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Patrick Brown, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, speaks to media at the Ontario Legislature on April 5, 2016. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)
Patrick Brown, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, speaks to media at the Ontario Legislature on April 5, 2016. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

Progressive Conservatives call for Ontario school closure moratorium Add to ...

Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives are calling for a moratorium on school closures in the province and a review of the guidelines that determine them.

PC Leader Patrick Brown says the Liberal government is trying to find savings on the backs of students by putting schools on the chopping block.

Premier Kathleen Wynne notes those decisions are made by school boards, but says the government has urged the boards to think twice before closing schools.

The education and infrastructure ministers sent a letter to school boards Monday telling them it is the government’s “strong preference” that before closures, they fully explore sharing facilities between the four English, French, public and Catholic school systems.

Of the 4,900 publicly funded schools in Ontario, 37 have joint-use arrangements, in which students from one or more boards use the same building.

Education Minister Mitzie Hunter says Brown’s proposal of a moratorium is “arbitrary” and “would limit locally elected school boards from collaborating with their communities and implementing creative solutions based on the needs of their students and their communities.”

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