School board elections delayed 2 more years

P.E.I. Education Minister Alan McIsaac has committed to a new round of school board elections, but he has set them back a further two years.

Election could run alongside municipal elections in 2014, says NDP

P.E.I. Education Minister Alan McIsaac has committed to a new round of school board elections, but he has set them back a further two years.

Something needs to be done to improve turnout at school board elections, says Education MInister Alan McIsaac. (CBC)

Elections for both the French and English language boards were to be held in 2014, but McIsaac is tabling legislation to delay voting in the English board as far back as 2016. He said that will allow voting to coincide with either the next federal or provincial election.

"The big benefit is to get a turnout at the polls," said McIsaac.

"If we just have the elections on our own, it's a larger cost for us but at the same time, we do not feel we would get a big turnout at the polls. We have to look at seriously doing something."

Turnout for the last school board elections in 2008 was 3.6 per cent. Before the two English language boards were merged, the Eastern School District board was dismissed by then education minister Doug Currie in 2011, who said it had become dysfunctional.

A report on school board governance released in 2011 made a number of recommendations to improve voter turnout for trustee elections, including having them coincide with another election.

The provincial NDP says there is no need to wait for 2016. It is suggesting the election could be attached to municipal elections in November 2014.

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