As the French Language School Board was holding its elections for trustees Monday, NDP Leader Mike Redmond was disappointed in the education minister's comments on them.
Elections were held for just two of the of the nine trustee positions. Six positions were acclaimed, and one of the nine will have to be appointed because no one stepped forward to serve.
Gilles Benoit was elected as the Summerside area trustee and Arthur Buote was elected in the North Shore area.
Education Minister Alan McIsaac said he was pleased with the quality of candidates that did offer.
NDP Leader Mike Redmond found that disturbing.
“Rather than vigorously promote participation, the Minister was mostly quiet about the fact that it is important for Islanders to come forward to serve as leaders in public education," said Redmond.
Redmond said it is clear the government prefers appointed school board trustees to democratically elected ones.
“For the Minister to have such a cavalier attitude towards the lack of democratic elections is truly shocking, and indicates an appalling lack of leadership," he said. "Education is being very poorly managed by the Ghiz government, and our children ultimately pay the cost.”
Redmond points to the report from the Education Governance Commission in 2012 which made several recommendations aimed at improving voter turnout in school board elections. Government still has not implemented any of those recommendations. However, it does plan to hold the next round of trustee elections for the English Language School Board concurrently with either the next federal or provincial election.