Staff at the Town of Parry Sound is currently reviewing the implications of having the French JK to Grade 8 school located at Canadore College’s West Parry Sound Campus.

This comes at the direction of Council after a motion by Councillor Doug McCann to review the rental of space at the college to the Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est du L’Ontario for their French school.

The move was prompted by a letter from former Parry Sound Councillor Wayne Cormier and Jocelyn Shipman, listed on LinkedIn as Campus Officer at Canadore College, voicing objection to the rental of the space for use as an elementary school.

Objection to the proposed use of the space is based on two points.

In their letter, Cormier and Shipman point out that the West Parry Sound campus was built to “deliver programs in the trades, adult and post-secondary education with the West Parry Sound area”.

They argue that rental to the French Board will “undermine the quality of programming that Canadore has been offering in West Parry Sound. With less space to offer programming in, there will be fewer opportunities for people to improve their education and lot in life. The eroding of space and programs would be the beginning of the end of the local campus”.

Cormier and Shipman also cite the welfare of the students asking if the French Board “has considered more healthy and positive environments for their young students”.

“West Parry Sound is nestled in a quiet area but is still a very public place that does not have the inherent security systems that elementary schools would have” the letter states.

In his motion to Council, Councillor McCann expressed the same concerns as Cormier and Shipman as well as mentioning the lack of a play area and parking concerns.

At its meeting on April 1st, McKellar’s Town Council passed a resolution that directs Council to request the management and board of governors to reconsider the decision of renting parts of the Canadore College West Parry Sound Campus.

Copies of the resolution were sent to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities,  the Canadore College Board of Governors, and Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller.

Parry Sound staff will report back to Council at its next meeting on Tuesday, April 16th.

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