September 18, 2018 5:34 pm
Updated: September 18, 2018 5:55 pm

New west-end school an important issue in Moncton South

Tue, Sep 18: As election day draws near, people in Moncton South are talking about schools. As Callum Smith reports, the location of a new west-end school is becoming a pressing election matter.


As election day draws near, residents in Moncton South are talking about schools.

Plans for a new west-end school have been in the works since a Liberal government announcement in February, and while the exact location hasn’t been formally announced, it’s becoming an election issue.

“I expressed my concern and [the candidates] seemed to say that a lot of people in the area are expressing the same concerns,” says Brenda Bannister.

“I think they are aware that it is high on the list of priorities for this particular neighbourhood.”

READ MORE: All our New Brunswick election 2018 coverage

$1.5 million in funding for a new school in Moncton’s west end was announced by the Liberals in February, replacing Hillcrest and Bessborough schools.

Both schools were built in the 1950s

Callum Smith/Global News

A Facebook post from Cathy Rogers, the province’s finance minister and the current Moncton South MLA, implied the decision on where the new school would be located may have been determined already.

“Initial planning has begun to build a new school on the current Bessborough property,” the post reads.

“As a Hillcrest (School) parent, that concerns me,” says Charlotte Robinson-Rocca. “I thought it was an amalgamation of two schools, not the closing of one school and the expansion of a second.”

Charlotte Robinson-Rocca says the Facebook post was made to get votes in Monday’s provincial election

Callum Smith/Global News

The issue has been a big one for the Liberal and Progressive Conservative candidates, with Moira Murphy questioning the timing of Rogers’ post, saying the information was expected to come in March.

“To jump the gun in one sense – I’m relieved that the government only seems to be looking at that,” says Brenda Bannister, who lives near Bessborough School. “But then it also makes you think, ‘Well, it’s still up in the air maybe.'”

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Residents say the information should have been made more formalized if the content of the post is correct.

“If you’re going to say that, ‘Yes, it’s going to be on this spot,’ then step forward and say it,” says Tim Richard. “Don’t just put it in writing on your [Facebook] page saying, ‘Yes, we’re doing it there.’ It’s not written in stone.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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