Prairie Dog: Always Enlightening

I always learn a lot from reading the Prairie Dog, but the April 3 issue was especially enlightening. I particularly appreciate Carle Steel’s article on the John Gormley incident at the U of R [“Big Men On Campus”] and Greg Beatty’s [“Board Of Bad Ideas”] on the closure of Connaught School. Both provide information that is not available elsewhere in the media.

Carle’s piece offers insight into the thinking behind the action taken by the protesters who interrupted Gormley’s book event. It also includes information on the Indigenous traditions that informed the protesters’ action. As the article so clearly indicates, it is not Gormley’s free speech that is being prevented in our province.

Greg’s piece on Connaught is equally informative. It brings to light many of the dubious tactics the School Board has employed “to get their way with Connaught.”

Thank you Prairie Dog. Keep up the good work!!!

Florence Stratton, Regina

It’s Not Too Late To Save Connaught

Thanks for caring about Connaught School, Prairie Dog! Opened in 1912, Connaught was built during Regina’s boom years, along with the Legislative Building, Westminster United Church, and the Carnegie Library. The year before, Regina College and the Regina Municipal Railway’s trolley car line were established. Holy Rosary Cathedral would open a year later.

I cannot believe that this well-built school, designed by provincial architect Puntin, after having stood for 102 years, might be knocked down! It is a signature part of our neighbourhood, and should be treated with respect. New schools will not have such a long life.

Why can’t repairs be made to Connaught so it can serve more generations of children and their families?

It is frustrating that all community responses have been ignored by the School Board, even a cheque for $9,000 raised by the community for repairs to the school. It is equally frustrating that Athabasca was closed and sold for just over $2 million dollars (during a population boom!), when a new school will cost over $20 million! It’s hard to understand that that over $1 million dollars will be spent to renovate Wascana (which will be knocked down), while $26,000 is refused to renovate Connaught School.

That the cost of buses will be much more than Connaught repairs would cost leaves anyone who can add shaking their heads in disbelief.

Our tax dollars are not being well-used. Our public goods are being  frittered away. Long-established neighbourhoods are being destroyed. Families are being thrown into chaos. History and logic are being ignored.

Shamefully, this is being done willingly by five out of seven members  of Regina Public School Board.   It is NOT too late to reverse this  wrong-headed decision.

Jeannie Mah, Regina

A Board Most Maddening

Thanks for the great report on Connaught in the latest issue of Prairie Dog. It’s absolutely maddening that the school board continues to disregard the needs and wishes of the students, caregivers and parents of Connaught! It’s time they remembered who’s paying their wages and who they are supposed to be working for.

Amy Petrovitch, Regina

One-Room Schools Were Better Than This

In 2008 I attended my first Regina Board of Education meeting. It was to witness the closure of Usher and other schools. Here we are six years later, and the RBE is still closing schools like Connaught in supposedly booming Regina. They are causing needless tears for children and hardship for Regina families.

The provincial push to close schools and cram children like sardines into P3 portables is a slide backward from the one-room school houses my great-grandparents lovingly built for their community’s children. We’re raising children in newly constructed, removable heritage.

John Klein, Regina

You’re Welcome. We’re Always Happy To Share Bad News

Hi there Prairie Dog, thanks for the informative, truthful story regarding Connaught.  It needed to be told.  Thank you.

Misty Wensel, Regina

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