Data Missing From Report Behind School Closures Recommendation: Brockton Councillor photo

As supporters from Owen Sound, Markdale and Paisley join a rally outside Queen’s Park today, one Brockton councillor feels officials with the Bluewater District School Board should take a closer look at the enrollment numbers they say are behind their decision to close schools in both Paisley and Markdale.

Councillor Chris Peabody says the census data is five years old and the ministry data does not account for babies born between 2013 and 2016.

He feels the data used in the Watson & Associates Report is somewhat irrelevant because the numbers or not current. He says a good portion of data is missing over an almost five-year period.

“[What about] the babies that were born in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, so I went to the hospital and gathered some data and in South Bruce Grey we’ve got two hospitals where people have births; Hanover and Walkerton, very strong growth,” says Peabody in an interview with CKNX News.

Peabody notes that Walkerton hospital shows a 45% increase in births during this time (2011-2016) while Hanover is up 27%.

Data collected also shows that minor sports enrollment within the Brockton Recreation Department also jumped 40% at the JK age level during the same time period.

So at the end of the day, Peabody is urging Bluewater District School Board Trustees to use caution in accepting the Watson Report when making their decisions to close two local schools that clearly have residents, parents and students up in arms.

“That’s what I’d urge the trustees to do, it’s quite a radical decision, it will really hurt the Town of Paisley so I’d urge them to use caution, look at all the numbers out there and perhaps maybe vote against what the staff recommended,” adds Peabody.