Canso prepares to fight for high school
People in the town of Canso, N.S., say they'll fight the closure of their local high school as the school board moves ahead with plans that could see three schools close.
Earlier this week, the Strait Regional School Board voted to receive identification reports for Canso Academy, West Richmond Education Centre in Evanston and Rev. H.J. MacDonald in Heatherton.
Staff at the school board were also told to prepare reports on how the communities would be affected by the schools' closures.
"I personally will fight the closure of that school," said Frank Fraser, mayor of the town of Canso.
"We're working diligently to rebuild our community and to rebuild that community, we have to have a school and our Canso Academy is very important to our community."
Fraser said his community, which was devastated by the loss of the fishery, is showing signs of life with a new, smaller fish plant that recently opened and a new wharf under construction.
Canso Academy, which was built to accommodate 400 students, now has an enrolment of 70 and the projected enrolment is expected to be even lower.
The Strait Regional School Board is looking at three options for the school: keeping it open, moving the students to Fanning Education Centre — just out of town — or busing the students to Guysborough Academy, which is about 50 kilometres away.
"We don't want the third option of going to Guysborough. That's not an option for town council. We'll fight that all the way," said Fraser on Wednesday.
Students at Canso Academy agreed.
"We have to get up at 6 o'clock in the morning to get on the bus," said Dwight Wilson.
Kyle David said moving the students would "suck" for the community.
"It's not going to have a school anymore to keep the teachers around, to keep people within the town," he said.
The impact assessment reports will be presented to the board by Sept. 30.