Edmonton’s Catholic school board is not pleased that it got shut out in the new provincial budget.
The budget , unveiled Thursday, provides $393 million for 20 projects — seven new schools, seven replacements, three modernizations, one addition to an existing school and two projects that have been approved for design.
But none of the money is going to projects on the wish-list of the city’s Catholic school board.
“Edmonton Catholic Schools did not receive any new schools or modernizations and we are extremely disappointed with this news,” a board spokesperson said in a media advisory Friday.
Board chair Terry Harris is going to outline the board’s concerns to reporters Friday afternoon.
Finance Minister Joe Ceci defended the government’s decision making.
“Since the NDP became government in 2015, 14 schools in the Edmonton Catholic school board system have been funded and are either under construction or finished,” Ceci told CBC News Friday.
“We fund through enrolment growth and health and safety needs for modernization. We’re going to continue to look at the needs of Edmonton as we go forward. But we’ve done a great deal already because of the growth they’ve had, and 14 schools funded is a pretty great high-water mark.”
Earlier Friday, Education Minister David Eggen detailed the list of 20 projects at École À la Découverte, a francophone school in northeast Edmonton that has been approved to get a new building.
“I look at imminent need, capital lists and geographic balance to determine my lists,” Eggen said.
“We’re very proud of this. It’s important to make investment in public services and public buildings in this case, in order of us to continue on with economic recovery to meet the needs of the fast growing economy in the country.”
Seven of the school projects on the list are in Edmonton or the Edmonton area.
- École À la Découverte K-6 (new francophone school in northeast Edmonton)
- Heritage Valley Chapelle East K-9 (new public school in southwest Edmonton)
- Westlawn Cluster (modernization of four public schools in west Edmonton)
- Paul Kane (replacement high school in St. Albert)
- Stony Plain Central (replacement school in Stony Plain)
- École Père Kenneth Kearns Catholic School (modernization in Sherwood Park)
- École Secondaire Beaumont Composite High School (addition)
The province said its five-year capital plan includes $2.2 billion in investments over the next five years on school infrastructure.