Mayor Gord Krantz and eight councillors will be lobbying provincial ministers to invest in Milton’s education at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference next month in Ottawa.
On the heels of a unanimously-passed motion last month that calls on the provincial government to support its Places to Grow legislation with a formula that will send education dollars to high-growth communities, the councillors are looking to get their message across to those who can help make it happen at the conference, held from August 19 to 22.
… Krantz, who has attended the annual event numerous times over the course of his 32 years as the mayor of Milton, said the conference is the perfect opportunity to talk about the issues, discuss solutions and get feedback from other levels of government and municipalities.
He said not only is it a learning experience to hear how others have dealt with similar challenges, but it’s also an opportunity to network and speak face-to-face with some of the province’s key officials about their concerns.
Milton’s high schools are currently at 140 per cent capacity, and the situation is expected to only worsen given that almost 25 per cent of Milton’s population is less than 14 years old. We’re not only the fastest growing community in Ontario, but in all of Canada, said Krantz.
He said it’s challenging keeping up with the demand for infrastructure and the demand for new schools. “It’s disruptive to families,” he said, talking about how a child can be moved to a different school two or three times in one year.
Cluett, who attended last year’s conference in London, said the councillors had great success when they collectively went to fight for the Milton District Hospital expansion last year. A month after the conference, the hospital was approved by the provincial government for a 320,000-sq.-ft. expansion. It’s scheduled for completion by 2015 or earlier.
“I’m a strong advocate for meeting with ministers en masse and talking to them (about our issues),” he said. “They got the point about the hospital expansion and gave it the green light.” He said he’s hopeful they’ll be able to do the same for building more schools.
“With our rapidly increasing population, kids are oozing out of the walls of the schools,” said Cluett, adding that it’s not only an infrastructure issue, but a quality of life one, too.
For more from the Milton Canadian Champion, click here.