Parents from the eastern P.E.I. community of Souris filled the public gallery of the legislature Tuesday to protest what they consider to be a broken promise of a new school.
The government had been considering a single new building that would house all students from the area, kindergarten to grade 12. But the cost of that school came in at $24.8 million. The province is now planning a new kindergarten to grade 6 school that will be attached to a renovated high school, at a cost of $20 million.
The parents came to hear debate on an Opposition motion demanding government follow through on plans to build an entirely brand new school. Premier Robert Ghiz admitted it was not easy to speak against the motion before a hostile public gallery.
"Is it fun for me to stand up in the house and have to debate a motion where I know there's an entire gallery, and partially an entire community, Madame Speaker, that is against what we are doing? No it's not," said Ghiz.
"But do I also have a responsibility … To make sure that we offer the best possible services in this province for the dollars that we have?"
Angry parents showed their frustration with government after the session ended for the night, confronting the premier and members of the government on the street outside the legislature.
"Our committee was bullied into that," school activist Teri Hall told Ghiz.
"They reluctantly — you missed an important word — reluctantly agreed."
The parents wanted the government to know they are in no way happy with the decision.