N.S. appoints members to Council on African Canadian Education after months-long delay

Nova Scotia Education Minister Zach Churchill provides a back-to-school update to reporters in Halifax on Wed. Sept. 2, 2020. Global News / file

The Nova Scotia Education Department announced on Tuesday it has appointed nine new members to the Council on African Canadian Education (CACE).

The council is mandated under the province’s Education Act to ensure the rights and interests of Black students and their families in Nova Scotia schools.

Read more: N.S. premier defends apology, says he isn’t imposing solution on racialized communities

New and re-instated appointees include:

  • Darlene Upshaw-Tynes, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Shaniqwa Thomas, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Anthony Riley, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Charmaine Willis, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Gerry Clarke, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Lindell Smith, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Kimberly King-MacDonald, Glace Bay
  • Glenda Talbot-Richards, Colchester County
  • William Crawford, Yarmouth County

“These nine individuals are all well-respected in their communities and will add valuable voices to the work being done to address inequalities in our education system,” said Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, in a news release.

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The total number of board seats filled is now 14 out of 17. Until Tuesday, there were only five members on board.

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Under the Act, the responsibility of appointing members falls on the education department.

During the summer, Churchill came under fire for failing to fill 13 vacant positions on the council for months. In June, he told Global News the department is committed to supporting African Nova Scotian learners.

To date, the department has hired 68 African Nova Scotian support workers across the province.

Read more: Nova Scotia committed to being an ally to Black, Indigenous students: education minister

In a provincial briefing in September, Churchill blamed the delay on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and preparing for reopening schools. Since then he has stressed that efforts are being made to fill the positions.

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Churchill said in Tuesday’s announcement that the Standing Committee on Human Resources approved the new appointments and they will be finalized shortly.

“The educational success of African Nova Scotian students is an important priority,” he said.

“I look forward to continuing our work with the council to ensure our African Nova Scotian learners are supported,” Churchill said.

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