March 3, 2008
SPECIAL BOARD MEETING
(1) CALL TO ORDER:
A Special Board meeting of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School board was called to order today beginning at 5:10 p.m.
(2) RECORD OF ATTENDANCE:
|Darlene Morrison||George MacDonald||Lorne Green|
|Charlie Keagan||Fred Tilley||Myrtle Campbell|
|Sandra Margettie||Joan Currie||Dr. Andrew Lynk|
|Kevin Ruelland||Stan MacKinnon|
|Gary Fraser||Darren Googoo||Cathi Pierrard|
|N.E. Davis, Superintendent of Schools|
|B. MacIsaac, Director of Human Resource Services|
|A. White, Director of Operational Services|
|G. Boudreau, Director of Financial Services|
|Dr. Keith Brown, Vice-President of Development/Assistant Professor Marketing of Cape Breton University|
|Mr. Gordon Gosse, Member of the Legislative Assembly|
|Mr. Manning MacDonald, Member of the Legislative Assembly|
|Mr. David Wilson, Member of the Legislative Assembly|
|Michelle MacLeod, Board Recording Secretary|
(3) MEETINGS WITH THE MLA′S AND REPRESENTATIVES FROM CAPE BRETON UNIVERSITY:
Board Chair, Darlene Morrison began the meeting with introductions.
Mr. N.E. Davis, Superintendent of Schools reviewed the history behind the Education program and the Supply and Demand report. Noted it was recognized as a need in 2004 and it was his feeling that it remains a need in 2008. He advised that Cape Breton University and the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board both wish to obtain an unencumbered Bachelor of Education Program. He also noted the recent editorials in the Cape Breton Post which were found to be disappointing.
Dr. Brown wished to thank the Board publicly and privately for advocating on behalf of Cape Breton University to obtain their own Bachelor of Education Program. He reviewed the history of the battle over the years in order to obtain programs such as a Bachelor of Arts degrees and foundation programs. He noted that all program offerings over the years were achieved over time, however; not without incredible struggles.
He recognized the efforts of so many individuals who have emailed, wrote letters, phoned and spoke publicly to recognize the need of the Education program at Cape Breton University. He also felt it is a career path is a personal choice and not the decision of any politician to make. The Labour Market supply issue was never on the table until the study was released. He also highlighted the area of a compressed model which is presently offered at Cape Breton University and recognized in the study.
Mrs. Beth MacIsaac reviewed the information which was distributed to the Members of the Legislative Assembly and to Dr. Keith Brown. She noted the strong relationship that the Board and Cape Breton University have and that it is seen as being very cooperative.
Mr. Manning MacDonald, Member of the Legislative Assembly highlighted the issue of those Members of the Legislative Assembly who are not present this evening. He recognized that over the years the University has achieved many goals and is presently recognized by other universities. He alluded to past meetings held with the University and the Student Union recognizing the support of the Liberal Party in the University achieving this goal. He also met with the Education Minister to express his/party support. They wish to have this goal achieved before the spring session of the legislature. He feels it is the right thing to do and strongly supports students achieving this goal here in Cape Breton rather than travelling not only outside the province but also outside the Country. The Minister of Education was delivered the message of not sustaining the program with Memorial University but obtaining our own Education Program at Cape Breton University. He was advised by the Minister of Education that a decision will be made before the end of March. Mr. MacDonald highlighted comments made by our Premier Mr. Roddy MacDonald supporting the relationship of Cape Breton University and Memorial University which is not what we wish to sustain.
Mr. Gordon Gosse, Member of the Legislative Assembly noted that the NDP report on this matter was presented and they recognize the importance of this issue. He recognized that nine Members of the Legislative Assembly are from Cape Breton and four of those have not expressed their opinion with regards to Cape Breton University obtaining their own program. Dr. Keith Brown also recognized the excellent response which was forwarded on behalf of the New Democratic Party.
He felt it was going to be a very hot topic in the legislature when it does convene in the spring.
Mr. David Wilson, Member of the Legislative Assembly recognized discussions he has had with the Minister however he wasn′t given any indication on what the decision will be. He also advised that if the decision isn′t favourable, then his party will begin the battle to obtain the program in the form of which it should be offered. He also recognized that the three Progressive Conservative representatives should be present and their absence is inexcusable. He felt that this is a very important issue and one that we should all pull together in order to achieve.
Mr. Davis wished to achieve a consensus that Cape Breton University, our Board and staff and the Members of the Legislative Assembly all support a Bachelor of Education program offered fully through Cape Breton University supported by the Department of Education. He also recognized the comments made by the Premier of Nova Scotia.
Commissioner Green questioned whether the Members of the Legislative Assembly who are present feel that this is a serious enough issue to topple the present government. Mr. MacDonald noted that this issue is a serious concern and one which the Liberal party would seriously consider.
Commissioner MacDonald addressed the issue of the Members of the Legislative of Assembly who support Cape Breton having the same support within their parties province-wide when there are thirteen Members in the Halifax area alone.
Mr. MacDonald, Member of the Legislative Assembly, noted that the Education critic for the Liberal Party, Mr. Leo Glavine, signed correspondence to the Minister of Education and it is the Liberal Party fully supports an Education program. This is one of the issues at the top of the list for the Liberal party that could cause the government to topple,
Mr. Gordon Gosse also recognized that the New Democratic Party fully support Cape Breton University in reaching this endeavour.
Mr. David Wilson recognized that the three speakers in the House are all from Cape Breton and more pressure can be put on them.
Commissioner Tilley recognized that great discussions occurred this evening and correspondence should be forwarded to those who were absent this evening noting this and advising them that we are seeking their support.
Commissioner Ruelland thanked those that came and reiterated the Board′s support for the program. He is however fearful that the present government will maintain the status quo rather than allowing Cape Breton University to obtain their own program which he feels would be very disappointing. He feels we have waited to long and he also noted that we are to forgiving of past mistakes made and we need to continue the struggle to achieve this goal.
Commissioner Campbell threw blame towards Mr. Dennis Cochrane and felt that the decision was made before this study was conducted. She also noted that Supply and Demand was never mentioned in the past. She feels it has nothing to do with the Bachelor of Education program but more to do with Cape Breton.
Commissioner Lynk recognized the importance of an Education degree as an opportunity for our students.
(4) Adjournment of the meeting. . .
The meeting adjourned at 7:26 p.m.
DARLENE MORRISON GEORGE BOUDREAU
BOARD CHAIR BOARD SECRETARY