Alberta P.C. Government Hypocrisy on Schools
The Edmonton Journal reports that Alberta Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk says the province needs 400 new schools over the next decade and he’s trying to figure out how to pay for them. “Our job, as government, is to make sure kids get the schools they need”, says Lukaszuk.
That may sound all well and good. Who can argue that kids don’t need schools to go to in order to get properly educated so they can get jobs and contribute meaningfully to society? But wait a minute…while Alberta’s Education Minister is talking on the eve of a provincial election about getting new schools built, Alberta’s Premier, Energy Minister (Ted Morton) and Infrastructure Minister (Jeff Johnson) are strongly supporting the overhead Heartland power line getting built right next to Colchester Elementary School in P.C. MLA Dave Quest’s constituency. In fact, Premier Redford interfered with the AUC hearing process last October, by telling the Commission to go ahead with the Heartland line, right after her Energy Minister and the AUC had put this line on hold.
The Premier, Ministers and others in the Alberta government know full well that an overhead double-circuit 500kV power line with towers up to 77m tall (253 ft) built that close to Colchester School will mean the school will close down. Parents have voted 95% in favour of not sending their children to the school if the power line is built above ground because they do not want to jeopardize their children’s health and safety based on reported negative health impacts of EMFs and toxic corona ions emanating from overhead high voltage lines (see this link) .
So…a perfectly good and well-maintained school with an enrolment of close to 200 elementary students, and one of the finest reputations within the Elk Island Public Schools system, is going to close down because the Premier and two Ministers support an overhead power line getting built right next to it, while another Minister is trying to figure out how to pay for new schools. If this isn’t a classic example of hypocrisy, we don’t know what is. It’s been estimated that a new Colchester School, or an addition to another school to accommodate the Colchester students, would cost $20 million to $30 million.
We have a really helpful suggestion for the Alberta government – cancel the Heartland power line, keep Colchester School open, and save $20 million to $30 million. Why haven’t our local P.C. MLAs been able to stop this unnecessary line from getting built??