Supreme Court upholds Strait school closures
Parents disappointed with decision, says lawyer
The Nova Scotia Supreme Court has upheld a decision by the Strait Regional School Board to permanently close two schools in the district.
Members of the board voted in March 2012 to close the West Richmond Education Centre in Evanston and Rev. H.J. MacDonald in Heatherton.
Parents and residents from both communities filed for a judicial review of the decision, claiming the Strait Regional School Board had used faulty and erroneous data in making its decision.
The case was heard in August and in a decision released last week, Supreme Court Justice Patrick Murray dismissed the communities' bids to reverse the school closures.
"The process was followed as best as we could," said Mary Jess MacDonald, the chair of the Strait Regional School Board.
"We're happy. We're pleased with the decision."
MacDonald said the Rev. H.J. MacDonald building is vacant and will be declared surplus at the board's next meeting on Wednesday, while the West Richmond Education Centre will remain open until June and its students transferred to another school in September.
"According to the judge, there was sufficient compliance with the current regulations and the decisions to close Rev. H.J. MacDonald and West Richmond Education Center were reasonable," said MacDonald.
"That's what we were working for, and the applicants and the community had been given a meaningful opportunity to present their case fully and fairly."
Chris Boyd, who represents the parents, said his clients are disappointed with the decision. He said they haven't yet discussed their next move and are still reviewing the 43-page ruling.