Percy Barrett, MHA for the District of Bellevue, is disappointed that the
schools in English Harbour East and Grand Le Pierre have still not been
given a reprieve or delay from closing, as was granted with other schools at
a meeting held last night in St. Johnís.
"I am once again calling on the
Minister of Education to get involved in this situation and prevent these
school closures," said Mr. Barrett. "If the Eastern School District can
delay the closure of other schools in the district, why canít they do the
same for students in English Harbour East and Grand Le Pierre until
replacement schools are built or necessary upgrades to existing schools are
If these closures take place students would be transported over
treacherous roads from English Harbour East to Terrenceville, a distance of
38 kilometers, and from Grande Le Pierre to Terrenceville, a distance of 25
"I have pointed out to the minister that these schools were designated as
Necessarily Existent Schools by the previous administration in recognition
of the special circumstances they face. I think the minister should
intervene and provide the funds necessary so young students donít have to
travel such a distance over a road that is very treacherous during winter.
"The minister should know that parents and residents are raising concerns
that the decision of the school board was rushed and not well researched.
There is a strong feeling that the school is a focal point of the community
and these closures are seen as a threat to the very existence of the
communities. This is a clear example of a case where government can do
something to support rural areas of this province if they choose to be