Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker has begun presenting petitions calling on the Government to put a moratorium on school closures in Ontario and to immediately review the school closure guidelines.

According to published reports, as many as 600 schools across the province are under the threat of school closure, including those in Bruce and Grey.

"Concerned students, parents, community leaders and business from every corner of Ontario are signing this petition to put this Government on notice that their accommodation review guidelines. I want to thank everyone who has signed and helped distribute the petition for standing up for students and their communities."

So far, MPP Walker's office has about 400 signatures from local residents on the petition drafted by Ontario Alliance Against School Closures. MPP Walker plans also to present them to the Legislature on Monday when the group holds a rally against school closures on the front lawn of Queen's Park.

"This Government and this Education Minister have so far ignored concerns and recommendations from the school communities," MPP Walker said. "I sincerely hope the Education Minister and this administration will now care, listen and work to find solutions."

The petition outlines problems with the government's accommodation review guidelines, which now exclude the value of a school to the local economy and limit opportunities for the establishment of community hubs. It calls on the government to fix the guidelines.

"We need to keep our schools open and support them as vibrant community hubs. For sure the Education Minister will agree that the two are inseparable and she will agree to meet with the school communities and find solutions so that we don't lose our schools and the child care programs and support they provide support to local families," said MPP Walker said.

source: media release, MPP Bill Walker