickets are $12 each. If you would like a ticket please contact Ann McVicar (835.5368) or Kay Watt (835.0904).
Wednesday, May 9, 16, 23, 30 and Saturday, May 12 and 10 – The Scott Manor House (Fort Sackville Foundation) will be accepting donations for their upcoming book sale. Donations will be welcomed between 10:00am and 12:00pm during the dates specified above. Donations can be taken to the Scott Manor House (15 Fort Sackville Road).
Sunday, May 13 – the Canadian Liver Foundation will host a British Mother’s Day Tea Party and Luncheon. Two sittings will be offered for this event. The first sitting will take place between 12:15pm and 1:30pm. The second sitting will take place between 1:45pm and 3:00pm. The tea party and luncheon will take place at the Bedford Lion’s Den, 36 Holland Avenue. This event will feature a teacup jewelry silent auction, a mini theatre show by the Bedford Players, and an opportunity to purchase specialty tea cookies & much more! Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, and $12 for children twelve and under. All proceeds will support liver disease research and education. To purchase a ticket, please visit www.clfteaparty.ca.
Thursday, June 14 to Saturday, June 16 – The Scott Manor House (Fort Sackville Foundation) will be hosting a book sale at the Scott Manor House (15 Fort Sackville Road). The book sale will take place between 4:00pm and 8:30pm on June 14 and 15, and between 10:00am and 4:00pm on June16.
If you have an event in the local community that you would like to advertise, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.