Province reduces number of school trustees in North Okanagan-Shuswap

The B.C. government has reduced the number of school trustees in the North Okanagan-Shuswap after the previous board of nine was fired in 2016.

Previous board fired in 2016 over financial mismanagement and loss of public confidence

There will now be five school board trustees instead of nine in the North Okanagan-Shuswap. (Shutterstock/Syda Productions)

The B.C. government has decided to reduce the number of trustees in the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District from nine to five ahead of elections to be held this fall.

Education Minister Rob Fleming signed the ministerial order following a recommendation from official trustee, Mike McKay.

In 2016, the province fired all nine members of the previous board over financial troubles and a loss of public confidence.

"This is an opportunity to hit a refresh button," said McKay, who was appointed by the province as the area's official trustee when the board was dismissed.

"The circumstances that led to the board being removed and to me coming in, that has quieted. I think we're on a positive trajectory and I believe that the people who are elected will do a good job."

There will now be one trustee for North Shuswap, Sorrento and Carlin, two trustees for Salmon Arm, one trustee for Sicamous, Malakwa, Enderby and Grindrod, and one trustee for Armstrong, Spallumcheen, Falkland, Silver Creek and Ranchero.

Elections to be held in October

McKay says while trustees will be taking on larger geographical locations, they will still be able to carry out key responsibilities of the role.

"The number of people is not as important as the cohesiveness and the focus and the alignment of that board in doing the key work," McKay told CBC Daybreak South host Chris Walker.

"I'm hoping that a cohesive, well-regulated and policy-rich board will be able to achieve what all of the citizens in every community want their board to do, which is to provide good governance and support for the priorities in the district around student achievement, fiscal management  and creating good environments for students, staff and the whole community."

Elections for a new North Okanagan-Shuswap Board of Education will be held in October.

Information sessions will be held ahead of that time for those interested in running for a position.

With files from CBC's Daybreak South and Chris Walker.