Prentice: Schools first priority, but won’t attach “arbitrary” timelines

EDMONTON (July 28, 2014) –PC candidate Jim Prentice says if he becomes premier, he will build between 40 and 50 new schools on top of the Alberta government’s existing promise to build 50 and modernize 70 more, but won’t commit to a timeline.

This is good news for Albertans, especially students who are experiencing overcrowding in classrooms, which is a direct result of the PC Government not keeping up with the infrastructure funding this province desperately needs.

“Citizens in this province are still waiting for the schools Redford promised, the cornerstone of her election campaign in 2012, and now we are discussing the construction of more schools,” said CUPE Alberta President Marle Roberts. “The Tories need to live up to their original promises before making any more to the residents of Alberta,” said Roberts.

In a speech last month, Prentice said, “I’ve been careful not to attach arbitrary timelines within which this could be done. We need to build these facilities, get caught up over five years. Then we need to pay for them…over 15 years.”

Effectively, Prentice may still be hinting at using a P3 model to construct schools in Alberta, despite seemingly abandoning the idea in June.

Roberts said, “Research conducted in 2013 shows that the P3 method as proposed by the GOA would not be a cost effective way to build the schools needed in the Alberta and yet the government insists on proceeding with this method. CUPE has, and will continue to advocate for infrastructure funding as stable, predictable for schools,” Roberts said.

To 2013 CUPE study on Alberta P3 schools can be found at: https://archive.cupe.ca/updir/P3AlbertaschoolsfullE.pdf

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Canadian Union of Public Employees

CUPE represents workers in health care, emergency services, education, early learning and child care, municipalities, social services, libraries, utilities, transportation, airlines and more. 

Contact
Naomi Mison
CUPE National, Communications Representative
780.885.3956
nmison@cupe.ca
NM/clc cope#491