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Councillor Sloane Asks the Province "What's the Rush?"

(Friday, January 18/2002)-- Councillor Dawn Sloane today called for "a frank and open discussion" with representatives of the Halifax Regional Municipality, the Regional School Board and the provincial Education Department to clear the air once and for all about proposed plans to merge central Halifax's two high schools into one new consolidated school.

Councillor Sloane said she was shocked to learn through the media this morning that the Education Department has advised the Halifax Regional School Board that it is considering building four new schools in metro, including one at the top of its list to merge St. Patrick's High School and Queen Elizabeth High School.

She said "I don't know what the rush is all about? You have to wonder if the Province really believes that we need a new high school, or if it simply has its eye on the Queen Elizabeth lands as a site for a new parking lot for the QE 2 hospital?"

"The land on which Queen Elizabeth High School stands is public common land and should be returned to the people if, and when, a consolidated high school is built in the urban core, " the Councillor for District 12 (Halifax Downtown) added.

Councillor Sloane said there are plenty of other schools throughout HRM that need to be replaced, before building a new high school for Halifax. In fact, the School Board promised HRM sometime agothat it would not discuss this issue for at least another two years.

The Councillor again challenged the School Board study the demographics of peninsula Halifax and the amount of new housing developments that are in progress before moving too quickly on additional school closures or consolidating Halifax's two high schools.

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Dawn Marie Sloane
District 12 Councillor
Halifax - Downtown
Halifax Regional Municipality
(902) 490-4752 Cell:(902) 488-4812
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