Wynne Liberals deny locally driven solution to fix Toronto’s crumbling schools

QUEEN’S PARK— Toronto-Danforth NDP MPP Peter Tabuns released the following statement after the Wynne government said Monday it would not agree to an NDP plan to allow the Toronto District School Board to apply Education Development Charges to the $3.7-billion repair backlog facing schools in Toronto:

“Parents in Toronto are frustrated that their children may spend another winter wearing their coats and mittens in the classroom because the heat doesn’t work. They’re frustrated by leaky roofs and washrooms that are out of order. Toronto families have been let down when it comes to school maintenance, with the backlog in our city’s public schools reaching a shocking $3.7 billion. After years of underfunding school repairs and allowing the list of needed repairs to pile up, it’s simply shocking that the Wynne government is now denying the TDSB the opportunity to address this by applying Education Development Charges collected from developers to be applied to the necessary repairs on existing schools, as well as on building new schools.

On Friday, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath announced her commitment to changing the rules that are hurting Toronto public schools. But when NDP Education critic Peggy Sattler asked the Liberals if they’d do the same, the Liberal Education Minister said ‘the answer is no,’ turning her back on Toronto students and families, trustees and the City of Toronto calling for solutions.

Patrick Brown is certainly not the answer. His Conservative platform didn’t even acknowledge school repairs, and didn’t allocate a single dollar to addressing the capital repair backlog over the next four years.

It’s time that Toronto public schools benefitted from the incredible growth in our city and its wonderful neighbourhoods. New Democrats are committed to fixing rules governing EDCs so that they work for Toronto families, and give all students safe schools in good repair.”