Following the announcement by the PEI government in January, recommending the closer of five rural schools. Many stakeholders from across the province have united to protest what they perceive to be an attack on their communities.
The government outlined their recommendations in their report “School Review – Better Learning for All”. A document in which the Public School Branch recommends closing the following schools; Georgetown Elementary, Belfast Consolidated, St. Jean Elementary, St. Louis Elementary and Bloomfield Elementary.
Islanders that live in the rural areas have organized a number of protests and rallies since the announcement to air their grievances with the recommendations and to bring attention to the concerns of the rural areas regarding access to services.
The latest protest was organized by the Georgetown Strategic Advisory Council outside of the Confederation Centre on March 24th. During the time of the protest, the Confederation Centre, located in the capital city, Charlottetown, was hosting the CBC Presents: The National in Conversation with Peter Mansbridge. This event was strategically chosen to draw as much attention to the issue of rural school closures as possible. Approximately 40-50 protestors attended the event. One of the protestors discussed why it was so important to protest with
One of the protestors discussed why it was so important to protest with CBC:
“We’re here to be visible and to let the people who are coming into the [Confederation] Centre know that there is a very, very important issue facing Islanders. Rural PEI is under attack, we believe, by this government. That is why we’re here.”
The government has not made any recent statements to respond to the protests.