Zann asking Casey to address P3 school concerns

October 14, 2015

NDP Education critic Lenore Zann is asking Minister of Education Karen Casey to address the mounting uncertainty regarding the future of P3 schools in Nova Scotia.

Beginning on November 30, 2015, the government is obligated to make a decision on a total of 39 P3 contracts, starting with Sherwood Park Education Centre in Sydney. “Parents, teachers and children deserve clear answers. If the province is not going to buy the schools, or extend their expensive leases, then the communities will have to go through the school review closure process, ” Zann said.

Between February 1998 and June 1999, the Liberal government bundled and awarded 39 P3 schools to 3 developers, in an attempt to keep the cost of building new schools off the government’s books. In 2010, the Auditor General wrote a scathing report on the P3 school contracts, concerns that have been echoed by Auditors-General in other provinces.

Under the contracts, the government has three choices: Pick up the $230 million worth of options on the schools and take ownership; agree to continue the leases which have already cost the province $830 million; or the government can simply allow the contracts to end, which would result in school closures.