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HomeNewsMayor says West Ferris plea came from a community perspective

Mayor says West Ferris plea came from a community perspective

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Mayor Al McDonald says he agrees with Near North District School Board Chair of Trustees David Thompson’s assertion that the two entities should put their differences aside and work on more collaboration.

Thompson voted against a motion last week that would see two public high schools remain open in North Bay. He has long been a vocal proponent of moving to a one-school arrangement, saying that if current demographic trends continue it is an inevitability.

Thompson has declared since the vote that the “democratic process” has prevailed and is prepared to move forward with the board’s decision. He has said that partnerships between the school board and the City could result in more fruitful outcomes for all involved and has hinted that a collaboration regarding the West Ferris high school property down the line may be of interest to the City.

McDonald says that the City is always open to exploring relationships with community partners. Thompson says a letter has been drafted outlining some areas of common interest between the two parties.

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“We are always happy to meet,” says McDonald, but adds that under the Municipal Act, the entire Council cannot meet unless it is at a public meeting called by the City.

“We presented a community perspective that we didn’t want to lose the school in West Ferris,” rather than an educational perspective, says the Mayor, adding that the board had reached out to get the City’s views.

There was some confusion as to whether McDonald spoke for the City or as a citizen at the ARC meetings in the spring, but there was no doubt when a last-minute motion at Council was tabled and passed supporting a two-school system.

McDonald says that he is a big proponent that schools are a community hub, adding “I didn’t want to lose the school in West Ferris.”

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