Ex-staffer clarifies new Belmont process

Former SD62 assistant superintendant offers leadup to Belmont decision

Re: Teen candidate full of youthful enthusiasm (Gazette, Oct. 10)

Your front-page feature story included a campaign photo provided by the candidate and contained this statement: “The former Belmont student, perhaps best known as the student activist who spearheaded a grassroots campaign to convince Sooke School District to replace the aging facility.”

This implies the district wasn’t doing enough about replacing Belmont and needed some prodding. Nothing could be further from the truth. The board and staff worked on this relentlessly for over five years, along with local mayors and councils, parents and other community representatives, including our local MLAs.

The project was initiated in the 2005 Annual Capital Plan that normally takes several months of studies to determine provincial rankings. We were told we had too many elementary spaces, therefore no new schools. A change in provincial policy allowed the district to present a unique business plan to government. The community was actively involved in numerous meetings pertaining to grade configurations and potential new schools.

There were several meetings between trustees and the minister, as well as their respective staffs. The plan included the sale of Belmont and the expansion of the Glen Lake property. With lands already owned at Royal Bay, and in conjunction with grade restructuring, the plan provided the financial basis for provincial approval.

This business plan was the pivotal point in the approval process. Long before the student rally, ministry funds were already being released for the Belmont replacement. The incumbent trustees must be credited for submitting the business plan and sticking to it in the face of some strong opposition. The success was far more complex than any one person or event. The Belmont success was due to the work of many, many people, aptly led by the incumbent trustees.

Ron Warder

Metchosin

Ret. asst. superintendent

Sooke School District

Just Posted

Victoria ranks 20th among 25 Canadian cities for Internet experience

Findings appear in a 2016 report from Canadian Internet Registration Authority

Squirrels star of guided walk in Saanich park

Going Squirrelly Guided Walk happening Sunday in Francis/King Regional Park

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Oak Bay realtor recalls sale of home where family was murdered

Home sellers not always required to disclose violent crimes

Victoria police seek witnesses after assault reported by man in wheelchair

Cops hope to speak with witnesses near Yates and Douglas on Jan. 13 between 1:45 and 3:15 p.m.

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Study finds more than half of food produced in Canada wasted

The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates

Snowed-in Austrian nuns insist they’re staying put

Authorities have deployed heavy equipment to clear snow and fallen trees blocking the road to the monastery

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Most Read