Chapter 2

A Human Story

2.5.4 Construction of new schools in Kanata and London

As in the case of the Greater Toronto Area, the Commissioner has received many complaints about the lack of French-language secondary schools in Kanata and the lack of French-language elementary schools in London. During the investigation by the Commissioner’s Office, the Ministry of Education stated that it asks school boards to submit their capital priorities in preparation for the allocation of funding to meet needs related to the condition of facilities, shortage of pupil places and consolidation of programs. Members of the communities can comment on the capital plan at board meetings. The Commissioner strongly encourages parents to take an active part in this planning exercise.

The Ministry uses the priorities identified by the school boards along with other criteria in determining the allocation of available capital funding. The Ministry’s current funding program, known as the Capital Priorities Grant program, often identifies specific types of accommodation needs. There are also specific criteria associated with it, such as growth-related needs, accommodation of students with French-language education rights, and the need to address the condition of school facilities.

The two French-language school boards serving the Kanata area submitted priorities under the 2011 planning process. For one board, the priority was funding for 500 additional places for Grade 9 to 12 students in a local elementary school, while the other had several priorities, including the creation of 739 places for its Grade 7 to 12 students. The Commissioner is delighted that the Ministry provided funding approval to support both these requests, as announced in June 2011.

The two French-language school boards serving the London area submitted priorities in connection with the same process in 2012. For one board, the priority was funding for a new elementary school in London, and the other had various priorities, including additional pupil places in an existing elementary school. The Commissioner is pleased that the Ministry also provided funding to support both these requests, as announced in January 2013. Francophone students and their families in London and Kanata will soon have school facilities that are more in keeping with their growing needs.

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